University of Leicester environmentalists are leading an international team in a research project that can help Indonesian researchers to reverse strategies that have resulted in inefficient water management which threatens local communities.
In recent decades, East Kalimantan and West Sumatra in Indonesia, have experienced fires, flooding, soil erosion and water quality degradation.
A lack of knowledge and understanding of water management issues at the river basin scale has led to inadequate decision making and policy support actions, resulting in project failure, environmental degradation and impoverishment of local communities.
The Air-Co research project (Asia-European Collaboration in Knowledge and Research in Integrated Water Resource Management) will promote and support the technical proficiency of Indonesian scientists on integrated water resources management at the river basin scale.
Dr Susan Page, Department of Geography, and Dr David Harper, Department of Biology, are leading the University of Leicester project team, alongside colleagues from the University of Wageningen, Netherlands, and Mulawarman and Jambi universities in Indonesia.
The Leicester and Wageningen environmentalists will train a core of researchers from the Indonesian universities in integrated water resources management, also supporting and upgrading their research.
They are already developing innovative educational methods and technologies to improve the quality of their teaching and learning; and strengthening Indonesia's institutional capacity to implement efficient water resources management in a framework of environmental sustainability and social and economic equity.
Dr Susan Page commented: "One of the ways in which we hope to help local research scientists is through the development of educational films which focus on specific river catchment issues - from source to sea.