AIT hosts International Young Researchers’ Workshop on ‘River Basin Environment and Management’ in Asia

The two-day event on “River Basin Environment and Management” was
jointly organized by the International Research Centre for River Basin
Environment (ICRE), University of Yamanashi, Japan; Brawijaya
University, Indonesia; Centre of Research for Environment Energy and
Water (CREEW), Nepal; and the Water Engineering and Management (WEM)
Program, School of Engineering and Technology, AIT.

The workshop attracted thirty-four participants from Thailand,
Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Australia, China,
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Twelve speakers presented studies
conducted in countries in the region. Technical themes included
Hydrological Modeling and Applications, and Water Resources and
Climate. A number of recent PhD graduates from AIT returned to their
Alma Mater to showcase their latest academic work.

Delivering the keynote address titled
“Future Work for Development of Water Management in Asian Countries,”
University of Yamanishi’s Prof. Futaba Kazama stressed that scientists’
collaboration with the academe, officialdom, nongovernmental
organizations, and citizenry is essential to solving existing
water-related problems across the continent.

Prof. Kazama explained the key outputs of
a comprehensive study she conducted in Nepal titled “Hydro-microbial
approach for water security in the Kathmandu valley”, which involves
water security mapping and developing water treatment systems to inform
a large-scale water management system for the country’s capital

“To correct the situation, a scientific
eye is critical,” Prof. Kazama told workshop. But so too is finding
agreement on the problems with governments and affected societies. The
project highlighted the academic and societal roles necessary for
tackling water management issues, she said.

Welcoming the participants on behalf of
AIT President Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, Professor Sivanappan Kumar,
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, called the workshop a
timely opportunity for talented young researchers from South and
Southeast Asia to share knowledge and to network with senior regional
experts on river basin management.

Interim Vice President for Resource
Development Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto welcomed the international delegates
and added his expert feedback to the presenters. Explaining the
workshop objectives, Dr. Hiroshi Ishidaira of the University of
Yamanashi spoke of the “remarkable progress” made after ten years of
collaboration between the organizing partners, but added: “It’s time to
expand our network for the future.”

AIT Professor Mukand S. Babel and Dr.
Dian Sisinggih of Brawijaya University chaired technical presentations
on Water Resources and Climate, while Dr. Ishidaira and Dr. Jun Magome
of the University of Yamanashi chaired the second day sessions devoted
to Hydrological Modeling and Applications.

On day one of the workshop, lead
organizer Dr. Sangam Shrestha, Assistant Professor, WEM, delivered a
lecture titled “Climate change impacts on water resources and water use
sectors – studies from South and Southeast Asia.” The plenary speaker
for the workshop’s second day was Dr. Anthony Kiem of The University of
Newcastle, Australia.

Visiting Assoc. Prof. Akiyuki Kawasaki,
Coordinator, Regional Network Office for Urban Safety (RNUS), WEM, also
attended the workshop along with approximately fifteen current AIT
students. Dr. Rabin Malla, CREEW, emceed the opening session on
February 8.

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