JFIT Sustainability Insight #23: From Water Management to Water Economy

UNESCO Jakarta organized the 23th interview session of the “Sustainability Insight” on 15 October 2020 from 12:00 to 12:50 (GMT+7). In this series, we invited implementing partners and learn from their knowledge, experience, and view the post-pandemic new normal.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, invited Prof. Della Grace Bacaltos, Professor 6 Davao del Sur State College, Digos City, Philippines, and Prof Joan Leach, Director of Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, Australian National University College of Science, Australia.

Prof. Leach explained three key components of responsible science communication being inclusive, recognizing the importance of negotiating knowledge, and being operated for the public good. The science community should take more responsibility for science communication particularly dedicated science communicators which should be nurtured. She emphasized the importance of multi-faceted negotiation, which involves communicating science to the community and vice versa. In the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, cultural practices of science communication across the world are respected to generate the most effective ways for science communication and reaching out to communities in addition to research and education.

Prof Bacaltos introduced her experience working with local communities as part of her voluntary work for HELP Davao Network. She agreed with the points Prof Leach raised, saying that negotiation was an integral part of building common understanding among academia, policymakers, and community members. For building good trust among all stakeholders, the network has been organizing consultation meetings and making persistent efforts to translate scientific knowledge into easily understandable materials. The network successfully engaged government in changing the zoning and introducing the SDGs scorecard into their project evaluation.

As for recommendations to JFIT and UNESCO, guests proposed organizing the training for science communication and ensuring the project’s long-term sustainability to have enough time to bring impact.