UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Office in Jakarta, Indonesia hosted the 12th session of the Sustainability Insight Series on Monday, 10 August 2020. Featuring guest speakers from two UNESCO Category-2 Centres, the session was moderated by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, director of UNESCO Office in Jakarta.
Dr Norlida Binti Mohd Dom, UNESCO Head of Coordination and Deputy-Director of the Regional Humid Tropics Hydrology and Water Resources Centre for South-East Asia and the Pacific (HTC) Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Malaysia highlighted that the water curricula on ecohydrology developed by the MUCP projects is the output produced by the collaborative work of tertiary institutions in Malaysia. She further elaborated that the curricula have been adopted in several countries, including Malaysia, where local universities have adopted several chapters to suit the local needs in their teaching. She also emphasized that the Malaysian Twelfth Plan (2021-2025), an economic strategic plan by the Malaysian Government, prioritized inclusive shared prosperity and has been in alignment on further works to empower inclusiveness on water security and water access.
For future works, Dr. Norlida suggested the need to include elements from the 4th Industrial Revolution, preparation and mitigation actions for drought and flood, empowering water management and ensuring funding for activities.
Meanwhile, Dr Yaya Omogbemi Omoloju, Director of the Regional Centre for Integrated River Basin Management (RC-IRBM) National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna, Nigeria in this discussion highlighted on how the curricula has been customized and replicated, not only in Nigeria but in nearby African Countries as well. RC-IBM, he further elaborated, is working closely on a regional level with tertiary institutions in Africa to customize the curricula developed. The South-South Cooperation via the MUCP provides the much-desired linkages with Asian counterparts, to better align the effort to support SDG 6 in terms of capacity building.
Dr. Yaya also suggested that future works prioritize linkages with institutions in Asia for PhD and Master programme on ecohydrology and IRBM, and conducting studies for water bodies in Africa that are at risk, while strengthening local communities’ involvement.