Capacity building in action supporting water resources management in Indonesia

From January 29th to February 2nd, a 5-day practical workshop aimed at enhancing professional development in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) applied to Water Resources Management took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. This initiative is one of the main outputs from the Activity “Capacity development for spatial planning as a key component of water resources management in Indonesia”, funded by the Australian Water Partnership. 

Co-hosted by the Ministry of National Development Planning / National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), and delivered by Charles Sturt University, the workshop provided foundational and advanced GIS knowledge essential for mapping river infrastructure and evaluating river connectivity to support decision-making. The goal was to equip in-country stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and skills to make informed decisions in water resources management. 

The workshop saw the participation of thirty attendees from seven different institutions, including governmental and provincial departments focusing on water resources management, and NGOs. 

In the opening remarks, the Director for Water Resources and Irrigation at BAPPENAS highlighted the importance of using data-driven geospatial methodologies to support water management policies. 

Participants praised the communicative teaching team, informative learning materials, and the balance between theory and practical application. Sessions covered topics like GIS concepts, river barrier mapping, river connectivity, and the use of tools like QGIS and QField for data collection and analysis. The workshop also emphasized the importance of understanding and managing river ecosystems effectively, addressing concerns such as the loss of fish due to barriers like dams. Participants expressed enthusiasm for using GIS applications to improve water resource management in various contexts, including infrastructure development, disaster mitigation, and conservation efforts. The workshop’s success highlighted the potential for continued collaboration and capacity building focusing on solutions to restore or improve river connectivity. 

This workshop showcased the importance of taking into account perspectives from various stakeholders and parties in formulating policies related to water resources management, emphasizing the need to broaden the mindset of young professionals and move beyond infrastructure-focused approaches to consider biodiversity and habitat impacts. As participants look to apply their newfound knowledge in future projects, the workshop’s impact extends far beyond its duration, contributing to improved water resource management practices in the region.

Featured image: The participants at the workshop coming together for a picture.
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