From 21 to 25 August, the Alumni Refresher Course on ‘Urban and Rural Polder Development in Coastal Areas: Impact of Climate Change and Land Subsidence on Food Security and Environmental Integrity’ took place in Yangon, Myanmar. The event was organized by IHE Delft, in partnership with Myanmar Maritime University (MMU) and the Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department (IWUMD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, with the financial support of Nuffic.
The Refresher Course was opened by the Vice Rector of Myanmar Maritime University. The Director Dr. Zaw as well as several other delegates of IWUMD attended the opening. Participants of the course included 20 alumni from Asia as well as 9 professionals from partner organizations in Myanmar. The 20 Asian alumni that joined the course were from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam.
The course consisted of:
- introductory lectures on climate change and sea level rise and its expected impacts on water systems and ecology of lowland areas
- the effects of uncontrolled groundwater extraction, especially related to land subsidence to the surrounding areas
- environmental and ecological aspects of polder development
- lectures on integrated water resources development in Myanmar by Prof. Khin Kyu Kyu from MMU.
Participants had the opportunity to discuss the theory of polder development, as well as its applicability in real world situations.
On the last day of the course, an alumni gathering took place to link alumni living in Myanmar with the Refresher Course participants, IHE Delft and selected Dutch organizations. The event was attended by representatives of the Netherlands Embassy and Water Counsellor Mr. Armand Evers. During the event a special presentation was given by Dutch Consultant Royal HaskoningDHV who is active in several water related projects in Myanmar. The event was a great opportunity to meet old colleagues and make new contacts.