Dawa Yoezer comes from Bhutan to study our MSc programme in Environmental Science with specialization on Environmental Planning and Management. Before joining IHE Delft, he worked for one of the premier research institutes in Bhutan, named Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research. Dawa received Joint Japan/ World Bank Graduate Scholarship to study at IHE Delft.
Why he decided to study this particular programme
‘’My study background is in forestry and have been working on water and environmental research and education. Bhutan is currently undergoing rapid transition in terms of development and the need for environmental conservation is becoming ever more important, especially concerning rivers and freshwater ecosystems. I aspire to acquire the skills that are required to contribute to research and environmental conservation in Bhutan. By doing so, I will be able to contribute to better education, research informed policy, and to develop awareness and interest of general public in managing water and environment.’’
About water problems in Bhutan
‘’Water is a very important natural resource for Bhutan. Bhutan have very strong commitment for environmental conservation and about 70% of our land area is under forest cover. Now, as the country embark on more developmental activities, with particular focus on hydropower, most of our rivers are getting dammed. From outside the rivers look clean and clear, but when you look deeper, most major river systems are getting fragmented. The river ecosystem is an open ecosystem, what happens at headwaters will impact downstream and vice versa. Fish migration is one of the major ecological problem of hydropower dam and there is great risk that we might lose our migrating fish species, like the Salmons once disappeared from European rivers.
Bhutan boast one of the highest per capita water availability in the region, but than our country is very mountainous and most of the settlements are on higher ridges. Which means that the main river course do not really benefit our communities in terms of drinking or irrigation. So they mostly depend on springs and smaller streams. There are not many studies being done on spring water and groundwater in Bhutan. The spring water resources are drying up, and reports of local water scarcity are on the rise. There are lots of issues of localized water shortages although we have abundance of water resources, so the royal government of Bhutan is pursuing it as a national flagship programme to mitigate water issues at the national level ’’
About studying at IHE Delft
‘’I come from high Himalayas and studying at an Institute which is located below sea level makes it all the more interesting to study environmental sciences. IHE Delft is currently home to students from about 42 countries. There is diversity representing different regions and backgrounds, so I see that as one of the strengths, especially in understanding multi-dimensional subject such as water. Being in company of good people is very important and I feel very lucky to have met great friends here.”
Why should new students/water professionals choose this programme? And do you have any advice for them?
IHE Delft is a leading water education and research institute in the world. The environmental science programmes covers wide range of subjects as basis and builds up to specialization in ecology, eco-technology and environmental policy and implementation. Teaching is very systematic and most of the lecturers are renowned professionals. Teaching resources are readily available and we can directly interact with professors and lecturers to discuss our research and subject interest. Even though the duration of each module is very short, we get lots of assignments and there is a lot to take up in a very short period of time. Six months thesis phase of the course will present us with real life learning experience which will particularly benefit people wanting to take up research career. I highly recommend this course to emerging water and environmental professionals, particularly from developing countries as there lots of scholarship programmes.
When Dawa finishes his study, he wish to go back to Bhutan and contribute to his institute in terms of education and research in the field of freshwater conservation.
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