ICHARM is currently leading “The Project for Development of a Hybrid Water-Related Disaster Risk Assessment Technology for Sustainable Local Economic Development Policy under Climate Change in the Republic of the Philippines (HyDEPP)” under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) with the University of Tokyo, Tohoku University, the University of Shiga Prefecture, Nagoya University and Kyoto University. The project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
SATREPS is a Japanese government program that promotes international joint research. The program is a collaboration between JST, which provides competitive research funds to research organizations in Japan, and JICA, which provides development assistance (ODA) in the counterpart country. The principal organization on the Japan side is ICHARM, while the counterpart on the Philippine side is the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). JST’s 5-year project started in April 2020 after one-year preparation. However, JICA’s project for the same duration was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About one year later, the JICA’s project officially started on June 3, 2021.
The kick-off meeting of the HyDEPP-SATREPS Project was held online on the morning of June 30, 2021, attended by about 100 participants from research organizations of both countries, cooperating organizations in the Philippines, JICA, and JST. The meeting consists of three parts: Session1: Opening Session, Session2: Science and Technology Session, Session3: Business Meeting, which was closed for project members only.
Session1 began with the opening remarks by Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., the chancellor of UPLB, which was followed by the remarks from Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. of UPLB, the project director on the Philippine side, Ms. OSHIMA Ayumu, the senior representative of the JICA Philippines office, OHARA Miho, a senior researcher of ICHARM and the project director on the Japanese side. After the opening remarks, Project Leader OHARA and Project Manager Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez (UPLB) explained the objectives and research plan of the HyDEPP-SATREPS project.
They explained that the project aims to create hybrid water-related disaster risk assessment models by combining climate-change, hydrological, agricultural, and economic models and conduct objective assessments of the effectiveness of investment in disaster prevention measures in the Pampanga River basin and the Pasig-Marikina River and Laguna Lake basins in the environs of Metro Manila. They added that policy recommendations for sustainable economic development in urban and rural areas under climate change will also be formulated through a transdisciplinary approach using the hybrid water-related disaster risk assessment models.
In Session2, the leaders of four groups presented their research plans in detail. The four groups are as follows: Group1 for data collection and integration; Group2 for flood and drought risk assessment; Group3 for water-related disaster resilience assessment; and Group4 for predection of sustainable economic development scenario. OHARA also explained a future project plan, including e-learning programs starting from mid-July. The session was concluded with expectation for future research activities by Dr. ASAEDA Takashi, a JST research supervisor, Mr. NAKAMURA Satoshi of the JICA headquarters, Prof. KOIKE Toshio, the executive director of ICHARM, and the representatives of other research and cooperating organizations. At the end of the session, Dr. ASAEDA gave closing remarks, emphasizing the importance of smooth communication among the members in both countries for the success of joint research.
The third session was a business meeting closed for the project members only. The members discussed and confirmed the detailed activity plan for this year, the roles of each research organization, and the plans for the unit teams, which will be launched under each group.
The project members in both countries will continue communicating closely for the joint research, although the local activities in the Philippines are still facing difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic.
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Group photo of the participants of the Kick-off Meeting