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July 26, 2017

ITT co-organizes session at the World Water Congress 2017

The World Water Congress, organized by the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), the National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA) and the National Association of Water and Sanitation Utilities (ANEAS) every 2-3 years, took place in Mexico this year from May 29th to June 2nd, 2017. Around 1000 experts from around the world met for knowledge exchange under the guiding theme “Bridge Science and Water Policy Making”. The Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) of the TH Köln, together with Technische Universität Braunschweig and Asian Institute of Technology organized a special session on “Water Security and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia” referring to the conference organized under the same title in 2016 in Bangkok. The CNRD network was represented by Lars Ribbe and Alexandra Nauditt from ITT and by Tran Duc Trinh from Vietnam Academy of Water Resources.

The Congress ended with a call for action titled the “Cancun Declaration

Prof. Dr. Lars Ribbe (Director, ITT), Prof. Dr. Rabi H. Mohtar (Texas AM University), Prof. Dr. Mukand Babel (AIT, Thailand), Alexandra Nauditt (Senior Researcher, ITT) and other representatives from the CNRD exceed Committee were speakers in the special session under the topic “Water Security in a changing world”. The session’s goal was to present and share the main outcomes of the previous conference “Water Security and Climate Change – Challenges and Opportunities for Asia” that was attended by over 150 scientists from Asia in November 2016.

Prof. Dr. Lars Ribbe was explaining about CNRD Exceed Committee, its focus areas and the relation to the WSCC Conference

“Empowering Young Water Professionals through Engagement in Global Water Community”

Amrita Gautam, Ph.D. Research Scholar at ITT and Nepal’s representative in the World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW), was one of the panelists in the special session “Empowering Young Water Professionals through Engagement in Global Water Community”.

This session strongly emphasized the role of youth in the global water resources discussions. Aslam Khan, the advisor of the Pakistan chapter for youth, stated that water is the most important component of all SDGs and that he believes young professionals have the enthusiasm and energy to contribute to meeting these SDGs. Networks of youth should be further developed, and indeed, Alice Colson provided an announcement of IWRA´s forthcoming Young Professional Chapter. To provide evidence of youth’s important involvement, four young professionals shared their experiences and work on water related issues such as climate change, community based water quality monitoring and the Water Youth Network.

Special session on “Water Sanitation and Health: Ensuring Drinking Water”

Water is vital for human health. Water is an essential and necessary component for all aspects of life, including drinking and providing adequate hygiene and sanitation. Unfortunately, the provision of these two services can be expensive and difficult to attain and maintain, particularly in rural areas where communities are far from centralized service areas. In this panel, speakers considered drinking water allocation case studies in Chile, as well as two different parts of Mexico (Oaxaca and San Luis Potosi).

The first speaker analyzed the efficacy of water and land use planning processes in Chile. Mr. Cristian Palma Infante and his colleagues created a qualitative and quantitative approach to analyze the connection between water planning and land use planning to see if each plan took the other into consideration. This approach is useful for objectively determining the level of integrated planning for water and could have interesting implications in other places.

Moving from Chile to Mexico, Juan Carlos Tejeda-Gonzalez presented his work on how to improve integrated drinking water planning for rural areas in the Altiplano. This research involved a strategic environmental assessment of the planning process for areas that are underserved by the government. Based on this research, it was determined that stakeholder engagement at the local level has the potential to create lasting, community-driven solutions. However, currently achieving meaningful stakeholder engagement is difficult in Mexico, where necessary forums for such engagement are not always available.

These case studies all managed to effectively weave in the importance of bridging the gap between science and policy by focusing on the importance of institutional, legal, and social aspects of water delivery services for human health.

July 26, 2017

The ITT was represented at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York!

Delegates of ITT (TH Köln) in the General Assembly Hall @UN-Headquarter for NMUN NY 2017 Left to right: Uyen Nguyen, Amrita Gautam and Alexander Biesinger represented the Committees UNEA, WHO and UNICEF respectively

National Model United Nations (NMUN) conferences are held annually in New York City and Washington, DC. Every year over 5,000 college/university students, more than half from outside the United States, come to New York City in spring to discuss current global issues. This year, TH Köln took part for the first time in the NMUN Conference which was held in New York from 18th to 22nd March, 2017.

Each University was given a ‘country assignment’ and TH Köln got selected to work for the country assignment ‘Nepal’ in the head delegation of our PhD Candidate Amrita Gautam. Though there were 10 delegates in the initial phase of selection, only 3 delegates could attend the conference and actively participate due to the US Ban for 7 Muslim countries and some other travel issues. Nevertheless, 6 delegates from ITT submitted the position papers for the committees GA1, GA2, UNDP, UNEA, UNICEF and WHO. At the conference, the delegates covered various relevant topics for the member state Nepal including the mitigation of public health effects of climate change, access to clean and safe water, the promotion of the social inclusion of children, the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marin resources, as well the improvement in coordination of health services in outbreaks and emergencies.

In addition, the representatives of TH Köln attended the NMUN NY Opportunity Fair on 21st March to promote and provide information regarding the master programs and events of ITT for the interested participants in the given time-frame.

Delegates in discussion standing in front of famous bronze sculpture within UN Premises -‘Sphere with Sphere’, 1991/1993 by Arnaldo Pomodoro: Gift by Italy in 1996

ITT (TH Köln) represented at the Opportunity Fair @Sheraton Hotel, NMUN- New York 2017

June 1, 2017

Fact Finding Mission: a delegation from Myanmar visits TH Köln

In the coming week (5.6. – 9.6.2017), a delegation from three universities from Myanmar will visit the ITT, as a follow-up activitiy of the last year’s Fact Finding Mission from the TH Köln to Myanmar led by Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlüter (ITT). The delegates Dr. Tin Min Maung and ITT alumnus Myo Min Latt from the Forestry University, Dr. Nang Hseng Hom from Yezin Agricultural University and Dr. Tint Tint Kywe and Dr. Wint Wint Kyaw from Yangon Technological University will be received at ITT on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Prof. Dr. Sylvia Heuchemer and Christina Brey (International Office) will welcome the delegation. In the entire week, joint activities are planned in different institutes of TH Köln and at institutions in Bonn and Nettersheim. The goal of the Fact Finding Mission is to intensify scientific cooperation between the four universities in the fields of research and education.

May 29, 2017

The fifth “Resource Efficient Cities” Workshop was successfully conducted in Kenya

The fifth workshop of the Interdisciplinary Master Program “Resource Efficient Cities” (IMaREC), titled Training of Trainers (ToT) on “System Theory and Higher Education Didactics”, was hosted by Kenyatta Univeresity in Nairobi, Kenya from April 24 – 28, 2017. Four partner universities of the CNRD network participated in the workshop: TH Köln, Germany; ASU, Egypt; UGM, Indonesia; and UASLP, Mexico. Additionally, a representative from the University of Ghana joined the workshop as an associated partner of CNRD. Dr. Blumbach from the regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Nairobi office graced the official opening of the workshop. All the participants were able to make a courtesy  call to the Vice Chancellor where they were welcomed by Prof. Frederick Gravenir, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation and Outreach  on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University Prof. Paul K. Wainaina who was outside the county.

The ToT workshop adopted a blending learning approach with three phases between online (distant) and contact phases. First phase (online), February – April 2017, explored the background and REC related knowledge level of participants through a questionnaire. Additionally, participants were provided with preparatory reading materials regarding didactics and scientific topics. The second (contact) phase in KU, April 2017, deepened the understanding of the IMaREC concepts and teaching approaches. Topics covered were City as a complex system, its metabolism, urban dynamics and the importance of interconnected responses to face its challenges, system logic / system thinking / system approach. The ToT also included introduction and practice on Problem Based Learning (PBL), as an active learning approach. The third phase (online), May – July, is planned to deepen the participants’ understanding and to apply the learnt content through tasks and assignments, which contributes to the curriculum development of IMaREC.

The workshop took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere on Kenyatta University’s campus. It included an excursion to Nairobi peri-urban areas and Naivasha town, giving participants an insight into the rapid development and changes of the urban and rural landscape in Kenya. The participants were able to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.

As a next step after the workshop, the collaborating university partners will review all IMaREC modules based on the learnt workshop content.

May 3, 2017

The Water Security and Climate Change Conference is now open for Registration!

We are pleased to announce that the WSCC Conference 2017 is now open for registration!

In this context we would like to remind you that the abstract submission portal is still open until May 31st, 2017. Don’t miss your chance to contribute to the conference and become a part of the discussion!

Achieving water security is one of the major challenges faced by society on both a global and local level today. Building bridges between disciplines, sectors and different groups of stakeholders, the conference will serve as a platform for discussions towards water secure societies. WSCC 2017 provides a stimulating environment with the intention to yield innovative ideas and grounds for implementation.

Further information on the Conference, registration as well as the link to the abstract submission platform can all be found on the WSCC Homepage

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