Philippine Water Course

cropped-dsc02841-640x141In January 2013 30 30 international students from different disciplinary backgrounds (anthropology, biology, forestry, public administration, civil engineering etc.) will conduct fieldwork in the Cagayan Valley, Philippines.

This is part of the interdisciplinary course on water management organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Leiden University, in cooperation with Isabela State University and the Mabuwaya Foundation in the Philippines.


The focus of the course is on the utilization and importance of fresh water, water scarcity and super abundance, climate change and water, water and biodiversity conservation, conflicts over water and the role of communities and government in water management.


The students will post their findings on You can follow their posts on the CAOS Leiden online community.


Water is one of the most critical resources currently under threat world-wide. Developing countries in particular face complex challenges as the needs for drinking water, irrigation water and hydroelectricity grow rapidly. Water becomes increasingly scarce while its quality declines. Climate change leads to greater risks associated with floods and droughts. However, the rapidly developing global effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change increasingly offers funding mechanisms towards sustainable conservation of watersheds and water sources in developing countries.

Water supports a great variety of resources, functions and services, and in order to safeguard these for the future, sustainable management is essential yet not adequately practiced. The formulation of policies for sustainable water resource management is a complex process. Water resource management is typically associated with multiple stakeholders and a wide range of social, environmental and economic needs. Moreover, effective management of water resources is achieved through the linkage of sustainable land and water uses across the whole of a river basin crossing boundaries of different administrative units. Global institutions highly promote the participation of local communities, claiming that water resource management and development are central to sustainable growth and poverty reduction. Nevertheless, communities face numerous barriers in their efforts to establish sustainable water and land resources management systems. water sources and watersheds and adapt to weather-related disasters.

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