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Celebrating success at 2nd Annual Progress Meeting

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During the first 2 weeks of August, Blue Communities held its second Annual Progress Meeting, which was jointly hosted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory and University of Plymouth.

The first two days were the progress meeting itself, when over 80 delegates from eight countries came together to hear about the headway made by the partners in SE Asia and across the 12 interdisciplinary research projects that make up Blue Communities. The visiting partners showcased the research that has been undertaken, stakeholder engagement activities in case study sites, capacity building accomplishments, additional grant successes and further collaborations with other related projects.

Following the presentations there were a range of interactive sessions on cross-cutting activities, such as publications, ethics, data management, communication strategies and the Early Career Researchers Network (ECRN). The objective of the plenary part of the meeting was to ensure integration, cohesion and effective interactions across projects, institutes and countries.

The group then took a field trip to North Devon where they were guided around the UK case study site, the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve. During this fascinating day the group learnt about the highly biodiverse ecosystem and management of Braunton Burrows, comprising shifting sand dunes, grass lands, dense scrub and ponds. Moving onto the Northam Burrows, an environmental management expert from the Biosphere Reserve explained about the complex governance of the area and balancing the needs of such a diverse range of different stakeholders.

Once back in Plymouth, the full agenda of training workshops began, including mentoring in: statistical analysis; Bayesian Belief Networks and conceptual modelling; scenario development and application; evidence synthesis; critical analysis of marine planning, and ecosystems services and values.

A participant of the Project 2 (Critical analysis of marine planning model applications) training workshop, led by the University of Exeter, fed back:

How easily the facilitators train participants in such a way that they are having fun and learning at the same time. The way you also encourage countries to collaborate among themselves and giving safe spaces for early career researchers is commendable.”

Dr Ana Queirós, Project 11 (Ecosystem-level policy and management options) lead and Senior Benthic Ecologist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory commented:

“The Project 11 workshops were a fantastic opportunity to co-develop climate-ready strategies for marine spatial planning with each of our case-study partner teams, and to really bring out their multi-disciplinary expertise.”

“A highlight for me was gaining a better understanding of the major differences in scale and context between regions, as well as what issues affect climate resilience and planning, what sectors are important, and how priorities line up. This is an excellent demonstrator of the global challenges affecting the creation of climate-ready marine management options, and it is a testament to the real-life applicability of the Blue Communities program, which is really at the leading edge in this regard.”

“The contributions of the Advisory Board, as well as from the Programme Director and other project leads, to the workshops were also very well received. The P11 Jupyter Notebook workshop was a success in terms of scientific and stakeholder engagement, with over 30 people attending and working on P11 modelling and GIS datasets simultaneously. Well done everyone!”

Following the launch of the Blue Communities ECRN website in June, the group had a day to explore opportunities, challenges and development needs for early career researchers alongside allocated mentors, including: how to develop a research proposal; how to manage a research project, and potential project ideas. On the same day the young Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, arrived in Plymouth before her voyage across the Atlantic. The ECRN invited Greta to join their dinner plans that evening, however, this was thwarted by her extremely tight schedule.

Towards the end of the week of workshops, the conference dinner was hosted at the Marine Biological Association, providing great food and a wonderful view of the British Firework Championships.

Overall, it has been a real privilege to welcome our partners from SE Asia to the UK, endeavouring to return the favour of the exemplary hospitality shown to the UK teams during their visits to the Case Study Partners, and show the visitors the delights of Devon and Cornwall, including the weekend excursions to the Eden Project, South Devon Chilli Farm and Mount Edgcumbe. The fortnight has been extremely busy with such a packed agenda but a tremendous amount of progress has been made and many lasting collaborations have been forged.

The next meet is planned for 2020 in Vietnam, which will have a focus on outputs and maximising the impact of Blue Communities research.

Source: blue-communities.org

Profile

Dr. Leuserina Garniati

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Expert Associate

Nia’s main area of research interest is in empowering communities to build indigenous resilience to environmental change and social marginalisation through equal access to basic resources distribution, such as sustainable energy, food and clean water. She has worked for more than 15 years with various local/multi-national NGOs and other third sectors, both UK dan South East Asian Government institutions, and research communities in sustainability and knowledge exchange projects. She has created initiatives, administered sub-grants, and managed multi-stakeholders’ partnership for international development programmes funded by the United Nations Development Programme, UK Department for International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Council and the World Resources Institute. As an academic, Nia has designed and coordinated module delivery, presented lectures and trainings, co-supervised PhD and MSc students in Sustainable Energy, Carbon Management, and Environmental Impact Assessment for Robert Gordon and Heriot Watt Universities. More recently, she has co-initiated the establishment of the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Resources Management (CSERM) at Universitas Nasional (UNAS) in Jakarta to extend the capacity of Indonesian researchers and practitioners in delivering multi stakeholder and multidisciplinary sustainable energy implementation programmes.

Jl. Sawo Manila No. 61, Pejaten, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta 12520 Indonesia
cserm@unas.ac.id

+44 (0) 7584 0400 82
+62 (0) 812 1972 2378

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Agung Iswadi

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Agung Iswadi

RESEARCH FELLOW

Agung is a Research Fellow for CSERM UNAS. Agung was a Visiting Fellow at RGU in 2014 working on a “Feasibility Study for the Implementation of Marine Energy in Indonesia”. He was one of the lead researchers in Indonesian – UK collaboration in marine energy development project, which was funded by British Council under its Institutional Links programme. The project was in partnership with RGU and ITS (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya). He holds degrees in Materials Engineering and his main area of research interest is in the development of appropriate material and design for renewable energy generation devices. Agung currently holds a position as a Research Fellow for GCRF Blue Communities Project – Indonesia Case Study.


Jl. Sawo Manila No. 61, Pejaten, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta 12520 Indonesia
cserm@unas.ac.id
agungiswadi@gmail.com

+62 (0) 21 788 48 152
+62 (0) 812 3261 0885

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Prof Dedi Soedharma

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Prof.  Dedi Soedharma
Expert Associate

Prof. Soedharma is a marine ecologist with extensive research experience in coral biodiversity. Prof. Soedharma obtained his PhD in Marine Ecology from USTL Montpellier France in 1984. He has led numerous research projects in coral transplantations and exploration of novel bioactive metabolites from coral for pharmaceutical applications. He was a leader of Tropical Aquatic Biology SEAMEO BIOTROP and head of Centre for Environmental Research (PPLH) at IPB Bogor. He is currently active as a Board Member at The Indonesian Wildlife Conservation Foundation (IWF), a member at Indonesian Coral Reef Society (INCReS), and recently joins CSERM UNAS as an Expert Associate.