by Nurrohman Wijaya, Asian Institute of Technology
Dr. Rotchanatch Darnsawasdi is the Dean of Faculty of Environmental Management, Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Thailand. He is an expert in the field of geology, regional planning, and environmental management. He lectured on the concept of watershed, including its definition, the functions, characteristics, and the system approach. The characteristics of watersheds can be identified by the size, shape, physiography, slope, climate, drainage, vegetation, geology and soils, hydrology, hydrogeology, and socio-economics. He also explained about the relationship between water and interrelated components as well as the disciplines related to watershed. The boundary of a watershed area is dependent on the definition of a watershed that we use. Watersheds are, according to Dr. Rotchanatch, pieces of a puzzle in which a watershed can drain an area from small blocks to form a larger area or an entire geographical region. It is essential to understand the notion of watershed management which is the process of guiding and organizing land and other resource use on a geographical area to provide desired goods and services without affecting adversely soil and water resource by involving management of land, water, energy and greenery integrating all the relevant approaches appropriate to socioeconomic background for a pragmatic development of a watershed. Lastly, he presented about the lessons learned from the project related to watershed in the Songkhla Lake Basin Project, focusing on the problems and issues of the area. He explained the analysis carried out by using problem tree analysis to identify the problems and to see the relationship and the cause and effect of the issues or problems. In the project, a log frame was utilized to determine the problem structure in the study area. It was found that the main issues are forest degradation in the upstream area and water pollution, as well as a management issue. He gave the lecture so interactively by involving the participants in the discussion.