Yogyakarta- Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is currently encouraging its researchers to produce many researches in volcanic affairs. The research is not only about volcanic eruption and its technology, but also about condition of economy, social and culture of the community around the volcano. “UGM wants to produce many experts in volcanic matters,” said Vice Rector of Alumni and Business Development of UGM, Prof. Ir. Atyanto Dharoko, M.Phil., Ph.D, opening workshop of Disaster Risk Reduction at Auditorium of Faculty of Engineering UGM, Wednesday (16/2). The event was attended by Head of Geological Agency, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Sukhyar, and Deputy of Disaster Prevention and Response of Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, Ir. Sugeng Tri Utomo.
The Vice Rector said that he will invite institutions such as LIPI, BNPB, BMKG, and BPTTK in the near future, to develop science and technology in volcanic matters. “Firstly, we want to make a working group to anticipate volcanic disasters,” he said.
Head of Geological Board, Dr. Sukhyar, highly supports UGM’s policy to produce more researches in volcanic matters. According to Sukhyar, Indonesia is currently weak in disaster science and its technology. Although many universities have opened disaster management departments, they are still weak in science and technology capacities. “As I know, UGM is the first university which develops volcanic monitoring device,” he said. Sukhyar admitted that technology mastering in disaster management is very important. He gave an example, for tsunami detector tool, that he uses is a Germany-made. When the tool is broken, there is no Indonesian expert who can fix it. “We must invite German expert to fix it,” he added.
UGM’s concern in volcanic affairs, according to Sukhyar, helps much of the duty of Board of Geology, even UGM has wider cooperation with foreign partners. Sukhyar mentioned that currently there are three countries in the world which focus on volcanic research: United States, Japan, and France.
Head of National Board for Disaster Management, Dr. Syamsul Maarif, M.Si., in the opening speech read out by Deputy of Disaster Prevention and Response, Ir. Sugeng Tri Utomo, said that university can play an important role as agent of change in disaster risk management program such as helping regional government in arranging legislation and regulation of disaster risk reduction in regions, making disaster vulnerable zone map, and simulation of disaster mitigation.
Besides, it is expected that university is also involved in establishment of Regional Board for Disaster Management. Up to now, there are 31 from 33 provinces which have disaster management boards. “In Regency level, there are 306 from a total of 520 regencies,” he said.