Place-based Citizen Science as a Participatory Heartware Approach for Watershed Management in Malaysia

Past Event
17 January 2022 15:15 (GMT)
17 January 2022 16:15 (GMT)


We are a team of action-researchers from Universiti Malaya, Malaysia and Cardiff University, UK who have been collaborating with key stakeholders at the Selangor River Watershed to upscale a so-called “heartware” driven place-based citizen science approach to enhance participatory watershed management in the area. “Heartware” here refers to the harnessing of internal and voluntary motivation for long-term collaboration and collective efforts for watershed conservation based on shared local values. The conservation of the Selangor River is critical for Malaysia as it provides 60% of water supply to the country’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Specifically, this is done through the development of the “Eco-Heart Citizen Science Programme”, a heartware approach to citizen science for participatory water quality monitoring. The aim is to co-develop the programme to make it more relevant and politically viable for policy makers, whilst designing it to be simple and attractive enough to be handled by citizen scientists. The project employs a combination of three different participatory methods: citizen science, place- and systems- based methods and participatory action research (PAR). The programme is currently being tested with citizen groups located at the Selangor River Watershed, with inputs from key stakeholders. This is a pioneering water-related place-based citizen science programme in the country.

Ref: #11

Experimentation for transformative change


Zeeda Fatimah Mohamad
Zeeda is an Associate Professor at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya (UM). She received her BSc. in Ecology from Universiti Malaya; MSc in Environmental Management and Policy from Lund University and PhD in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex. Her research interest is primarily to understand the relationship between the development of science, technology and innovation (STI) and environmental protection, particularly within the context of sustainable development and associated challenges to late-industrialising countries. Zeeda was the coordinator of the UM campus greening secretariat from 2009 - 2013, the founding director of the university's Sustainability and Community Centre and was one of architects of the current set-up of the UM Campus Sustainability Living Lab programme. She is UM’s representatives for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Malaysian Chapter since its inception. This year she leads the coordination of UM’s Transformation Taskforce on Campus Greening Programme and is the university’s representative for the ASEAN University Network on Ecological Education and Culture. In the very near future, she will be heading the new UM Sustainability and Development Centre where her responsibility lies in coordinating the university’s sustainability transitions towards the 2030 SDGs.
Sara MacBride-Stewart
Dr Sara MacBride-Stewart is a Reader in Health Medicine and Society, in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. She works in the field of Environmental Sociology, where she is interested in research focussed on co-constructing and conceptualising social solutions that address problems between the natural and social world, in contemporary Wales and globally, across different places and people (with ongoing projects in New Zealand, Malaysia and Latin America).
Affan Nasaruddin
Affan is the co-founder of Water Warriors; a living lab programme in Universiti Malaya leading action oriented and translational research to provide sustainable water management solutions to the campus. His areas of interest are water conservation, especially on restoration of rivers and lakes, citizen science, environmental education and sustainable innovation. He is also the Programme Director of Sekitar Kita, a university-linked social enterprise as a spin-off from Water Warriors.
Siti Norasiah Abd. Kadir
Siti Norasiah specialises in sustainability communication, with special interest in how symbolic meanings people ascribe to places can be used in communication. She is also interested in the field of interpretation and environmental education. She is the Programme Manager of Sekitar Kita and Project Officer for Water Warriors, Universiti Malaya.
Masbudi Abdul Malek
Masbudi is a local champion and this project’s community liaison in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia. He is the Project Coordinator for Inspirasi Kawa, a youth-based environmental organisation focussing on river conservation. He holds a Green Badge under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia, which qualifies him as a licensed nature tourist guide. He also owns a traditional thatched-roof business and is an expert rower for night-time firefly tourism at the river.