University of Syiah Kuala (Unsyiah) and Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa'e (UNTL) agreed to work together in strengthening disaster research. The cooperation was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) of cooperation between the two universities in Dili, Timor Leste on August 28.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for East Timor, Drs. Sahat Sitorus. This cooperation began with training on the modeling and visualization of the tsunami wave propagation on 28-29 August at the Liceu campus of UNTL. The training held by UPT Dissemit Mitigation Unsyiah was attended by 25 young researchers from UNTL and related institutions in Timor Leste.
Sahat advised that this MoU of cooperation be immediately filled with various programs and activities of mutual benefit.
“Do not let the signed document be just a dead document. In addition, both parties must proactively realize what has been agreed, "he said.
Unsyiah Rector, Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal, M.Eng. said Aceh and Timor Leste have similar natural conditions. In addition to being surrounded by the sea and rich in oil, both regions are equally disaster-prone and contain relatively similar threats, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, etc.
"On that consideration, Unsyiah invites UNTL which is the only state university in Timor Leste to collaborate to strengthen the knowledge capacity in the disaster area," he said.
According to him, universities should be at the forefront to ensure the sustainability of various efforts in improving human and natural resources.
"For the benefit of our society, the wealth of nature and the vulnerability of disaster must be managed properly. Therefore, it takes competent human resources and policies based on science and technology (science and technology), "said Prof. Samsul.
He added, many benefits are obtained if we can help each other and learn from each other. In addition, togetherness can also deepen and enrich the perspective in solving various problems.
On another occasion, UNTL Rector, Prof. Doutor Francisco Miguel Martins, M.Mum greatly appreciated Unsyiah's initiative to cooperate with UNTL.
"We are very fortunate to learn directly from the accumulated experience and knowledge of Unsyiah post tsunami 2004 in Aceh. The lessons are very helpful for us in solving disaster problems in Timor Leste, "he explained.
Meanwhile, Disaster Training Coordinator, Dr. Syamsidik, ST. M.Sc said the training was also part of the dissemination activities of the 3 USAID-funded Partnership Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) project funded by USAID and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
"So we need to share experience and knowledge of science-based tsunami mitigation, because research and study on tsunami in Timor Leste are still minimal, including its human resources," said the lecturer of Unsyiah.
Unsyiah hopes that UNTL will later contribute to color the science-based tsunami mitigation policy in Timor Leste. In order to follow up the cooperation agreement, Unsyiah and UNTL researchers in the near future are planned to conduct joint seismic research and surveys, as well as earthquake data analysis training.
In addition to strengthening disaster research and climate change, cooperation between Unsyiah and UNTL also includes an exchange of staff and students, sharing of learning resources and scientific publications, research collaborations, seminars, credit transfers, and others.