communication science

summer course 2023

Saving Our Earth: Environmental Challenges and Solutions in Southeast Asia Countries

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5th – 21st July 2023, at Online Platform (Zoom)


In the last 70 years, since the industrial revolution in 1950, environmental problems have become a global concern, particularly those caused by climate change. For hundreds of years, the average surface temperature of the earth has been stable at 1 – 1.5 degrees. However, in the past few decades, the temperature has increased extremely fast, at the rate of 1.5 degrees in only ten years. The main cause of global warming is the increasing number of carbon dioxide production contributed by human activities, such as fossil fuels burning for transportation and industrial activities, meat consumption, waste problem, etc. Climate change became the background issue of the environmental problem we are going to discuss in this summer course. The consequences resulting from climate change lead to the emergence of other environmental problems in these regions such as energy crisis, waste and natural resources crisis for human life (water, forest, soil, clean air, food). The effect of climate change has also become common problems in Southeast Asian countries such as floods in coastal cities (Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore), and drought and forest fires in Indonesia.

In this particular situation, Southeast Asian countries have common problems of environmental destruction. For instance, regarding the waste problem, this region has one of the highest numbers of waste production, including food waste, plastic waste, domestic waste, etc. These issues are caused by activities such as the littering habits of the society, particularly wasting waste to the rivers, a low level of awareness about domestic waste management, and a larger scale of waste management managed by the government. The bad impact of the waste is pollutants in our environment (sea, air, ground) that impact deeply on the crisis of natural resources in human life. Another issue about waste is the fact that after China closed down its recycling industry for developed countries’ waste in 2017, Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia) became the biggest waste dumping grounds from western countries (the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia). The economic benefit for developing countries expected from waste import activities is disproportionate to the negative impact resulting from the activity.

Another issue of the environmental problem we would discuss in this summer course is the energy, energy crisis, and alternative/renewable energy. Fossil fuel energy as the dominant energy resources for human activities (transportation, industry, electricity) becomes the biggest source of CO2 emissions that worsen the global warming impacts. Paris Agreements, in 2015, that have a goal to suppress the increase of global average temperature up to below 2°C, unfortunately have not effectively slowed down the CO2 production. Furthermore, Southeast Asian countries and its dependence on fossil fuels energy is becoming a concern. This summer course will discuss the common problem of energy crisis in this region and potential solutions that might be taken such as the concept of renewable energy (nuclear, scholar, wind) for future implementation.

The last important topic discussed in this summer course is the problem of the natural resources crisis both renewable (water, plant, animals) and non-renewable resources (mineral, fossils, fuel) caused by massive mining, the increasing human population, the decreasing farming area, etc. The low quality of natural resources such as clean air, clean water, and food have become global issues that need to be addressed. Based on the World Food Programme, climate change is one of the leading causes of the global hunger caused by the climate shock that destroys crops and livelihoods. The food crisis is also a concern in Southeast Asian countries. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia predicts that Indonesia has the potential to lose 90,000 hectares of paddy fields per year due to the massive conversion of paddy fields to non-rice fields (housing, resorts, public facilities, etc.). Meanwhile, Singapore is one of the countries in this region that face food security problems since it imports more than 90% of its food from more than 170 countries and regions.

The discussion in this summer course examines various solutions implemented by communities, such as waste management technology, green energy, alternative energy, and food security. In addition to emphasising the substantial sustainability strategies, the summer course places significant importance on effective environmental communication as a critical tool for promoting sustainable development in Southeast Asia. Environmental communication refers to a diverse range of strategies and techniques that are aimed at informing, engaging, and motivating individuals and communities to take action towards environmental sustainability. It is a crucial aspect of addressing the pressing environmental challenges facing the region, particularly given the active civil society and media landscape in Southeast Asia, which can play a pivotal role in raising awareness and promoting collective action. Moreover, there is a growing interest and support for environmental sustainability among young people and communities in the region. Environmental communication can harness this interest and support to promote behaviour change, influence policy and governance decisions, and foster a culture of environmental responsibility, leading to a more sustainable future for Southeast Asia.

By drawing on existing research, case studies, and best practices, the course provides insights into the potential and challenges of effective environmental communication in the region. The course highlights the critical role of media in promoting environmental awareness and collective action, as well as the importance of science communication in effectively communicating complex environmental issues to the public, where the digital environment also plays a significant role in environmental communication. Digital activism provides a platform for promoting environmental causes and mobilises communities towards collective action. Additionally, community participation is essential in promoting environmental awareness and behaviour change, as individuals and communities must be actively involved in decision-making processes that affect the environment.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able:


To develop an insightful understanding of the environmental problems and challengesfacing South-East Asia, including issues related to climate change, waste management, renewable energy and sustainable consumption, and the crisis of natural resources.


To develop an understanding about the application technology for preventing environmental destruction (waste management, alternative energy, etc.) and also the new discourses of alternative solutions for future implementation.


To develop a nuanced understanding about the role of government, scientist, media,journalists, and civil society in addressing the environmental problems in Southeast Asia.


To develop an understanding about the potential of environmental communication topromote sustainable development in Southeast Asia, including the role of media, digital platforms, and community-based approaches in the region.



We bring in speakers from leading institutions and universities, and you have the opportunity to interact with them

Micah R Fisher, Ph.D
Research Fellow, East-West Center, USA

Ahmad Dhiaulhaq, Ph.D
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN),
Prof. Dr. Ir. Etty Riani
Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
Kian Siong, Ph.D.
World Bank

Andhyta Firselly Utami
CEO of Think Policy Society

Prof. Sudharto P. Hadi, MES, Ph.D
Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia
Prof. Bulan Prabawani, Ph.D
Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia
Prof. An Nguyen
Bournemouth University,
United Kingdom
Mira Rochyadi-Reetz, Ph.D
Technische Universität Ilmenau,
Usha Sundar Harris, PhD
Macquarie University, Australia

Dr. Meredian Alam
Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei

Dr. Nurul Hasfi
Universitas Diponegoro,
Thaiane Oliveira, Ph.D
Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil
Rouli Manalu, Ph.D
Universitas Diponegoro,




  • Registration period: 29 May – 22 June 2023

  • Announcement (ongoing): 12 – 22 June 2023

  • Enrollment period: 23 June 2023

  • Course period: 5 – 21 July 2023



Our Courses

In this summer course, we will explore several topics Environmental Challenges and Solutions in Southeast Asia Countries

1.Opening ceremony & introduction to the course
2. Environmental challenges in the contemporary society

Course Description:

This section of the course provides an overview of the global and Southeast Asian environmental problems, with a particular focus on climate change. Climate change has become a critical issue in Southeast Asia as it has given rise to other environmental challenges such as energy crisis, waste management issue, and depletion of natural resources; such as water, forest, soil, clean air, and food. This course also discusses the effect of climate change in Southeast Asian countries such as floods in coastal cities (Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore), drought, water management, and deforestation in this region.

Expected Learning Outcome:

  • Students will gain knowledge and understanding in reference to the background and extent of environmental problems in this region.
  • Students will be able to understand and be aware of possible strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and promote sustainability in the region.
3. Waste as the environmental problem in the developing countries

Course Description:

This part of the course discusses the concept of waste and how it socially and environmentally impacts people’s lives. The discussion covers the types of waste, how waste is produced, how waste damages the environment and how waste management has progressed so far. The discussion on types of waste mainly focuses on household waste, plastic waste, food waste, etc. The bad impact of waste will also be mainly in the occurrence of pollution (air, sea, soil) which is dangerous for human and animal life. Another important issue that will be discussed is waste management, especially household waste and various technological innovations that have supported it, specifically those that have been carried out in developed countries such as Singapore.

Learning Outcome:

  • Students will gain knowledge about waste, kind of waste, and how it impacts human life.
  • Students will be able to understand and be aware of how to minimise production of waste and how to be involved in the waste management process around their environment.
4. Energy crisis and renewable energy in the contemporary world

Course Description:

This part of the course contains knowledge regarding the modern lifestyle that causes the energy crisis in the world. Energy crisis includes several types of energies. Students will learn to recognize the energy that is starting to decrease in number and what the consequences will be faced in the future. In addition, students will also learn about the mitigation plans that have been carried out so far to overcome the crisis and being introduced to renewable energy.

Expected Learning Outcome:

  • Students will gain knowledge about the energy crisis situation in the world.
  • Students will gain knowledge about the future challenge as the impact of the energy crisis.
  • Students will gain knowledge about renewable energy.
5. Public policies in the context of environmental crisis

Course Description:

The current ecological disaster is inseparable from poor environmental governance which tends to exploit natural resources without proper and sustainable environmental restoration. There is an egocentric concept that triggers environmental degradation, where the current development policy motives still prioritise the interests of investors, putting in the situation where the environment and natural resources are only used as objects and exploited without thinking about sustainability. The climate change crisis and environmental degradation are therefore becoming to large extent a consequence of governance and political failure. Lack of political will and political commitment, short-termism, vulnerability of policies to electoral cycles, weak accountability for implementation are some examples of such failures. This part of the course will discuss several factors such as governance failures and political economy that undermine the technocratic programmes on climate change and the environment.  In addition, this course will discuss the role of government policies in the mission of saving the environment with the community.

Expected Learning Outcome:

By the end of the course, student will be able:

  • To understand the social mapping of environmental crises in South East Asia countries.
  • To gain knowledge about public policy of Southeast Asian countries in responding to environmental crisis.
6. Promoting sustainable business and consumption in Southeast Asia

Course Description:

Sustainable business and consumption emerge as a critical issue in environmental management in Southeast Asia. The region has experienced rapid economic growth in recent decades, leading to a significant increase in consumption levels. This condition has led to a rise in environmental issues such as waste generation, pollution, and deforestation, which have significant impacts on the region’s ecosystems, public health, and economic development. This part of the course will discuss the relationship between human consumption behaviour and the environmental problems it causes, as well as the importance of sustainable consumption. In addition, the course will explore the possible approaches used to persuade changes in behaviour to be more pro-environmental.


Expected Learning Outcome:

  • Studentswill gain a comprehensive understanding regarding the role of sustainable business and eco-consumption in promoting environmental sustainability in Southeast Asia.
  • Students will be more aware ofbusiness strategies and eco-consumption practices that contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future for the Southeast Asia region.

7. Science communication in Southeast Asia

Course Description:

Today, social media has become a communication tool that everyone uses. Social media platforms give scientists more tools to communicate their research and engage with scientific topics. There are opportunities for scientists to connect with different audiences and for science communicators and citizens to engage with science. However, social media platforms facilitate the spread of information contrary to scientific evidence; exposing conspiracy theories and disinformation. In addition, science scepticism and anti-science movements have developed in several countries and are of great concern worldwide. The spread of science-related misinformation and disinformation impacts public health and planetary sustainability. In this context of decision-making communication, science communication has become an important tool for fighting pandemics and solving environmental problems. This course will look into the challenges associated with carrying out research in science communication. This course will also discuss the opportunities for innovation and collaborative research in science communication that might be conducted and implemented in developing countries.

Expected Learning Outcome:

By the end of the course, student will be able:

  1. To understand the role of science communication and the challenges associated with conducting research in science communication;
  2. To develop critical thinking by reflecting on the opportunities for innovation and collaborative research in science communication.
8. Practices of science journalism in Southeast Asia

Course Description:

As far as environmental issues are concerned, media either as a risk communicator or as a promoter of data, information, and good practices of any kind, should expedite the society to progress and become more environmentally responsible and cultivate environmental awareness. Additionally, media could help the society in associating reasons and effects, thus to get informed and to reflect upon the given information, in order to understand the origins and the causes of the major environmental problems. Mass media plays an important role to inform and raise public awareness by covering environmental problems. This part of the course will discuss the role of environmental journalism in covering environmental problems to raise public awareness about such issues as well as how journalists play a significant role in encouraging synergies among community members, communicators, institutions, NGOs and all agents involved in environmental issues.

Expected Learning Outcome:

  1. To understand the role of journalists in reporting news about the environment.
  2. To understand synergies creation between community members, communicators, institutions, NGOs and all agents involved in environmental issues.
9. Participatory environmental communication in Southeast Asia

Course Description:

Referring to the deeply rooted traditional ecological knowledge within Southeast Asian cultures, environmental communication must include a deliberate exchange of environmental information, knowledge, and wisdom through dialogue and discussion; rather than a top-down, one-way model. Encouraging sustainable practices must always integrate a cultural dimension that incorporates local knowledge, recognizing the essential link between communication about environmental problems and cultural and environmental wisdom that is passed down from generation to generation. One of the most effective ways to promote sustainable practices is through community-based approaches that engage local society in identifying and addressing environmental issues. This approach can create greater awareness and appreciation of ecocultural values, leading to more effective conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. This part of the course will explore the best practices of participatory environmental communication, which is a critical approach for promoting sustainable actions and environmental advocacy among communities, stakeholders, and civil society. In addition, this course will critically discuss on how to improve the effectiveness of environmental policies and interventions, ensuring that they are relevant and acceptable to local contexts in Southeast Asia.

Expected Learning Outcome:

  • Students will be able to develop an understanding of the importance of participatory environmental communication and its role in promoting sustainable practices in Southeast Asia.
  • Students will be able to understand the key principles and best practices of this approach and gain an understanding of how to integrate cultural dimensions and traditional ecological knowledge into their communication programs to improve the effectiveness of environmental policies and interventions.
  • Students will gain knowledge about specific tools and techniques for engaging with communities, stakeholders, and civil society organisations in environmental decision-making processes and promoting their participation in environmental action and advocacy.
10. Digital activism about environmental issues in Southeast Asia

Course Description:

Digital activism has emerged as an important tool for environmental communication in Southeast Asia. In line with the increasing accessibility of digital technologies, social media platforms, and mobile devices, digital activism has enabled environmental activists and advocates to reach wider audiences and mobilise support for environmental causes. Digital activism can also be used to hold governments and corporations accountable for their environmental actions, by raising awareness about issues and promoting public pressure for change. This point of digital activism can be particularly important in countries where the freedom of expression and access to information is limited, and where traditional media outlets may not be able to report the environmental issues. Digital tools such as online petitions, crowds mapping, and social media campaigns can be used to mobilise public support for environmental causes and influence policy decisions. This path can be especially important in Southeast Asia, where many instances of environmental conflicts between communities, governments, and corporations lay in this region. This part of the course will discuss practices of digital activism as well as actors and non-actors who get involved in enabling marginalised communities to amplify their voices and mobilise support for environmental causes.

Expected Learning Outcome:

  • Students will develop an understanding about activism practices around environmental issues in the digital era.
  • Students will gain knowledge about actors and non-actors including those who are invisible and what are their roles in digital activism practices.
Group Presentation
Group Presentation
Closing Ceremony

What They Said

Testimonials from the last summer course participants

Saddam Saikh

“I am quite satisfied with the programme.”

Khairul Hasni

Learn from other perspective, especially from Africa.”

Noer A.

“The comittees and all staffs succeeded to concept this fruitful program. I learned many things and it’s beyond my expectation. Thanks.”

Suci Fajarni

“I am very grateful to have been chosen to be one of the participants in the UNDIP summer course. this event can really be a complete package for anyone who wants to explore the themes of diversity, the material is very comprehensive. Hopefully next year I can participate again in the same activities organized by FISIP UNDIP.”


“I hope there will more events similar to this.”

Office Location

 dr. Antonius Suroyo Street, Universitas Diponegoro, Tembalang Campus,  Semarang Postal Code 50275

Open Hours

Sunday – Friday, 9am – 3pm

(Jakarta Time Zone)

Our Contact

Wildan Namora: +6281392298796
Putri Anggraeni: +6282315740489