On November 29, 2021, as the main facilitator, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) conducted its first periodic meeting through an online platform to report on the achievements of the consortium over the past six months, its future strategic plan, as well as the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting resulted in several fruitful discussions. Details of the progress made on the scholarship program, collaborative research, mobility activities, and financial management were shared with representatives from Kyoto University (Kyodai), Chulalongkorn University (CU), Hanoi University of Mining and Geology (HUMG), Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), and the JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net.

Notwithstanding the difficulties caused by the pandemic, CUBE-ASEAN has been performing quite well regarding student management and research activities. In terms of student management, the consortium successfully enrolled five Master’s students in the second semester of the 2021 academic year. Classes and the mid-term examination were taken online. Many countries have just relaxed border restrictions, and CUBE-ASEAN expects to welcome all five students to UGM at the beginning of 2022.

With regard to collaborative research on Urban Geology, five field observation trips were conducted by CUBE-ASEAN team with assistance from Indonesian Master’s students. The research topics consisted of the following: planning the development of the urban area and its facility in the karst region; geohazard and risk mapping for sustainable urban development; groundwater-related hazard and risk mapping for sustainable urban development; early warning system and geohazard in the dense urban area; and engineering geology problems in the development of the urban area in the steep slope landscape.

A “Virtual Mobility Program” was recently initiated in response to the novel coronavirus situation. CUBE-ASEAN will be organizing this virtual activity from December 21–23, 2021. On this occasion, representatives from Kyoto University (Kyodai), Chulalongkorn University (CU), Hanoi University of Mining and Geology (HUMG), and Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) are also being invited to deliver speeches and lectures for CUBE-ASEAN and students at UGM.

Finally, CUBE-ASEAN plans to attend and submit research papers to the virtual 13th Regional Conference on Geological and Geo-Resource Engineering (RCGeoE 2021) hosted by UGM in December 2021. At this event, CUBE-ASEAN students will have an opportunity to exchange study results on Urban Geology and improve their networking skills.

The JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net would like to thank all partners for their considerable efforts in producing continuous outputs for CUBE-ASEAN, and looks forward to another chapter in your success!

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