Understanding impacts of flooding and drought in South East Asia

29 January 2019

New international research will boost resilience to hazards such as floods, droughts, storm surges and landslides in South East Asian countries.

Flooding river

Hydrometeorological hazards pose a direct threat to lives and livelihoods of people living in South East Asia, from death and injury to damaged or destroyed homes, businesses, transport links, power supplies and agricultural land. Climate change and population growth are increasing the number of people at risk, and changes in land use and the expansion of urban areas has led to a shift in how floods and droughts impact communities.

With support from the Newton Fund, NERC and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) have established joint programmes with five partner countries in South East Asia to improve understanding of the impacts of these hazards in the region. A total of 18 projects will be supported in partnership with Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

NERC Associate Director of Research Ned Garnett said:

To increase resilience in countries prone to hydrometeorological hazards, we need to gain a better understanding of the likely environmental and social impacts. This programme of research will deliver this understanding enabling the development and implementation of effective adaptation and mitigation measures. For example, helping local communities to design effective flood defences or the restoring of natural defences, such as mangroves.

Professor Alison Park, Director of Research at ESRC, said:

ESRC's involvement in four of the five programmes reflects the value of social science in understanding of how local, regional and national governance processes and policies affect the severity and duration of hydrometeorological hazards. The programmes will provide important groundwork to improve responses to these weather hazards and will help protect against injury and environmental damage.

The research projects funded through the Understanding the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in South East Asia programme are:


NERC, ESRC and the Ministry of Research, Technology & Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia (Ristekdikti) are pleased to announce three joint projects:

Mitigating hydro meteorological hazard impacts through transboundary river management in the Ciliwung River basin

Lead organisations: Richard Haigh (University of Huddersfield) and Harkunti Rahayu (Institute of Technology, Bandung)

Java flood one

Lead organisations: Simon Mathias (Durham University) and Agus Mochamad Ramdhan (Bandung Institute of Technology)

Extreme rainfall and its effects on flood risk in Indonesia

Lead organisations: Chris Kilsby (Newcastle University) and Suroso Suroso (Jenderal Soedirman University)


NERC, ESRC and the Malaysia Ministry of Education are pleased to announce four joint projects:

Integrated modelling of landslides due to hydrometeorological impacts in Langat Basin, Peninsular Malaysia (iModelLandslides)

Lead organisations: Ashraf Osman (Durham University) and Mohd Raihan Taha (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)

Understanding and managing the risk of water related diseases under hydrometeorological extremes

Lead organisations: Wouter Buytaert (Imperial College London) and Zed Diyana Zulkafli (Universiti Putra Malaysia)

Impacts of precipitation from extreme storms - Malaysia (IMPRESS - Malaysia)

Lead organisations: James Haywood (University of Exeter) and Mou Leong Tan (Universiti Sains Malaysia)

Flood impacts across scales - informing models of flood exposure and vulnerability via an integrated multi-scale approach

Lead organisations: Nicholas Reynard (NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) and Balqis Mohamed Rehan (Universiti Putra Malaysia)


NERC and the Department of Science & Technology's Philippine Council for Industry, Energy & Emerging Technology Research & Development (DOST- PCIEERD) are pleased to announce four joint projects:

Catchment susceptibility to hydrometeorological events: Sediment flux and geomorphic change as drivers of flood risk in the Philippines

Lead organisations: Richard David Williams (University of Glasgow) and Enrico Paringit (University of the Philippines)

Quantitative lahar impact and loss assessment under changing land use and climate scenarios

Lead organisations: Jeremy Phillips (University of Bristol) and Arturo Daag (Philippine Institute of Volcanology & Seismology)

Philippines groundwater outlook (PhiGO)

Lead organisations: Andrew Barkwith (British Geological Survey) and Maria Guzman (Ateneo de Manila University)

Simulating cascading rainfall-triggered landslide hazards in the Philippines (SCaRP)

Lead organisations: Georgina Bennett (University of East Anglia) and Fibor Tan (Mapua University)


NERC, ESRC and the Thailand Research Fund are pleased to announce three joint projects:

Thai coast: Coastal vulnerability, resilience and adaptation in Thailand

Lead organisations: Cherith Moses (Edge Hill University) and Kanchana Nakhapakorn (Mahidol University)

Strengthening Thailand's agricultural drought resilience

Lead organisations: Jamie Hannaford (NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) and Supattra Visessri (Chulalongkorn University)

Enhancing Resilience to future hydro-meteorological extremes in the Mun River basin in Northeast of Thailand (ENRICH)

Lead organisations: Slobodan Djordjevic (University of Exeter) and Tawatchai Tingsanchali (Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand)


NERC, ESRC and the National Foundation for Science & Technology (NAFOSTED) are pleased to announce four joint projects:

Valuing the benefits of blue / green infrastructure for flood resilience, natural capital and urban development in Viet Nam

Lead organisations: Tobias Borger (University of St Andrews) and Van Giai Phong Tran (Hue University)

Compound flooding in coastal Viet Nam (Comp-Flood)

Lead organisations: Ivan Haigh (University of Southampton) and Nguyen Nghia Hung (Southern Institute of Water Resource)

Slow onset hazard interactions with enhanced drought and flood extremes in an at-risk mega-delta

Lead organisations: Stephen Darby (University of Southampton) and Nguyen Ngoc Huy (National Center for Water Resources Planning & Investigation)

An interdisciplinary approach to understanding past, present and future flood risk in Viet Nam

Lead organisations: Jeffrey Neal (University of Bristol) and Nam Khanh Pham (University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City)

Further information

Mary Goodchild
External Communications Manager
01793 411939
07710 147485


1. For full details of these projects visit our live online grants browser - Grants on the Web (GOTW):

View details of projects - external link

2. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

3. The Economic & Social Research Council is part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. ESRC is the UK's largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK's future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective.