PhD Research by Ni Made Gilang Wargyawati
Full title: Bridging the differences: The interplay between meanings and practices in the Citarum river restoration program
For almost two decades, the Indonesian government has implemented a series of restoration programs to tackle pollution in the Citarum river. The river crosses several provincial boundaries and is of vital importance for people’s livelihoods, biodiversity and for local industries. However, until today the river governance is the subject of contestations and controversy.
Controversy centers on what constitutes a ‘clean river’. People have different views of who is responsible for river pollution and who should be involved in the restoration with a diversity of river-related restoration practices. This research intends to give insights into the variety of these views on responsibility and involvement for and in river restoration, in order to formulate more inclusive policy.
This research relies on three perspectives informed by discourse and social practice theory and on informality. An interpretive research methodology with three embedded cases will shed light on how meanings and practices surrounding the notions of responsibility and involvement are intertwined across different parts of the river. That is, to give insights on how certain practices are recognized in restoration policy while others do not. Finally, this research intends to align its results with restoration policies at local, regional, and national levels.
Image source: https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/death-citarum-river-indonesias-most-toxic-waterway