The Guidelines for Preparation of the Drought Management Plans, launched today, 4 September 2015 aim to help countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) manage drought. The Guidelines were developed by the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) in CEE, which was launched in 2013 by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the World Metorological Organization (WMO).
A key objective of the GWP CEE is to fill gaps in implementing the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Among its requirements, the WFD obliges EU Member States to develop River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). If RBMP measures are insufficient to avoid water scarcity, then the development of a Drought Management Plan (DMP) is required as a supplementary measure. Recent studies (e.g. by the UN and GWP) confirmed the increasing vulnerability of the CEE region to drought and water scarcity. IDMP CEE further found that DMP development in CEE was unsatisfactory: most countries had not produced a DMP in accordance with WFD guidelines.
In response, the Guidelines aim to provide a better understanding of how to integrate drought management into RBMPs in CEE. They focus on seven steps that relate specifically to the environment of CEE countries. They are based on well-known approaches found in EU and GWP/World Meteorological Organization Guidelines. The steps were also informed by 20 National Consultation Dialogues in 10 countries in two years with national drought experts and responsible policy actors. The dialogues opened communication among different sectors and institutions and encouraged efforts to establish the necessary organizational structures for drought management.
The Guidelines will help shape the integration of vertical planning and decision making processes at different levels using a multi-stakeholder approach, including key sectors such as agriculture, energy, and tourism. The main audience is public bodies and competent authorities responsible for national drought planning. The Guidelines’ clear and simple structure can further increase understanding among other stakeholders and the broad public.
The Guidelines are a major achievement of the IDMP CEE, which supports the governments of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine in the development of drought management policies and plans. It also builds the capacity of stakeholders to use a proactive integrated drought management approach and tests innovative drought management approaches.
For more information, please contact Sabina Bokal, Programme Manager at idmp.sabina[at]gmail.com.
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