Following Alisa Savadyan’s interview earlier this year and in response to the request of Country Water Partnership (CWP) Armenia, GWP organised a Learning Lab ‘Towards an Integrated Drought Management Strategy for Armenia’ (30 September – 1 October) with key national stakeholders.
The aim was to support Armenia in the next steps towards integrated drought management, as well as integrating IWRM into the River Basin Management Plans. Hosted by CWP Armenia, the Learning Lab brought together 25+ representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Armenian Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center, and civil society organisations in Armenia.
Drought management in Armenia
The work on drought in Armenia started already in 2021 as a continuation of the joint GWP and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) through a project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hydromet Service of the United States. The main goal of this project was to map and create a comprehensive analysis of the key stakeholders on all relevant levels in the country who work on drought in the country and establish a functioning working group. The working group was then tasked to analyse the current drought management systems and identify the gaps as a basis for further planning.
The Learning Lab
Based on this groundwork, the Learning Lab presented a much-awaited opportunity to meet in person and plan together next steps how to overcome the identified gaps. Starting with identification and prioritisation of the main water governance and drought-related challenges in Armenia, the participants delved into selected tools from the GWP Toolbox – IWRM Action Hub to discuss possible solutions for tackling those challenges. In a serious game on the uncertainties of hydroclimatic extremes, participants had the chance to explore different climate scenarios and which tools that could help. Acknowledging the importance and need of knowledge transfer and exchange of good practices, the participants explored the concept of the Communities of Practice and the already functioning communities on the GWP Toolbox – IWRM Action Hub, and agreed that this is a much needed space that will support the collaborative processes, which have already started in the country.
In order to advance with Integrated Drought Management (IDM) in Armenia, the GWP team explored different funding opportunities with the help of GWP’s Climate Team. Together with CWP Armenia and the governmental partners, the GWP Climate team identified the Green Climate Fund as potential funding source for further drought work in the country and the partners agreed to put efforts into accessing this funding to continue the work on IDM for Armenia.
In addition, IDMP Central and Eastern Europe is supporting the establishment of IDM in Armenia and applied successfully for funding through the Visegrád Group, an alliance of four Central European Countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. This funding will be used to transfer drought management knowledge from Central and Eastern Europe to Armenia. This support is greatly aligned with the above efforts and during the workshop the project was kicked-off.
About GWP Toolbox – IWRM Action Hub
The GWP Toolbox – IWRM Action Hub is a leading knowledge sharing platform that supports and connects water professionals in designing and implementing IWRM. It offers 86 tools, 250+ case studies and 2000+ resources, which can help design solutions to many water resource challenges. The GWP team can design, help organise and deliver customised Learning Labs, tackling a broad range of water resource issues. If interested, contact us!