Earlier this year Global Water Partnership (GWP) and World Meteorological organization (WMO) launched a joint Integrated Drought Management Programme to improve monitoring and prevention of one of the world’s greatest natural hazards.
GWP Central and Eastern Europe started implementation of this two-year programme in February 2013, well ahead of other regions in Africa and Asia. It is also a part of larger GWP Water and Climate Programme in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.
Integrated Drought Management Programme in Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP CEE) supports 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 capacity of stakeholders at different levels for proactive integrated drought management approach and tests innovative approaches for future drought management plans.
"Drought planning in Central and Eastern Europe needs to move from crisis management to risk management based on the development of comprehensive, long-term drought preparedness policies and plans of actions to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities to extreme weather events. So far, countries in Central and Northern Europe have been randomly facing drought episodes with moderate and temporary damage to agriculture", said Sabina Bokal, IDMP CEE Programme Manager.
"However, over the past 10 years, this is not true anymore. Climate change results in challenges not only to agriculture, but other economic sectors and the society as a whole. In many traditionally water abundant countries, there is no legal instrument of drought risk management strategy. Drought management plans can be developed during the second stage of river basin planning in line with EU Water Framework Directive", added Danka Thalmeinerova, GWP Senior Knowledge Management Officer.
The goal of the workshop was to promote networking, gain common ground for understanding of the IDMP CEE objectives, present and discuss all activities, find links and synergies among different activities and plan next steps.
The workshop took place back-to-back with the GWP CEE Regional Council meeting and brought together 30 participants from 10 countries – WMO, GWPO in Stockholm, Regional and Country Water Partnerships, Peer Review Group, Activity Leaders and National Coordinators.
The first day of the workshop was focused on regional activities, e.g. preparation of the guidelines for drought management plan, national consultaion dialogues and drought information exchange platform. During the interactive part, the participants expressed their views on public participation, measures for effective drought management and elements of drought management system that need special attention in the guidelines.
Six innovative demonstration projects were presented during the second day:
- Drought management by agricultural practices and measures-increasing soil water holding capacity
- Assessment of drought impact on forest ecosystems
- Natural small water retention measures
- Drought Risk Management Scheme: a decision support system
- Policy oriented study on remote sensing agricultural drought monitoring methods
- Upgrading agricultural drought monitoring and forecasting: the case of Ukraine and Moldova
The results of the demonstration projects will be used in the future as part of the drought management plans, good practice compendium and GWP ToolBox.
As next steps, by the end of this year, Country Water Partnerships will start with the process of national consultation dialogues through which they approach key stakeholders responsible for drought management.
The second IDMP CEE workshop will take place on 8-9 April 2014 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
For more information about IDMP CEE, please contact Sabina Bokal, Programme Manager, email: idmp.sabina[at]gmail.com.