The workshop brought together 45 participants from 15 countries and 40 different organisations, among them the World Meteorological Organization, Joint Researc Centre, G-WADI, Global Water Partnership, GWP Regional and Country Water Partnerships, Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe and their partners from Greece and FYROM , The Institute of Agriculture Systems and Bioclimatology at Mendel University, Vienna University of Technology, Peer Review Group, Activity Leaders, Partners and National Coordinators.
The IDMP in CEE started in February 2013 and will officially end in June 2015. In April all the partners finalised the main achievements and outputs, which were presented at the fourth workshop. The partners agreed that the activities and outputs so far are a good basis for continuation of the programme.
During the two years the experts have prepared several guidance documents and publications, such as the Guidelines for preparation of the Drought Management Plans as part of River Basin Management Plans, Guidelines on Small Water Retention Measures and IDMP CEE Good Practice Compendium, which will summarise not only the main achievements of the programme, but also good practices from other drought projects, as well as examples of Drought Management Plans which are already functioning (for example in Romania, Greece, Great Britain, etc.)
Within the programme some new concrete approaches, especially focusing on agricultural sector as one of the most vulnerable ones in the region, were tested and described:
- technical and non-technical measures to increase the water retention and selection of good cases around CEE;
- testing and describing concrete methods and procedures for increasing soil water holding capacity: subsoiling, organic matter application into the soil, conservation tillage, ecological farming and other measures which are increasing water infiltration into the soil profile and improving water regimes of the countries;
- identification of remote sensing and GIS data tools for agricultural drought monitoring and yield loss forecast which helps to predict yield loss 4-6 weeks before harvest and on this way drought effected sites can be delineated more accurately;
- describing adaptation measures for the forests to mitigate negative effects of the drought.
With different dissemination activities (videos, photo competition, articles, publications, etc.) the Programme aimed to increase the awareness of drought issues in Central and Eastern Europe, communicating the knowledge gathered and supporting the programme in reaching politicians, governmental authorities and also the general public.
Working with the main end users
An essential part of the Programme was involving the main end users at policy level through conducting the total of twenty National Consultation Dialogues in ten countries. The main purpose of the dialogues was to discuss the current status of the drought management in the country, strong and weak areas and how can IDMP CEE results be used at national level to help improve all aspects of drought management (monitoring, risk assessment, etc.). Other stakeholders such as farmers, were also involved in the Programme though several workshops, where experts were showing them the practical application some of the results.
Continuation of IDMP CEE - building on the achieved results
The second day of the workshop aimed to explore possibilities for follow up activities in the short and long term, based on the developed proposals and submitted by experts working on the project. The partners tried to identify which areas in the drought management are still weak. The participants developed four main topics in groups:
- Drought monitoring with special attention on application of remote sensing data
- Drought costs assessment,
- Drought risk assessment and development of Drought Risk Atlas for CEE
- Improvements concerning drought management which need to be done on a national and regional level.
For more information about IDMP CEE, please contact Sabina Bokal, Programme Manager, email: idmp.sabina[at]gmail.com