Ukrainian experts discuss integrated drought management

Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Centre and GWP Ukraine organized National Dialogue on Drought Management on 10 December 2013 in Kiev.

The event was held in the framework of the Integrated Drought Management Programme — Central and Eastern European component — launched by Global Water Partnership (GWP) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in March 2013. GWP Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) funded this event.

Recently scientists and policy makers at national and global levels focus attention on issues of climate change and water security, the impact of extreme weather events on the economy and people’s life.

Representatives of central executive bodies: Hydrometeorology Department of the State Emergencies Service of Ukraine and the State Water Resources Agency of Ukraine as well as other key stakeholders: Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Centre, Association "Ukrhydroenergo", Institute of Water Problems and Melioration, Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Forest Melioration named after G.N. Vysotskiy, the National Scientific Center "Institute of Agrarian Economics", insurance companies and NGOs took part in the National Dialogue on droughts management in Ukraine.

Vasyl Gromoviy, Head of the Hydrometeorology Department of the State Emergencies Service of Ukraine welcomed the participants of the dialogue. He highlighted the urgency of drought problems for Ukraine and the importance of the monitoring, forecasting and developing of recommendations towards decreasing of drought impact on the economy, particularly on agricultural sector, which are providing by Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Centre. Valeriy Derevets, Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Centre, welcomed the participants from the host side.

Anna Tsvietkova of GWP Ukraine made a presentation about tasks of the Integrated Drought Management Programme, its objectives and plans in Ukraine. Activity leaders of the Integrated Drought Management Programme informed the participants about the first results related to drought baseline analysis in Ukraine.

In particular, Tetyana Adamenko of the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Centre, presented the main climatic trends and problems of agro-climatic zoning of Ukraine. Igor Buksha, Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Forest Melioration named after G.N. Vysotskiy, spoke about the problems of drought effects on forests in Ukraine.

The participants were informed about the policy to tackle water scarcity and to develop melioration in Ukraine, presented by Yuriy Yakovenko, State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine. Andriy Demydenko, the member of GWP Ukraine presented the current approaches to water management and key elements of the European Union framework for droughts management.

Presentations and questionnaire on national drought management policy initiated lively discussion, mainly on application of the new concept on risks assessment and management, integrated and complex management, importance to define common objectives and integration of environmental component in sectorial policies. 

The modern climate of Ukraine is characterized by asymmetric territory warming, pronounced in winter and summer months. According Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Centre and GWP Ukraine, the average annual temperature in the early 20th century has increased by more than 0.8°C. The significant changes in temperature in the agro-climatic zones of Ukraine have been observed. The zones of woodland and forest-steppe (according to zoning these are the zones of sufficient moisture) are warming faster than the steppe, which aligns the thermal resources of the territory.

In last decades of XX – beginning of XXI century winters were characterized by deep prolonged thaws in all agro-climatic zones. Winter-period has decreased by a month. Increasing of the temperature in winter led to early beginning of spring, extension of the period of growth, accelerating of the growth of crops, pests and diseases.

Since 2000 heat resources have been greatly increased in growing season in all agro-climatic zones. According to scientists, in Ukraine 4,235.8 thousands hectares are under threat of desertification, furthermore, the likelihood of expansion of risky farming is increasing, that is why fight against desertification is becoming vital and economically important. In addition, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prognoses with a high degree of confidence, that water stress will increase in Central and South Europe, including Ukraine, where the manifestations of climate change may have more serious symptoms.

GWP Ukraine together with Country Water Partnerships in 10 countreis in Central and Eastern Europe actively participated in the development of the programme in the region and its activities in Ukraine. UNENGO "MAMA-86" is a member of GWP Ukraine since 2006 and from 2012 — is a hosting organization for GWP Ukraine and coordinator of the Integrated Drought Management Programme implementation in Ukraine.

Source: GWP Ukraine