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Reducing Vulnerability to Drought through Mitigation and Preparedness Report to the Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction Sixth Meeting Geneva,

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Presentation on theme: "Reducing Vulnerability to Drought through Mitigation and Preparedness Report to the Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction Sixth Meeting Geneva,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reducing Vulnerability to Drought through Mitigation and Preparedness Report to the Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction Sixth Meeting Geneva, Switzerland October 2002 Dr. Donald A. Wilhite, Director National Drought Mitigation Center International Drought Information Center University of Nebraska-Lincoln U.S.A.


3 Drought differs from other natural hazards Slow-onset, creeping phenomena (early warning systems, impact assessment, response) Absence of universal definition (leads to confusion and inaction) Severity is best described through multiple indicators and indices Impacts are non-structural and spread over large areas (makes assessment and response difficult; mitigation actions less obvious) RESULT, progress on drought preparedness has been slow

4 Common Types of Drought Impacts Economic Social Environmental

5 Trends in Drought Impacts Impacts are increasing in response to growing vulnerability resulting from increased pressure on limited water resources, increasing population and many other factors. Post-impact response increases vulnerability. Impacts differ within and between countries, reflecting who and what is at risk and why.

6 Trends in Drought Impacts Impacts are escalating in developed and developing countries, but the types of impacts differ. More humid, less drought-prone regions often illustrate greater vulnerability. Developed countries have more resources to respond, but may be no better prepared to deal with drought in a proactive manner.

7 The problem of definition No universal definition Impact/sector specific; region specific Drought types Meteorological Agricultural Hydrological Socio-economic Drought types can occur separately or simultaneously

8 Spatial Extent

9 Key Drought Indicators Climate variables (e.g., precip., temp.) Reservoir and lake levels Soil moisture Ground water Snow pack Stream flow Vegetation Forecasts

10 Common Drought Indices Percent of Normal Deciles Palmer Drought Index PDSI, PHDI, CMI Surface Water Supply Index Standardized Precipitation Index Vegetation indices (NDVI, VCI, SVI) U.S. Drought Monitor Composite index approach

11 Shortcomings of DEWS Data networks Data sharing Early warning system products Drought forecasts Drought monitoring tools Integrated drought/climate/water supply monitoring Impact assessment methodologies Delivery systems Global early warning systems



14 Components of Drought for Risk Management (social factors) (natural event) Climatology, Probabilities, Forecasts Population growth and shifts Urbanization Technology Land use practices Environment degradation Water use trends Government policies Environmental awareness

15 Droughta vision of the future Increased frequency and severity of meteorological droughts Increased impacts associated with increased vulnerability Combination of the twoincreasing risk because of greater frequency of meteorological drought and increased vulnerability and greater impacts

16 Critical Issues for ISDR Improve collection, processing, and availability of meteorological and hydrological data Improve predictive capacities and use of forecasts in decision making Improve understanding of drought causes at regional and national scales

17 Critical Issues for ISDR Improve understanding of drought climatology and drought patterns Inventory climate and water resource indicators and indices Develop indicators, indices, and products for hazard assessment Develop decision support models for end users and encourage feedback of impact assessment products

18 Critical Issues for ISDR Develop and disseminate risk and vulnerability assessment tools Disseminate drought planning methodologies Integrate local or indigenous coping mechanisms as a part of drought risk reduction Create drought impact reduction strategies as an integral part of drought preparedness plans Develop drought policies at the regional and national level

19 Critical Issues for ISDR Assess availability of skilled human resources needed for drought preparedness planning Educate policy makers and the public on the need for improved drought preparedness as an integral part of water resources management

20 Critical Issues for ISDR Support creation of regional drought preparedness networks to enhance regional capacity in sharing lessons learned Enhance regional and international collaboration Recognize the role of WMO, ISDR, NMHSs, and regional/national institutions in drought early warning and preparedness

21 Global Drought Preparedness Network GOAL: To help nations build greater institutional capacity to cope with drought by promoting risk management and sharing lessons learned on drought monitoring, mitigation, and preparedness. Building Regional and Global Partnerships

22 Individually, many nations will be unable to improve drought coping capacity. Collectively, through global, regional, and national partnerships, we can share information and experiences to reduce the impacts of drought. Global Drought Preparedness Network

23 Regional Network Objectives exchange of information the use of common indices or indicators for early warning data availability scientific collaboration drought policy development drought planning methods and mitigation programs and actions Must be region specificpossible objectives are to promote


25 Regional Drought Preparedness Networks GDPN (NDMC) SSA Med Europe SAm CAm SAsia EAsia NAm

26 Next Steps: Regional Networks Select one or more regions as demonstration projects Identify potential sources of financial support for each regional network Organize a launching workshop for each region involving key institutions Identify scope, objectives, and activities for each regional network Develop strategies for coordinating network developmentwhat is the role of the NDMC?

27 Regional networks can facilitate development of drought early warning systems, preparedness plans, and policies aimed at vulnerability reduction.

28 Thanks for your attention! Visit the NDMC

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