Drought challenges – Drought solutions

Photo: Drought Challenges Book Presentation Podium

Podium „Drought Challenges – Drought Solutions, ©DIE

On 22 January, DIE and the Bonn-based secretariat of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) organised a rich evening event at the premises of DIE on “drought”. A film produced by both organisations and realised by Patrick Augenstein about Ethiopia (long version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgP9W9amAM8, short version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xTUGAgDKHc) was screened. It puts into contrast local pro-active measures to enhance drought resilience in a remote village of Tigrai with the emergency measures of the World Food Programme in 2017 for South Sudan.

David Tsegai (UNCCD) presented the book „Drought Challenges: Policy Options for Developing Countries“ published by Elsevier and edited by him together with Everisto Mapedza (International Water Management Institute, IWMI), Robert McLeman (Wilfried Laurier University) and Michael Brüntrup (DIE). It highlights impacts of droughts which can be very different according to environment, location and length of droughts, men or women, pastoralists or farmers, rich or poor, as well as many measures to deal with droughts,: local and regional early warning systems, vulnerability assessments, resilience enhancing measures in agriculture, water management, insurance and social safety networks, etc. All this must be coordinated in order not to hinder but to complement each other.

Photo: Imme Scholz at “drought challenges and drought solutions” on 22 January 2020.

Imme Scholz at “drought challenges and drought solutions”, ©DIE

This was also the topic of the following panel discussion: Moderated by Gabrielle Anne Lipton from Global Landscapes Forum, with Patrick Augenstein, Imme Scholz (DIE), Louise Baker (UNCCD), Chad Tudenggongbu (secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC) and Maryke van Staden (Global Network of Local Governments for Sustainability, ICLEI) the panellists exchanged insights and experiences on how to support local and indigenous communities with their special knowledge, needs and vulnerabilities but often also site-specific options to enhance drought resilience. National governments have particular responsibilities to avoid that droughts turn into disasters. In that sense droughts and drought policies can, if rightly handled, become connectors and drivers of change.

For further information please refer to the website-special: Food security and agriculture for a world without hunger

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