The third DriDanube project meeting together with the Regional training on Drought risk assessment took place from 28 February to 2 March in Belgrade, Serbia. It brought together 43 participants from 10 partner countries, as well as the representatives from the International Sava River Basin Commission, the EUSDR Priority Area 5 (Environmental Risks) and the Danube Transnational Programme.
The Director of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, Prof. Jugoslav Nikolić, opened the meeting emphasizing the importance of addressing drought issues more efficiently in the Danube region. He expressed his wish for useful project results that will enrich the cross-border cooperation on drought risk management.
The project partners participated at the Regional training on Drought risk assessment, which provided useful information for the preparation of the Country Risk Assessments that will show on regional level the most vulnerable parts of the Danube region to drought. They also discussed how the drought management should be organised and compared their national situations with the optimal model for drought management, which will be an important part of the DriDanube Strategy.
As the DriDanube project is supporting the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, Mr. Viktor Oroszi - a representative of the EUSDR Priority Area 5 (Environmental Risk), joined the meeting to closely follow and discuss the newest developments in the project. In the future, EUSDR PA5 wants to focus more on how to address drought in the region so it was very valuable for him “to join the meeting not only to see its progress but also to network and exchange ideas and knowledge with partners who are working on these issues for a longer period of time”. He pointed out that „the project’s Drought User Service has a very good perspective for the future as various sectors are interested into its use. It is crucial to keep in mind the involvement of as many stakeholders as possible already during its development as they will provide early feedback." He sees a big advantage in upgrading the Service by near real-time feedback on drought impacts from the national reporters whose reporting networks are being established during the DriDanube implementation. This is something what will be of a great interest for the decision-makers.
The International Sava River Basin Commission representative, Mr. Mirza Sarač, Advisor for protection against detrimental effects from waters and extraordinary impacts on the water regime, expressed the Commission’s interest in the DriDanube tools, especially in the Drought User Service which could be later linked to their existing forecasting system. These strategic linkages with the Commission will support the practical implementation of the tools developed within DriDanube and will assure its sustainability by providing linkages with the River Basin Management planning process. If you want to read more, how DriDanube is contributing to other regional strategies, please check here.
As the project has concluded its first year of implementation, the project partners had a valuable discussion with the DTP's Project Officer Mr. Gusztav Csomor on the status of achieving the outputs, involvement of stakeholders and upcoming plans. As the developments show, the project is on the right track to fulfil its outputs and create a wide network of stakeholders dealing with drought. As Mr. Viktor Oroszi (EUSDR PA5) noted: “we are happy to see after one year of implementation that the network of people interested in drought is growing as well as their engagement within the project.”