Drought resilience in the Danube region - accelerating the momentum
Focusing on the challenges and joint cooperation in the area of drought management in the Danube region, DriDanube project organized its Final conference on 7-8 May 2019 in Vienna in the concept of the regional event - Danube Drought Conference. To emphasize importance of the joint cooperation, the event was held in cooperation with the partners from the Drought Management Center for Southeastern Europe and the Integrated Drought Management Programme in Central and Eastern Europe. It was attended by almost hundred participants from various sectors dealing with drought – national hydrometeorological services, ministries, universities, business sector, international organizations, non-governmental organizations etc.
Panel discussion: Strategic planning and future plans for drought mitigation
Laszlo Balatonyi (EUSDR PA5), Edith Hoedl (ICPDR), Raimund Mair (WB), Bob Stefanski (WMO), Facilitator: Roger Pulwarty (NOAA)
The conference brought together a range of interesting speakers from Europe and overseas talking and discussing topics from climate change challenges, through instruments for battling drought, drought risk and cross-sectoral impacts to strategic planning for drought.
One of the conclusions of the conference was, that knowledge on all aspects of drought (from monitoring to management) is available however to make use of it, better communication is needed. Now that the momentum has been created, we need to put all our efforts to sustain the project results. Especially Drought Watch and National Reporting Networks for which continuous inputs from countries are needed. Representatives of national institutions see the added value of this approach and they are willing to continue with sharing their experiences gained during drought events and their national data. DriDanube tools are helping us to overcome national boundaries and see the broader perspective.
Since the improved drought monitoring, as well as drought impacts, are multi-dimensional, further improvement lies also in our understanding of multi-sectoral characterisation of drought itself. Panel on drought impacts in different sectors (hydropower, water-supply, agriculture, biodiversity, navigation) discussed that each sector gets affected by drought, which is causing different types of losses. It is important that each sector foresees its own specific gaps in overcoming drought losses. In order to manage drought in an integrated way, a better collaboration between different sectors is required.
Panel discussion: How drought is addressed in different sectors?
Kling Walter (IAWD), Peter Kajner (WWF Hungary), Gert-Jan Muilerman (viadonau), Csilla Tanczne Ovari (Ministry of Agriculture, Hungary), Liu Heng (UNIDO), Facilitator: Hélène Masliah-Gilkarov (ICPDR)
Examples of good practices in drought management from Slovakia and Belgium were shared, where political will and occurrence of drought events triggered the change. For similar actions to take place and to manage drought in an integrated way in more countries of the Danube region, it requires collaboration within and between levels of government and private sector.
During the discussion on strategic positioning of drought on regional and national level it was clear that, in the last couple of years, a lot of efforts have been made to put “drought” on the political agenda and we are happy that some of those efforts are already reflecting in national and regional frameworks.
Policy level round table: Aniko Juhasz (Hungary); Marija Vihovanec Sabo (Croatia); Rada Cosmina Craciun (Romania); Gordana Rokvic (Republic of Srpska); Richard Muller (Slovakia); Klemen Bergant (Slovenia); Facilitator: Elena Mateescu (Romania)
“We need a product that will cover the situation happening on the field in current time for us and for the farmer who is suffering today. Drought Watch is a great tool that enable us to be informed about actual drought situation in near real time. For future better insurance, insurance companies need the daily satellite data which are high-resolution, measured instead of extrapolated and that the tool to access data is user-friendly”, Johann Fank, Die Osterreichische Hagelversicherung.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chief Scientist on Weather, Water and Climate Extremes, Roger Pulwarty thinks the added value of DriDanube project is that it showed how countries can collaborate to meet the changes that we are experiencing.
As the presentations offered a big portion of new information that should not be lost or forgotten, you can easily get back to the whole program in a special section of the DriDanube project webpage „Final conference“ where all the presentations and links to live streamed discussions and presented tools can be found.
Similarly, the photos can be found in our Gallery section.
Read the Outcomes of the Danube Drought Conference which are summarizing work of DriDanube, DMCSEE and IDMP CEE partners in the last couple of years in the region and emphasizing some key areas of the future work. The conference participants consider them a pathway towards integrated drought management in the Danube Region.