Regional and National Application of Outputs

Although it is too early to see the impacts of implementing this approach, some progress has been made: (1) in central and eastern Europe, 20 national consultations were conducted in 10 countries over 2 years, and on the basis of these consultations, guidance has been developed and drought management plans in the regional policy framework have been elaborated; (2) several regional projects have been established in eastern Africa, West Africa, South Asia, and Central America; and (3) the three publications previously mentioned (WMO and GWP 2014, 2016, 2017).

Central and Eastern Europe

The longest-established regional program, the IDMP Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP CEE), managed by GWP Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE), brings together more than 40 partners from the region. It has, since 2013, provided practical advice on how droughts can be managed, with the goal of increasing the capacity and ability of countries in central and eastern Europe to adapt to climate variability and change by enhancing resilience to drought. Outputs are a compendium of good practices, support for a drought information exchange platform, demonstration projects testing innovative solutions for better resilience to drought, and capacity-building training and workshops at the national and regional level. The actions of the IDMP CEE also focused on the status and implementation of drought management plans. A first analysis (GWP CEE and Falutova 2014) showed that the majority of countries in the region had not produced drought management plans, and key elements of the drought management plans—namely, indicators and thresholds establishing different drought stages, measures to be taken in each drought stage, and the organizational framework for drought management—had not been implemented.

Based on the realization that drought management plans in the policy framework of central and eastern Europe were lacking or insufficient, the IDMP CEE set out to support countries in developing drought management plans, with the guidance of the 10-step process for drought management policies produced by WMO and GWP (2014). Part of this process included two rounds of consultations in the 10 participating countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. The consultations involved key actors involved in drought management in each country, including government ministries and competent authorities, hydrometeorological services, and universities, as well as affected stakeholders, including farmers, energy utilities, and fisheries. The first round of consultation focused on analyzing the current state of drought policy in the individual countries. Draft guidelines were developed for the preparation of drought management plans within the context of the EU Water Framework Directive river basin management plans, as the overarching policy context of the region. The second round of national consultations aimed to gather national experiences and information relevant to drought planning and further develop the draft guidelines from the first round of consultations.

This process of using the input from the global level with the 10-step process and adapting it to the regional context through the 20 national consultations led to the publication of guidelines for the preparation of drought management plans in the context of the EU Water Framework Directive (GWP CEE 2015) and the definition of seven steps that are specifically tailored for the EU Water Framework Directive, the regional policy context:

  • 1. Develop a drought policy and establish a drought committee
  • 2. Define objectives of drought risk-based management policy
  • 3. Make an inventory of data for drought management plan development
  • 4. Produce/update a drought management plan
  • 5. Publicize the drought management plan for public involvement
  • 6. Develop scientific and research programs
  • 7. Develop educational programs

The steps are forming the basis for a third round of consultations to develop drought management plans. The publication has also been translated into a majority of the national languages in the countries participating in its development.

It was found that adapting the step-by-step planning process proposed by the National Drought Management Policy Guidelines (WMO and GWP 2014) in the context of the EU Water Framework Directive by linking this planning process to river basin management plans has synergistic effects in achieving environmental objectives of the EU Directive.

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