After successful completion of the the 1st and 2nd Regional Workshops for Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean regions respectively, the 3rd Regional Workshop for Asia-Pacific region was held from 6 to 9 May, 2014 in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Based on the expressed interest and experience in organizing international events, the Viet Nam Academy of Water Resources (VAWR) and FAO Vietnam Office hosted and served as active local partners throughout the event.
The workshop was attended by more than 30 participants from 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region: Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, in addition to 15 observers from the Viet Nam Academy of Water Resources and the FAO office in Viet Nam.
Drought, widely recognized as a creeping natural
hazard, affects all climatic regions. As one of the most
pervasive types of natural disasters, drought has huge
impacts on food security, social stability, livelihoods,
the environment and economies at large. While the
impacts of drought can be significantly reduced
through risk-based drought management policies
and practices, to date most countries continue to pursue
emergency and recovery strategies and respond
only after droughts have taken their toll. Such reactive
and ‘piecemeal’ approaches often prove to be ineffective.
Proactive and risk-based national drought
management policies and practices would greatly
assist countries to build societal resilience to drought.
With the aim of supporting developing countries and
countries in transition towards building their national
capacities for developing risk-based drought management
policies, some UN-Water Members requested
the inter-agency mechanism, through its Programme
on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), to begin a capacity
development initiative on supporting the development
of drought management policies at the
national level. These UN-Water Members are the Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAO), the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention
to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Secretariat
of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Mr Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair, launched the initiative
at the occasion of the High-level Meeting on
National Drought Policy (HMNDP) held in March 2013
in Geneva, Switzerland. So far, three regional workshops
have been carried out: for the Eastern European
region, from 9-11 July 2013; for Latin America and the
Caribbean (LAC), from 4-6 December 2013; and for
the Asia- Pacific region, from 6-9 May 2014. A regional
workshop for African countries is set to be conducted
in August 2014.