17 June: UNCCD Desertification and Drought Day (World Drought Day)

17 june 2024, global
This year's World Drought Day highlights the importance of maintaining healthy soil for future generations. Desertification, land degradation, and drought are among the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, with up to 40 % of all land area worldwide already considered degraded. Healthy land not only provides us with almost 95 % of our food but so much more: it clothes and shelters us, provides jobs and livelihoods, and protects us from the worsening droughts, floods and wildfires. Yet, every second, an equivalent of four football fields of healthy land becomes degraded, adding up to a total of 100 million hectares each year. 

Life on Land is on the Line
Among others, unsustainable production and consumption patterns are putting excessive pressure on natural resources and land to the point of degradation. Desertification and drought too are driving forced migration, putting tens of millions of people each year at risk of displacement. Every aim and effort is needed in averting land degradation, as a root cause of conflict and instability. It is expected that more frequent droughts will cause problems not only in the natural environment, but also in various economic sectors - in addition to agriculture, also in hydro-power, water transport, tourism, water supply etc., and in this way cause economic damage, may also cause conflicts among consumers. Recent Eurobarometer survey showed that Europeans are deeply concerned about the environment, pollution and water scarcity. More than three-quarters of them claim that environmental problems affect their daily life and health. 78 % believe that the EU should act more decisively on water.
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Leading a Land Legacy
Caring for land is an inter-generational responsibility. For millennia, our ancestors had a deep connection to the land. However, this connection is fragile, with more and more people heading to cities and no longer choosing to live and work on land. Indigenous people and local communities play a key role in environmental protection, namely long-term sustainable land restoration. Areas managed by local communities are characterized by lower rates of deforestation and land degradation. It is crucial to make sure that this knowledge is preserved and shared for the benefit of all humanity. Of the world’s 8 billion people, over one billion of young people under the age of 25 years live in in regions directly dependent on land and natural resources for sustenance. If we proceed with unsustainable production and consumption, we will pass on to them a legacy of degraded land and lost opportunities – jeopardizing their livelihoods and future. Overconsumption and exploitation are not sustainable practices, and have a major impact on the quality and quantity of water and the ecosystems that depend on it. 

Degraded soil or soil devastated by drought and other extreme events loses its main ability to support life, leading to many adverse impacts, from crop failure to migration and unrest. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was created in 1994 in the desire to jointly protect and preserve soil as an asset for a safer future, and 197 countries have committed to it to date. Every year around the world, on 17 June we remind ourselves even stronger of this commitment to the environment, which we live in and sustains us.

Working meeting of the WMO Expert Team on Drought

13-15 june 2023, ljubljana, slovenia
Slovenian Environment Agency hosted the WMO Expert Team on Drought, whose task is to create global frameworks, standards and recommendations for national hydrometeorological services and competent institutions in relation to drought monitoring, warning and response. Led by ARSO/Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE), the group consists of agro-/meteorological experts from America, Australia, Austria, Brazil, India, Iran, Senegal, Slovenia, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, as well as representatives from the European Drought Observatory under the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Associate members are also representatives of global and regional initiatives.  
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The focus of this working meeting was to form guidelines to strengthen or establish early warning of drought at the national level, and to shape an approach for a comparable classification of drought, taking into account the diversity of countries, their own drought monitoring methods and their individual vulnerability. The purpose of the meeting was also to establish the foundations for integrated drought management and thereby contribute to the global initiative of the United Nations Early Warnings For All - #EW4ALL.

The internal working days ended with a public event "Where is drought? - Global, regional and national approaches", where representatives of the Slovenian Environment Agency, the WMO, the University of Southern Queensland Australia and the EU Joint Research Centre shared their experiences in the field of drought monitoring and forecasting. With this event, the group also commemorated the World Drought Day, which is commemorated on 17 June every year.

Study visit of the Armenian experts

30 may - 6 june 2023, ljubljana, slovenia
As a part of the operations of the DMCSEE, a week-long study visit was organised at the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) for the experts from the Armenian Hydrometeorological Service. During the study visit to ARSO Department for Meteorological Support to Agriculture, the two visiting experts, a climatologist and an agrometeorologist, acquired knowledge about the ARSO's approach to drought monitoring, calculation of drought indicators, and learnt about operational practice in applied agrometeorology and climatology at ARSO. The visit was financed by the Višegrad Fund project, and ARSO colleagues provided expert assistance through lectures and practical exercises.

Small-scale Drin Basin project

With the help of NOAA Funds, Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE), Drought Management Centre Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE), Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) and Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CzechGlobe) joined together to further empower hydrometeorological institutions in the Drin Basin countries in implementing integrated drought management. The activities built on IDMP concept and enabled the transfer of results achieved in the DriDanube project also to countries outside Danube Basin. Involved in the partnership at the local level were:
  • Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Kosovo
  • Inter-Ministerial Water Council, Kosovo 
  • Hydrometeorological Institute, Sector of Hydrology and Hydrological Forecasts, Kosovo
  • Polytechnic University of Tirana, Institute of GeoSciences, Department of Hydrology, Albania
  • Balkan Foundation of Sustainable Development, North Macedonia
  • Hydrometeorological Service, North Macedonia
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This capacity-building-oriented project scoped on two tools available in wider region, the Drought Watch tool for harmonised regional drought monitoring, and National Drought Reporting Network for regular and standardized evidence of on-field drought impacts. An important part of the capacity building were several supervision sessions which offered room for open discussions on possibilities for Drought Watch tool for hosting Drin Basin drought-related data, on methods for calculation of drought-related indices and risk assessment, ways to begin establishing National Reporting Networks, as well as on establishing hydrological drought monitoring and its early warning system.  

During the final creative workshop, the partnership discussed future prospect and desired direction of partnership activities in the next 3-5 years. The countries have concluded to continue cooperation, recognizing this project was an important kick-start to develop capacities, required to tackle the increasing drought related threads in years to come.

17 June: UNCCD Desertification and Drought Day (World Drought Day)

17 june 2022, global
Drought is already affecting all types of countries, in all types of geographies, negatively impacting global food systems, health, economic and social development. This trend is likely to continue unless we all get behind the necessary change and invest in solutions. Insufficient rainfall is not the only factor of devastating drought impacts. There is a lack of awareness about human-induced water scarcity that exacerbates drought risks and negative impacts. 

Droughtland is an imaginary country that lives under a dry spell. Campaign materials use a dash of humour to describe everyday challenges of living in Droughtland, and encourage people to take action so that no country becomes a real "drought land" where citizens' lives are forever altered by water scarcity.   Drought is a slow-onset disaster, requiring early action before it achieves its full power when only a treatment of drought impacts is left to be done. Preparedness and swift action are needed as soon as drought emerges. Our mindsets needs to change from reactive to proactive when it comes to drought mitigation, so all people can enjoy water security in the future. Let us be the only ones that experience severe drought impacts. Protect your country from becoming like Droughtland by preserving your communities, cultural legacy, and economy.

UNCCD 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15)

9-20 May 2022, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
The theme of this COP, "Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity", calls for actions to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations. Land is the bedrock of a healthy, productive society, and COP15 explored links between land and other key sustainability issues. The Conference built on the findings of the 2nd edition of the Global Land Outlook, and aimed at offering a concrete response to the interconnected challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss as we step into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. ​In the scope of the COP15, also a report Drought in Numbers, 2022 was released to mark the upcoming Drought Day. It calls for making a full global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all global regions a top priority. The report creates a compelling call to action. For example:
  • Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has risen by 29 %
  • From 1970 to 2019, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50 % of disasters and 45 % of disaster-related deaths, mostly in developing countries
  • Droughts represent 15 % of natural disasters but took the largest human toll, approximately 650,000 deaths from 1970-2019
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 Unless actions are stepped up:
  • By 2030, an estimated 700 million people will be at risk of being displaced by drought
  • By 2040, an estimated one in four children will live in areas with extreme water shortages
  • By 2050, droughts may affect over 3/4 of the world’s population, and an estimated 4.8-5.7 billion people will live in areas that are water-scarce for at least one month each year, up from 3.6 billion today. And up to 216 million people could be forced to migrate by 2050, largely due to drought in combination with other factors including water scarcity, declining crop productivity, sea-level rise, and overpopulation
The world is at a crossroad. We need to steer toward the solutions rather than continuing with destructive actions, believing that marginal change can heal systemic failure. Needed as well are:
  1. Sustainable and efficient agricultural management techniques that grow more food on less land and with less water.
  2. Changes in our relationships with food, fodder and fiber, moving toward plant-based diets, and reducing or stopping the consumption of animals.
  3. Concerted policy and partnerships at all levels.
  4. Development and implementation of integrated drought action plans.
  5. Set up effective early-warning systems that work across boundaries.
  6. Regular monitoring and reporting to ensure continuous improvement.
  7. Mobilize sustainable finance to improve drought resilience at the local level.
  8. Invest in soil health.
  9. Work together and include and mobilize farmers, local communities, businesses, consumers, investors, entrepreneurs and, above all, young people.

8th Meteorological Challenges - a scientific-professional conference

28-29 april 2022, zagreb, slovenia
Under the title of "The air we breathe, the air we forecast", the conference aimed at exchanging latest scientific results and research in the field of meteorology, environmental protection and sustainable development; strengthening communication with users of meteorological data and products, the general public and the media; and promotion and popularization of meteorology. The conference offered space also for regional contributions, bringing together researchers from across Europe presenting study results on various topics: Environmental protection, Climate change and adaptation, Weather forecast, Climatology and biometeorology, Meteorological extremes and their impact, Agrometeorology, Renewable energy sources, and Applied meteorology. Among them, some of the studies focused on drought indices, heat waves and heat load, forest fire risk and surface water temperature at European, regional or country level. Short descriptions of the studies presented at the event are collected in the conference's Book of Abstracts.

ESA Conference: "Space for a green and digital recovery"

30 september - 1 october 2021, ljubljana, slovenia
The Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the European Space Agency (ESA) organised a 2-day Space for Green and Digital Recovery conference, which underlined the possibilities offered by space technology in tackling climate change, and highlighted the potential of space technology for a digital and smart society and for addressing various issues at global but also local level. The Space and the Green Transition section addressed Environmental risk, Optimised climate adaptation planning, Forestry & Renewable energy, Ecosystem resilience and Waste monitoring, bringing together a great community of experts from Danube Commission, DMCSEE, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Space-SI and Planetek Italia. Another section, Regional Opportunities in Central Europe, focused specifically on satellite-based products in need among the countries in this part of Europe. Speakers from EarthPlus, German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, EUSPA, Cosylab and Arctur triggered food for thought with topics on EO Innovation, Scalability & Market Opportunities, EU Space Data in Support of Regional Recovery and Innovation, Enabling Smart Actions, and Sustainable Tourism. The topics addressed in these sections spoke of vast opportunities that space data can be used for, shall there be a need or specific requirement. The conference thus offered a great opportunity to speak of practical examples where countries in the region recognise a need for specific satellite-based datasets to better adapt and recover from challenges imposed by climate change. Some food-for-thought ideas included: 
  1. Supporting advanced users in agriculture/water sector: ministries/authorities, insurance, inspections, agricultural advisory services, water agencies
  2. Strengthening regional and national capacities: consortium DMCSEE and NMHSs, civil protection agencies (floods, drought), hubs, trainings
  3. Creating tailored applications for better climate change adaptation: DroughtWatch upgrade, irrigation schedule, vegetation status (phenology)
  4. Launching targeted project calls for the practical implementation of the country’s products (apps)

Workshop: Water Scarcity and Drought Risk Management in the Danube Region

20-21 september 2021, online
The thought this workshop evolved around was that managing drought in the (Danube) countries needs to be conceptualized, considering drought as a slow-onset disaster can have devastating impacts across various sectors, in the society and the ecosystems. While there is no specific EU legislation dedicated to drought, the existing national policies and sectoral instruments in different water-related fields need to be used and integrated since individual existing policy only partially or marginally relates to drought. The World Bank and Global Water Partnership CEE organised a Danube Drought Workshop “Beyond Scarcity: Water Scarcity and Drought Risk Management in the Danube Region” to provide a forum for exchange on good practice approaches and options to address the issue in order to make the region more resilient against such extreme events. The event sessions were enriched with the expertise from EUSDR, ICPDR, DMCSEE, Ministry of the Environment Slovakia, Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Environment Agency Austria and General Directorate of Water Management Hungary, and targeted:
  1. Approaches for water scarcity and drought risk management
  2. Relevance of water scarcity and droughts in the Danube region
  3. Impacts and response approaches of water-related sectors
  4. Pathways, policy & regulatory approaches to improve resilience against water scarcity & drought
 This workshop was not only an opportunity to take stock of past and ongoing projects and initiatives in the Danube region, it also aimed at understanding better how the current situation can be improved and how to progress towards the Drought Risk Management models explained in the sections.

17 June: UNCCD Desertification and Drought Day 2021

17 june 2021, global
Desertification and Drought Day (known as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought prior to 2020) is observed on 17 June every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The day is a unique moment to remind everyone that reversing land degradation is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels. With its slogan “Restoration. Land. Recovery.”, this year Desertification and Drought Day focuses on turning degraded land into healthy land. Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s ice-free land has been altered by humans to meet an ever-growing demand for food, raw materials, highways and homes. It underlines that investing in healthy land is a smart economic decision – both, in terms of rebuilding livelihoods and insulating economies against future crises caused by climate change and nature loss. Avoiding, slowing and reversing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems now is both urgent and important for guaranteeing the long-term survival of people and the planet.

In conjunction with this day, there will be an official launch of GAR21 Special Report on Drought by UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). The Report is the most comprehensive assessment on the subject yet and explores the systemic nature of drought and its impacts on achievement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and human and ecosystems health and well-being.

Climate Challenges in the Danube Basin - workshop

8-9 june 2021, online
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) hosted a 2-day online workshop in collaboration with the UK Met Office and GOPACom to understand how climate data is currently used in the Danube region and wider in SE Europe, and what datasets or tools are needed to help decision makers to plan for current and future climate change in the Danube Basin. As an established consortium of SE Europe countries overcoming drought issues as a transboundary community, the Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe was invited to share its work and findings on the base of 15 years of experience, as well as recent developments under DMCSEE through international projects. Other regional speakers included ICPDR, WWF, while the programme was enriched also with practical case study examples from National Meteorological Administration of Romania, and Copernicus Climate Data Store and tools by ECMWF.

The interactive sessions with groups split by climate hazard (drought, flood, heatwaves) and later on by sectors (agriculture&forestry, ecology&water management, insurance&policy, national hydromet. services&research) offered a great opportunity for expressing the obstacles and needs that the region is facing, and what data or tools would help to tackle these challenges. Among others, a number of interesting and helpful links were shared among the community:

DMCSEE in Climate Action Exchange - ECCA 2021

7 june 2021, online
At the 5th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA21), taking place in a form of online webinars between 25 May and 22 June 2021, the Drought Management Centre for SE Europe (DMCSEE) was invited to share its experience in tackling drought jointly as a region for well over a decade now. The session “Climate action exchange – sharing knowledge and experience of what works across the EU” showcased the work of DMCSEE along with ICPDR, International Climate Initiative and the Covenants of Mayors in their climate change adaptation actions, and let experiences be shared on what they found has worked across the region, what fields of work require further knowledge and how this work will be taken further.

A valuable part of the session was the regional focus of the discussion that followed the presentations, acknowledging the southeast part of Europe as one of the most vulnerable regions in Europe. It stimulated the debate and networking among the researchers, policy-makers, investors and practitioners on the importance of identifying workable solutions for adaptation to climate change, thus contributing to identify key messages to be raised at relevant fora and, in particular, during the ECCA2021 High-level event scheduled on 22 June 2021.

DMCSEE experience shared with Central Asia

5 may 2021, online
Within the framework of the UNCCD Secretariat funded pilot project Regional Approaches in Combating Sand and Dust Storms and Drought in Central Asia, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) initiated a thematic workshop to discuss drought management and mitigation in Central Asia, which took place online on 5 May 2021. The main objectives of the workshop were to receive strategic feedback, comments and recommendations of international development partners on the approaches, focus and objectives of the Regional Drought Risk Management Strategy for Central Asia project, further on to present the Drought Monitoring and Early Warning System (DMEWS) tool, and discuss the on-going initiatives and development agendas pertaining to the drought and climate change related events management. DMCSEE was also presented there, on how its establishment began and how it has become operational. It was emphasized that it is crucial to have cooperation between different sectors and levels (researchers, practitioners and NHMS) but one of the main challenges of DMCSEE remains ensuring its continuous funding. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on possible benefits and difficulties of establishing such a centre in Central Asia. It was commonly agreed that “drought is a connector” and such centre can spark reginal collaboration, data exchange, synergies between different initiatives and organizations, also the political support and possible financing opportunities.

Training on Integrated Drought Management in Drin Basin

10-11 march 2020, online
In the frame of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Drin project and with cooperation of Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean, GWP Central and Eastern Europe and Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE), an Online training on Integrated Drought Management was organised for the Drin Basin countries, including Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia. The training built upon the outcomes of the discussion on risks and impacts of drought and possible management solutions, held at the 7th Drin Stakeholders Conference in Tirana, Albania in January 2020.  For this reason, the training's main aim was to enhance the capacity of participants for integrated, proactive approach to drought planning, adaptation and management, and this way to encourage the adoption of the preventive drought management practice, promoted also by the Integrated Drought Management Programme.

17 June: Celebrate UNCCD World Day to Combat Desertification

17 june 2018, global
Established in 1995 by the UN General Assembly, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought has been celebrated for 23 years now to raise awareness on the global and national actions that address desertification, land degradation and drought. With this year's slogan "Land has true value - invest in it.", it reminds us that we often use land as if it were a limitless resource, ignoring its role in our everyday lives. This negligence threatens food and water supply, biodiversity and even human security itself. Every one of us has a role to play in turning land degradation into land restoration, there are many ways to invest in land wisely and contribute to better livelihoods.

Training course on the use of satellite products for drought monitoring and agricultural meteorology application

24-28 april 2017, budapest, hungary
Satellite data and products play a key role in development of agrometeorological information and provision of effective services on food security and enhanced food production. To increase the use of satellite products among national meteorological services in south-eastern Europe WMO, EUMETSAT and FAO organised Training course on the use of satellite products for drought monitoring and agricultural meteorology applications. The course was held at the Hungarian Meteorological Service in Budapest in late April 2017 with the participation of agrometeorologists and satellite researches from 21 countries. During the training, the participants heard about the different satellite products such as Land SAF surface temperature, evapotranspiration, NDVI, soil moisture of H-SAF and softwares which can help in detection and operative prediction of drought.

DriDanube project Kick-off event

15-16 march 2017, ljubljana, slovenia
DriDanube (Drought risk in the Danube region) project has started on 1 January 2017 as a transnational cooperation initiative of 10 countries from the Danube region (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia) under the leadership of the Slovenian Environmental Agency (ARSO). The project’s main objective is to increase the capacity of the Danube region to manage drought related risks. It aims at helping all stakeholders involved in drought management become more efficient during drought emergency response and prepare better for the next drought. The first Project meeting and the Kick-off Conference were held in Ljubljana, Slovenia in mid-March 2017, and brought together almost 90 participants such as project partners, representatives of the ministries, water authorities, universities, EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and Joint Research Centre of the EC (EU JRC). The conference at the very beginning of the project implementation offered a lot of valuable information on where countries and consequently the region currently stand in drought management, what similar/complementary initiatives are already out there that we can capitalize on and what are the biggest challenges ahead.

Workshop "Agrometeorologists for farmers in hotter, drier, wetter future" & Informal DMCSEE meeting

9-11 november 2016, ljubljana, slovenia
The workshop »Agrometeorologists for farmers in hotter, drier, wetter future« and informal DMCSEE meeting, held in Ljubljana, Slovenia in mid-November 2016 was attended by 45 participants. The event was funded by Solco W. Tromp Foundation, World Meteorological Organization, and Global Water Partnership, and was primarily addressed to agrometeorologists of central and southern European countries. Main topics of the eleven invited lecturers were meteorological support to agrometeorological services, climate change impacts on agriculture and food security, some examples of good practices etc. In the section Work in break groups, all participating countries presented their national agrometeorological services, defined gaps in knowledge, existing practices and collected recommendations for future research, development and networking. Additionally, for the DMCSEE participants the event was concluded with informal DMCSEE meeting on Friday, 11th November 2016, where past year work and future plans were presented. Special focus was on project work (mainly DriDanube project) and other options for financing possibilities in the framework of cooperation among DMCSEE partners.

2nd DMCSEE meeting of the Ad-hoc group & 4th Global Water Partnership IDMP-CEE workshop

20-22 april 2015, bucharest, romania
The 2nd DMCSEE Meeting of the Ad-hoc group took place back-to-back with the 4th Global Water Partnership (GWP) Integrated Drought Management Programme – Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP-CEE) workshop, held in Bucharest, Romania in mid-April 2015. The Meeting of the Ad-hoc group was enabled by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with financial assistance for members participation. The meeting gathered 6 experts of the DMCSEE Ad-hoc group from Romania, Hungary, Greece, FYRO Macedonia and Slovenia. On request of WMO Georgian delegation (representatives from Georgian Hydrometeorological Service), representatives of WMO presented their activities in the meeting and joined the discussion about possible future cooperation with regional activities. 
The meeting followed on the decisions of last ISC DMCSEE meeting in 2014 and addressed the challenges of operational work of DMCSEE. The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the review of the Ad-hoc group tasks and the progress made by the group from last ISC meeting in autumn 2014. The discussion on the implementation of DMCSEE products and data availability within DMCSEE was managed by chairman of the Ad-hoc group Mr. Szandor Szalai. The group agreed on the next steps and actions to move forward with the activities related to DMCSEE sustainable work. The second part of the meeting was joined with the IDMP project. It aimed at identifying the results of IDMP CEE project and ideas for IDMP CEE follow-up projects. It attempted to scope the interest of IDMP partners in developing a project proposals and framing them in different project calls applications. The workshop participants agreed to take further this work in the following topics: drought monitoring and forecast, drought risk assessment, drought management and drought cost estimation. A compilation of proposals was prepared. 

4th DMCSEE International Steering Committee & 3rd Global Water Partnership IDMP-CEE workshop

2-4 october 2014, budapest, hungary
The 4th International Steering Committee Meeting (ISC) of DMCSEE took place in the context of the 3rd Global Water Partnership (GWP) Integrated Drought Management Programme – Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP-CEE) workshop, held in Budapest, Hungary in early October 2014. Meeting was opened in the extended group, together with Global Water Partnership participants. At the session dedicated to International Steering Committee Meeting of DMCSEE, current composition of ISC group was presented and recent activities and future work of DMCSEE was discussed. On the second day of the event, both groups worked together in the workshop framework, which focused on following topics: drought monitoring and platforms, new ways of drought detection by remote sensing and drought management from national, regional and global perspectives with emphasize on good practices (United Kingdom, Romania and Greece). Final day of the event was dedicated to the Ad-hoc group in scope of DMCSEE where future work were also discussed. Members of the Ad-hoc group were proposed, confirmed and assigned by the fields of interests. The tasks determined by the International Steering Committee were divided into three groups and will help to improve the inventory conditions in the region. The ISC meeting was attended by 14 participants: ISC members from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia; permanent observers from World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and DMCSEE support staff.

International Conference on Promoting Weather and Climate Information for Agriculture and Food Security

7-9 april 2014, antalya, turkey
International Conference on Promoting Weather and Climate Information for Agriculture and Food Security, organised by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Turkish State Meteorological Service, was held from 7th-9th April 2014 in Antalya, Turkey in conjunction with the 16th session of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of WMO. Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe was introduced by members of the Slovenian Environment Agency hosting it, with presentation Agricultural drought monitoring: developments in Slovenia and in framework of the DMCSEE. In scope of this presentation drought information in DMCSEE region was also presented.  Topics presented by invited high-level speakers were divided to the following sessions:
  • Weather and Climate Information for Agriculture and Food Security: Regional Examples
  • Weather and Climate Services and Tools for the Farming Community
  • Provision of Weather and Climate Information for Sustainable Food Supplies
  • New Techniques for Better Use of Climate Information For Agricultural Decision Making
  • Global Framework of Climate Services for Agriculture and Food Security
Awareness of general and professional public in the field of drought is increasingly important task. Natural hazards, among them also the drought, are getting more and more frequent and threaten the security and sustainability of water and agricultural resources. Analysis of weather and climate data and their presentation to the end users are important for strategic and technological decisions that will improve sustainability and security of the global food production.

Integrated Drought Management Workshop for Turkey

4-5 march 2014, ankara, turkey
International workshop Integrated Drought Management Workshop for Turkey, organised by Turkish State Meteorological Office, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was held from 4th-5th March 2014 in Ankara, Turkey. Ankara hosted more than 150 participants from Turkey involved in the drought management at the national level and representatives from international organisations (USAID/OFDA, WMO, FAO, GWP, NDMC, NOAA), who participate at Integrated Drought Management Workshop for Turkey. At the workshop, which lasted two days, work of the Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE) was presented as well as its cooperation with project Global Water Partnership (GWP). Five sessions followed by opening ceremony and introductory speeches of high-level representatives. Participants were introduced with topics of Drought and Its Sectoral Impacts, The Importance of National Drought Policies: Requirements and Main Problems, Current Situations and Gaps in Drought Management in Turkey and Drought Monitoring and Forecasting. Workshop finished with round table discussions.

Workshop on drought remote sensing

11-15 november 2013, ljubljana, ljubljana, slovenia
Training workshop on application of remote sensing data for drought monitoring with emphasis on EUMETSAT LSA SAF products was organized by Slovenian Environment Agency/DMCSEE  with the financial support of World Meteorological Organization. Workshop was organized in the frame of the IPA/2012/290552 Project: “Building resilience to disasters in Western Balkans and Turkey”. Participants were experts in field of drought analyzing and monitoring from national meteorological services of SE Europe. Guest lecturers were Ms. Carla Sofia Barroso from Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics from Portugal and Mr. Nicholas Ghilain from Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium. There were also two home lecturers, Ms. Mateja Iršič Žibert from Slovenian Environment Agency and Mr. Boštjan Muri from Centre of excellence SPACE-SI.

Vegetation parameters and evapotranspiration, calculated from measurements of the geostationary satellite Meteosat and prepared in scope of Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility (LSA SAF) were presented. These products are suitable for drought analysis; however spatial resolution is low (pixel size cca. 4 km for our geographical latitude). The operational system of monitoring and determining drought at Slovenian Environment Agency was introduced. It is based on monitoring of current satellite vegetation images, prepared in the frame of LSA SAF and compared with averaged vegetation conditions calculated on the basis of archived values from the year 2006. In the training part of the workshop, practical directions for operating with LSA SAF products, such as data input and processing in GIS environment were given.

Final conference of the DMCSEE project

14-15 may 2012, ljubljana, slovenia
The conference titled, “Managing drought in Southeastern Europe” was organized as part of a four-year Transnational Coperation Programme for Southeastern Europe project (TCP), in the scope of which a 3-year project DMCSEE enabled great progress and work done in a close-knit partnership of the DMCSEE community. In May 2012, members of TPC project, invited experts, representatives from UNCCD, WMO, British Embassy and other participants from different countries in Southeastern Europe took part in a capacity building final conference focused on regional drought management. The conference brought together 66 participants from Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Netherlands, Croatia, Bulgaria, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, United Kingdom and Slovenia.

WMO, UNDP, DMCSEE Training Workshop on Drought Risk Assessment for the Agricultural Sector (Southeastern Europe)

20-24 september 2010, ljubljana, slovenia
The workshop was a component of the WMO project “Regional Cooperation in South East Europe for meteorological, hydrological and climate data management and exchange to support Disaster Risk Reduction”. Workshop was attended by 23 representatives of meteorological offices, agricultural and risk reduction institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Turkey . There were lecturers from WMO, UNDP, European Commission Research Centre (JRC) and institutions dealing with drought in the United States. From Slovenia there were representatives as speakers from Biotechnical Faculty, University of Nova Gorica and Environmental Agency of Slovenia. The main topics were drought data, analysis and mapping, drought risk assessment in the agricultural sector and disaster risk modelling and mapping for public decision making and at the end there were reviews of national capacities for these activities. There was presented the methodology for the systematic risk assessment and management of natural disasters (Systematic Inventory and Evaluation for Risk Assessment - Sierra).

Drought and Water Overuse in Europe (EEA Report)

march 2009
The European Environment Agency report 'Water resources across Europe – confronting water scarcity and drought' highlights that while southern Europe continues to experience the greatest water scarcity problems, water stress is growing in parts of the north too. Moreover, climate change will cause the severity and frequency of droughts to increase in the future, exacerbating water stress, especially during the summer months.

In all sectors, including agriculture, water should be priced according to the volume used. Governments should implement drought management plans more extensively and focus on risk rather than crisis management.   A combination of crop selection and irrigation methods can substantially improve agricultural water efficiency if backed-up with farmer advisory programmes. National and EU funds including the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy can play an important role in promoting efficient and sustainable water use in agriculture.