Jordan-Palestine Joint Workshop on Strengthening National Capacities to Manage Water Scarcity and Drought Management Plans in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Description of Workshop Organizers and Participants
The National Capacity Development Training of Trainers (TOTs) Workshop and Field visits are organized by UN-DESA in partnership with the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHEAM) and the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action (IDfA): “Water for Life” 2005-2015. The TOT was held at IAMZ-CIHEAM in Zaragoza, Spain from 6 to 9 May, 2014.
This training session brought key policy makers and national stakeholders together from the five pilot countries (Yemen, Jordan, State of Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco), along with experts of extensive regional and international experience in drought planning and management.
The capacity building project’s overall objective is to strengthen the capacities of national planners, policy makers and stakeholders in water-scarce and transition settings countries in West Asia/North Africa, and to enhance their effectiveness in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of mitigation and preparedness drought management strategies.
The National Capacity Development Training of Trainers (TOTs) workshop and field visits aim at training key national drought management officials in the pilot countries and strengthening their knowledge of the latest WS&D management guidelines, methodologies, tools and best management practices, in particular the Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning Guidelines (MEDROPLAN). The objectives are:
- To assess the WS&D management plans in the West Asia and North Africa region;
- To review the latest development and the challenges of the pilot countries in the area of WS&D;
- To adapt the MEDROPLAN guidelines, methodologies and approaches to each pilot country;
- To provide direction to the pilot countries’ efforts in developing and implementing WS&D Management plans.
The project will be implemented in six pilot countries:
TOTs Methodologies and Mechanisms
There is a partnership with the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) due to its specialized expertise and key role as the project coordinator during the development of MEDROPLAN, and their role in arranging the initial guideline trainings in the region
The key reference for the TOT is the MEDROPLAN (Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning). The purpose of the MEDROPLAN Guidelines is to provide Mediterranean countries with a framework for an effective and systematic approach to prevent and/or minimize the impacts of drought on people.
MEDROPLAN contains a planning framework and five main components:
- The planning framework defines the local, regional and national purpose for developing drought planning.
- The organizational component assists the user of the guidelines in understanding the institutional and legal framework within which the drought plan will be designed and implemented, as well as to define an efficient organizational structure to implement the plan in an efficient manner.
- The methodological component defines the technical approach and the type of studies to be carried out in order to establish the linkage between the drought phenomena and the management actions.
- The operational component identifies both the long and short-term actions that can be implemented to prevent and mitigate drought impacts.
- The public review component presents a methodology to revise the application of the previous components when developing a drought plan.
This presentation summarizes the current measures for drought management in the Ebro River Basin system, located in North-eastern Spain. It discusses the various entities that comprise the management system, legal frameworks, the drought plan and the river basin management plan.
This presentation discusses the indicators used to identify and characterize drought using various variables, indexes, thresholds, and indices. There are four drought thresholds in the Ebro Basin: normality, pre-alert, alert, and emergency. This presentation discusses the ways in which variables are employed to identify drought and the characteristics of proper drought indices.
This presentation outlines the five components of the MEDROPLAN guidelines. These guidelines help to formulate drought management plans based on a risk management approach rather than a reactive crisis approach. MEDROPLAN is a technical document that can be easily understood by a non-technical audience and serves as a key reference for developing Drought Management plans in West Asia and North Africa.
This presentation provides a framework for thinking about the socio-economic impacts of drought, discusses the economic impacts on various sectors and scales, th economic instruments used to encourage best practices, the virtual water trade, new irrigation concepts for the 21st century, and the role of drought insurance.
This presentation discusses the ways in which proactive economic and social instruments can mitigate the effects of drought. It describes key economic instruments such as water pricing, trading, licensing, subsidies, insurance, and also provides examples of various awareness campaigns that raise awareness of drought and encourage sustainable water and farming practices.
This presentation discusses the benefits of Spanish agricultural insurance programs, a private contract between the farmer and the insurance company that is subsidized and supervised by the government. It discusses coordination and surveillance, financial flows, advantages and limitations to insurance schemes, and how to track and manage drought conditions.
This presentation discusses the Spanish insurance system, which is a system for covering damage caused to agricultural productions and forestry as a result of unusual changes in weather conditions, diseases and accidents, and/or forest fires. It describes the four key aspects of the Spanish insurance system, the agroinsurane framework, a description of AGROSEGURO and its covered risk, and advantages of the system for the public administration system, the insurer, and the producers.
This presentation describes the ways in which AGROSEGURO analyses and insures against drought in Spain.
This presentation hi-lights several key elements of drought implementation protocol. The protocol should be comprised of efficient organization (committees, public participation, etc.), a systematic toolbox (clear procedures for drought recognition, preparedness, and mitigation), and a recovery period with a post-drought audit to improve readiness for the next drought. The presentation concludes with information from the 2014 survey of Water Shortage Preparedness on US utilities, which contains helpful tracking variables to be applied to other studies.
Mission trip research is conducted by Xiaoshuai Liu, a PhD student from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Country-Specific Workshop Presentations
This presentation provides hydrologic information about Jordan, its current drought management system, and the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of proactive drought management.
This presentation discusses the national drought context in Morocco, drought impacts in Morocco by various sectors, current drought management, and constraints and further need of the system.
This presentation discusses Palestine’s current water resources, the main challenges of water resources in Palestine, the impact of climate change on Palestine, impacts on ground water, surface water, and the Dead Sea, new water sector strategy measures, and the need for a national drought management plan.
This presentation discusses the Tunisian organizations and institutions related to drought, the climate of Tunisia, water resources of Tunisia, current drought management, institutional mapping, legal aspects, drought management, and examples of past droughts in Tunisia.
This presentation discusses how food, water, fuel, and financial crises create civil unrest in Yemen. It also discusses current and projected water scenarios in Yemen, discusses the top 3 water problems for the country (aquifer exhaustion, lack of secure bulk water supplies, low access to water and sanitation), and an organizational chart of current institutions.
June 2013 in Beirut, Lebanon
The two-day expert group and project inception meeting was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The meeting aimed to gather information, exchange experiences, review existing methodologies and identify critical gaps in pre-impact and preparedness drought management planning in water-scarce and in-transition-settings countries in Western Asia and North Africa. It also aimed to identify and foster coordination with recent and ongoing regional and national water scarcity and drought management initiatives under implementation by the United Nations partner organizations in the region. In doing so, the project aimed to build upon and support these regional efforts and establish an Expert Advisory Group, which will develop criteria and recommendations for selecting the pilot interventions, discuss implementation arrangements and set the way forward.
The primary objectives of the Expert Group and Project Inception Meeting were:
- Examine existing knowledge, practices and critical gaps in pre-impact and preparedness drought management in water-scarce countries in transition settings in Western Asia and North Africa;
- Identify recent and ongoing regional and national initiatives on water scarcity and drought management being undertaken by the United Nations partner organizations in the region;
- Establish an Expert Advisory Group to guide the methodological work and key elements of project implementation;
- Develop criteria and recommendations for selecting the countries that will be targeted for pilot interventions and assistance under the project; and solicit initial expressions of interest by the participating countries; and
- Discuss and update the project’s work plan, implementation arrangements with the United Nations partner organizations and agree upon next steps.
Discussion during the meeting focused on the following key elements affecting the formulation and achievement of drought management policies, as well as the gaps and challenges preventing their effective integration in the region:
- Impact assessment and vulnerability assessment methodologies;
- Drought monitoring and early warning systems, which combine multiple climate, water, soil and crop parameters, as well as socio-economic and environmental indicators;
- Drought preparedness and risk management;
- Emergency response and relief measures; and
- Water scarcity and drought conflict prevention measures.
The agenda of the meeting covered the following topics:
- Knowledge and practices in the area of pre-impact and preparedness drought management;
- Critical gaps in the area of pre-impact and preparedness drought management in water-scarce countries in transition settings in Western Asia and North Africa;
- Recent and ongoing regional and national water scarcity and drought management initiatives by the United Nations partner organization in the region;
- Country-level water scarcity and drought management initiatives, programs and experiences;
- Successful and applicable models of pre-impact and preparedness drought management policies;
- Tools and methodologies for the effective integration of pre-impact and preparedness best practices in national drought management policies;
- Country-level pilot project planning;
- Project work plan and implementation arrangements;
- Decisions, recommendations and next steps.
This inception expert group meeting brought together around 25 leading experts and policy-makers with experience in national drought management policies and plans in Western Asia and Northern Africa. Participants included:
- National experts and policy makers engaged in drought management from water-scarce countries in transition settings located in Western Asia and Northern Africa;
- National experts from other countries with successful and applicable experiences in pre-impact and preparedness drought management policies and programs;
- Experts from regional and international institutions involved in drought management in the region;
- Experts from the United Nations partner agencies serving Western Asia and Northern African countries.
The Regional countries comprising this project include:
- State of Palestine
- Country Intervention on Drought- Jordan
- Country Intervention on Drought- Libya
- Country Intervention on Drought- Sudan
- Country Intervention on Drought- Tunisia
- Country Intervention on Drought- Yemen
- Drought EGM Working Draft Background Paper 21 June 2013
- Addressing Drought in the Context of the UNCCD
- Drought Preparedness and Sustainable Agriculture- ICARDA
- Lessons Learned in Drought Management- FAO
- RCOFs, RCCs and Early Warning Systems- WMO
- Sub-regional Program on Drought and Land Management- UNEP
- AWSS Action Plan- ACSAD
- Drought Management Guidelines- CIHEAM
- Overview AWSS Action Plan- ACSAD
- RICCAR Overview- ESCWA
- Drought and Land Degradation Risk - ACSAD
A technical study conducted by:
Wenxiu Sun: Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca NY USA 14850
Sami Areikat: Division of Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, New York NY USA 10017
The study is conducted under UN-DESA capacity development project entitled “Strengthening National Capacities to Manage Water Scarcity and Drought in North Africa and West Asia”. The project’s main objective is to strengthen the capacities of national planners, policy makers and stake-holders in water-scarce countries in transition settings in West Asia/North Africa to enhance their effectiveness in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of preparedness and proactive drought management strategies. These drought strategies will contribute to building resilience and preparedness as well as reduce the risk, mitigate the severity, and speed up the response to severe droughts by reducing water scarcity and competition, enhancing water security, and preventing water conflict.
Establishing and operating early warning and drought monitoring systems are key components of preparedness national drought management policy. In terms of capacity building, the most obvious aspect is actual training of staff on how to access and use the available static and dynamic geospatial information, and it is also important that the executive management and political levels decision makers will be aware of the tools and information that are available. This study focuses on the methodologies about establishing the drought early warning systems in the target area by giving a general picture of the drought monitoring and early warning systems operated by various countries and organizations to keep the national policy makers in the target area informed of what are available for them to learn from or use and help them be well prepared for the drought.
- Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to Achieve Integrated Approaches to Water Scarcity, Agriculture and Energy for West Asia and North Africa
- The Analysis, Mapping, and Identification of Critical Gaps in Pre-Impact and Preparedness Drought Management Planning in Water-Scarce and In-Transition-Setting Countries in West Asia and North Africa
- Technical Report on Progress for the Implementation of the National Drought Management Plan for Palestine 2014
- Developing and Implementing a Country-Specific National Drought Management plan in Jordan Working Progress Report 2014
- Techincal Report on The Way to the Implementation of a Drought Management Plan in Morocco: Review of the Past Activities and Planned Activities for 2015
- Workshop Report: National Workshop for Building National Capacities for Water Scarcity and Drought Management
- Technical Report on The Planning and Coordination Process to Develop and Implement a National Drought Management Plan in Morocco
- Technical Report on TOT Discussion and Adaptation of MEDROPLAN/University of Nebraska Guidelines
- MEDROPLAN Website
- MEDROPLAN Report: Drought Management Guidelines
- MEDROPLAN Report: Examples of Drought Management in the Mediterranean
- National Drought Mitigation Centre at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (NDMC) Website
- U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) Website
About the Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning (MEDROPLAN)
The Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning (MEDROPLAN) came from a project funded through the Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for Local Water Management (MEDA Water) of the European Commission. It was a collaboration between scientists and stakeholders from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia. The guidelines are primarily designed to address the following two issues: how water management can be improved in order to minimize the risk of drought impacts by promoting drought preparedness; and how research can help to develop innovative institutional arrangements and decision-support tools through systematic approaches to drought risk management.
About the United States Drought Monitor (USDM)
The United States Drought Monitor (USDM) was developed in 1999 by a partnership between The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The National Drought Mitigation Centre (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The USDM is a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the NOAA, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the NDMC. It is released every Thursday at 8:30am EST. The map is based on measurements of climatic, hydrologic, and soil conditions, as well as reported impacts and observations from over 350 contributors located around the United States. The USDM is thus both a quantitative and qualitative product that may serve as a model to help develop other drought monitoring systems in other countries.
About Chapter 5 of University of Nebraska USDM Report: "Drought Preparedness Planning: Building Institutional Capacity" This document encourages a proactive risk-based management approach to droughts, namely by developing a national drought action program. It also discusses the planning and policy constraints due to unique characteristics of droughts (such as slow onset, confusion over definitions and local variability). Additionally, the document discusses a methodology of drought assessment developed by Donald A. Wilhite. This methodology emphasizes risk management and has provided a set of guidelines on the key elements of drought planning that can be adapted to any level of government or geographical setting. This process is meant to be used as a template to reduce societal vulnerability to drought.
About University of Nebraska and FAO Report: "The Near East Drought Planning Manual: Guidelines for Drought Mitigation and Preparedness Planning"
This document discusses the effects of drought in the Near East Region, emphasizing the need for proactive drought management that integrates drought planning and sustainable development. It explains drought concepts, definitions, its qualities and effects, and provides six key steps for formulating a drought plan: (1) Creating political momentum and authority, (2) Coordinating strategic drought planning, (3) Fostering involvement and developing common understandings, (4) Investigating drought monitoring, risk, and management options, (5) Writing a drought plan, and (6) Implementing a drought plan. It also provides a case study of drought planning in the Islamic Republic of Iran and describes drought planning and risk management resources, such as the United Nations System and international networks and research centers.
About United Nations Scientific Report: "Best Practices on National Drought Management Policy"
This UN scientific document lists the best practices for national drought management policies. The document argues that drought-prone nations should implement pre-impact government programs that are directed towards drought risk reduction. Currently, most governments employ post-impact interventions (a reactive approach), but this is a flawed approach, as resources are allocated less efficiently and future vulnerabilities are not reduced since behaviour changes to reduce vulnerabilities are not promoted. The document discusses the key best practices for drought management policy, including aspects such as standard approaches to assessments, effective drought monitoring, and preparedness measures.
Sustainable Development Officer
Water, Energy and Capacity Development Branch
Division for Sustainable Development, UN -DESA
United Nations, Room S-2651
405 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 212-963-7844
Fax. +1 917-367-3391
National CoordinatorMr. Ali HAYAJNEH
UN-DESA Project National Coordinator in Jordan
Ministry of Water & Irrigation (MWI)
Water Resources Studies Directorate
Tel: +962 775 643711
Office: +962 6 5652267, ex. 1110
Mr. Loay FROUKH
Key National Team Members
Mr. Adnan ZAWAHREH
Mr. Mohammad ALSHAWABKE
Ms. Eman BANI HASSAN
State of Palestine
Mr. Deeb ABDELGAFOUR
Mr. Ziad A. MIMI
Key National Team Members
Mr. Yousef ABU ASAD
Palestinian Meteorological Office
Environment Quality Authority (EQA)
Mobile: +970 599 257513
Office: +970 224 03103
Ms. Ibtisam ABU-HAIJA
Mr. Mhamed BELGHITI
Ms. Yasmina IMAN
Key National Team Members
Ms. Nabila GOURROUM
Mr. Said ZAROUALI
Mr. Mohamed WAHBA
Mr. Sayed Ahmed A. ELMAGAZY
Sidi Ould Mohamed LEMINE
Mr. Mohamed Yahya CHAHE
- Increased use of tools, techniques and components of ex-ante drought management strategies, including early warning systems and drought vulnerability maps for national planners, policy makers and stakeholders to monitor and forecast weather patterns.
- Increased number of national experts in countries in transition settings who can use the tools and techniques to develop conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management plans.
- Active participation and commitment of all stakeholders in the project's pilot countries.
The following are the main activities, which should be completed in order to successfully carry out the project.
- Analyze and map out existing knowledge and practices and identify critical gaps in the area of ex-ante drought management in water-scarce countries in transition settings in West Asia/North Africa. The analysis focuses on the following topics:
1) Current capacity of national planners and policy makers in West-Asian and North-African countries to prevent conflicts associated with water scarcity and drought from escalating into violent confrontation and/or exacerbating conflicts that derive from other sources.
2) The existing resources and capacities of drought monitoring and early warning systems in the region.
3) The existing resources and capacities of climate information and dissemination systems in the region.
4)Experience with drought risk reduction programs, including micro-finance and index-based insurance in the region. Other ex-ante measures and programs include the application of drought resistant agriculture, and water resources conservation and management plans.
- Convene an expert advisory group meeting to discuss the findings of the analytical report, gather further information and assess experiences and statuses of methodologies for conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management for countries in transition settings in West Asia and North Africa.
- Produce a guidance notes package on conflict-sensitive ex-ante water scarcity and drought management strategies for national planners, policymakers and stake-holders, designed to increase the capacity of national planners and policymakers in countries in transition settings in the West Asia and North Africa region, in order to formulate and implement long-term water scarcity and drought management strategies and prevent conflicts associated with water scarcity and drought from escalating into violent confrontation and/or exacerbating conflicts that derive from other sources. The Guidance Notes Package shall include, but may not be limited to, the following parts:
1.A compilation of best practices, resources and expertise resulting from North-South and South-South cooperation and partnerships.
2.Methodologies for improvement of drought forecasting through the establishment of appropriate drought monitoring and early warning systems.
3.Guidance on practical information and dissemination systems geared towards providing updated information to farmers, water and energy utilities, municipalities, and local communities, so that they can take the appropriate steps to cope with the drought events, including actions to manage water stocks.
4.A guide for the implementation of drought risk reduction programs including micro-finance and index-based insurance in the region.
5.Implementation of drought resistant agriculture and improving access to drought-tolerant crop varieties that is essential for agricultural production and food security in drought-affected regions.
6.Conflict-sensitive water resource conservation and management strategies to help mitigate the effects of drought for countries in transition settings in the region.
-Design a training framework and produce training modules based on the guidance notes.
-Include the training modules on the dedicated project webpage on DESA-DSD and DESA TF website, along with partner organizations, which will also serve as a forum for information sharing, learning and networking among peers.
-Evaluation of the project.
-Consultation and selection of six water-scarce countries in transition settings in West Asia/North Africa.
For each of the six (6) pilot countries :
1.Conduct a national assessment and consultation mission (as part of combined two (2) regional assessment missions that cover the six (6) pilot countries (One mission to West Asia and one mission to North Africa) and develop a pilot-country implementation plan with the UN and national partners.
2.Conduct country-specific analytical studies for each pilot country on water scarcity and drought that link to vulnerability, poverty, and water conflict, and make recommendations for conflict-sensitive ex-ante water scarcity and drought management strategies in the pilot country;
3.Adapt the training materials for the guidance notes package on conflict-sensitive ex-ante water scarcity and drought management strategies to the specific needs of each pilot country;
4.Conduct stakeholders consultation and training workshops on conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management for national planners, policymakers and stakeholders in the transition settings pilot country;
5.Hold national interventions, such as working group meetings with the national planners, stakeholder consultations or other strategically targeted activities to brainstorm ways to develop country-specific conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management action plans.
Create awareness, build capacity and facilitate networking through convening of a West Asia/North Africa regional meeting with a view to sensitizing countries in transition settings to developing country-specific conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management strategies.
Analysis of partnerships for future projects.Expected Accomplishments
The project has two expected accomplishments:
-Increased awareness and knowledge of tools and methodologies for national planners, policymakers and stakeholders in transition settings’ countries to develop conflict-sensitive exante drought management plans.
-Increased capacity of institutions in project’s pilot countries in West Asia and North Africa to develop and implement conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management plans.More Articles
PROJECT STRATEGY: OBJECTIVE, EXPECTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS, INDICATORS, MAIN ACTIVITIES
Mr. Hassabo Mohamed AL HAJJ
Mr. Salaheldin ABBOUD
Mr. Musa’ed M. AKLAN
Mr. Ahmed Mohamed A. ALDERWISH
Key National Team Members
Mr. Ahmed H. AL-SHIBAMI
Mr. Abdulkarem AL-SABRI
Mr. Slah NASRI
Mr. Issam NOUIRI
Key National Team Members
Mr. Mohamed TAHRANI
Assitant Director, DGI
Department of Water Resources
Ministry of Agriculture
Mobile: +216 976 21840
Water scarcity, drought and the efforts to maintain and build peace are intricately connected. The interaction of these three elements remains the focal point of this project. Drought does not inevitably lead to conflict; however, by causing poverty, marginalization and migration, drought creates the conditions that make violence an attractive option for disempowered communities. Drought may require families to break up, as young farmers either move to the city in search of work or join militias as promising outlets to poverty; the latter option adding to social and economic instability and the potential for violent conflict. The economic impacts of drought are a fundamental explanation for these behaviours. As farmers and their communities become desperate, they are often recruited by government or reactionary militias. Marginalized agriculturalists are often cited as one such group that is often recruited to fight proxy wars where they are able to raid cattle. This also applies to nomads. Civil stability is then compromised through the deterioration of social groups and communities. Drought can also lead to migration, which in turn can lead to conflict over settlement and further social instability and fragmentation.
Water scarcity and drought have severe adverse implications for sustainable development in countries and regions affected by transition settings. As climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of droughts, developing areas have been affected by decreases in agricultural production, grain shortages, and increases in food insecurity, famine, and loss of human life. These issues not only affect human livelihood, but also discourage investment in the agricultural sector, hinder economic development, obstruct peace-building efforts, and carry the risk of invoking repeated violent conflicts. Sustainable development challenges associated with the prevention and management of drought are also the focus of chapter 12 of Agenda 21 and Chapter IV of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (agreed upon at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development) titled “Protecting and Managing the Natural Resource Base of Economic and Social Development”, which also details the responses to drought.
It is well documented that drought has become more frequent in most of the Arab countries in transition settings, located in arid and semi-arid areas of North Africa and West Asia where rainfall is low and its distribution is highly variable, especially over the last three decades. This region is also host to various local, national and international conflicts and violence. Poverty, water and food insecurity, and inequality in the Arab world are much higher than income levels would suggest. Major causes for these socio-economic challenges are linked to water scarcity and ongoing conflicts. The series of protests and demonstrations across the Arab world known as the "Arab Spring" underscores the importance of quickly and effectively responding to these challenges. This is especially true considering the current and predicted effects of ongoing climate change, as countries in transition settings are the most vulnerable and disproportionately suffer from water scarcity due to their lack of built infrastructure, as well as human and social capital.
The available water per capita in some Arab countries is already below the severe poverty level. The increase of frequency and intensity of droughts over the last two decades has resulted in the reduction of grain and livestock production. This has affected the price and increased the imports of agricultural products, especially cereals, in many countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, etc. Other consequences of drought are land and water resource degradation and loss of biodiversity due to overgrazing and deforestation
Current national drought management strategies in countries in transition settings in West Asia and North Africa are ex-post (reactive) and tend to emphasize the emergency relief that takes effect after or during a drought event. These reactive emergency responses often do not incorporate methods that support water conflict prevention, and are designed to meet the urgent needs of vulnerable populations. Long-term drought management plans and risk reduction strategies that implement action before drought events take place are often overlooked due to the following key factors:
1.Lack of capacity to monitor and forecast droughts.
2.Lack of technical knowledge to implement ex-ante adaptation strategies.
3.Lack of information sharing between stakeholders at different levels.
Drought not only hinders development efforts and threatens the livelihood of communities in arid and semi-arid areas of West Asia and North Africa, but also increases the risk of violent conflict over water between sectors or different groups of users in the same sector. Similarly, water conflict can involve different parties: public-public, public-private and private-private. When water becomes scarce and unavailable, social frameworks break down and populations can resort to violence in order to meet basic needs. The central government’s response to drought-affected regions can, to some extent, determine where and when conflict breaks out. Delayed aid can often create feelings of marginalization and alienation among the affected groups, and these communities may form different factions and rebel groups to address their frustration with the central government. In such contexts, conflict may erupt among the rebel groups, and between the rebels and the government in power.
Figure 1 is a problem tree diagram showing the cause-effect relationship between the problem conditions associated with water scarcity and droughts and the subsequent major threat multipliers that lead to conflict and violence in countries in transition settings in West Asia and North Africa.
The stakeholders considered are those actors who are directly or indirectly affected by drought and water scarcity, and who could affect the outcome of a decision-making process regarding that issue or are affected by it. Stakeholders’ active participation as water users is also an important factor and efficient mechanism for water conflict prevention and resolution.
For effective project implementation, it is essential to understand and consider stakeholders and ensure that they are engaged and understand long-term options for dealing with drought. It is important to recognize that multiple factors define the groups of stakeholders, and consideration of these groups is a necessary component of analysis. Proper analysis should account for each stakeholder’s interests, influential mechanisms for information sharing, motives for collaboration, potential risks, key informants for all project phases and any obstacles to involvement.
To strengthen the capacities of national planners, policy makers and stakeholders in water-scarce and in transition settings countries in West Asia and North Africa, and to enhance their effectiveness in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of pre-impact and preparedness drought management strategies.
The project responds to a call for urgent action from the Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development on taking effective measures to deal with drought and water scarcity, as well as developing disaster risk reduction and community resilience through such means as technology transfer, capacity building, regional support initiatives and extension training programmes. It also serves to forward the Secretary General’s Five-Year Action Agenda, which highlights support for countries in transition as one of the top five priorities for the next five years. In addition, it responds to decisions taken by the seventeenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17) on policy options and practical measures on drought that threaten the livelihoods of millions of people. CSD-17 called for effective drought management considering social, economic and environmental aspects. The project is also in line with the 2009 Report of the Secretary-General on Drought that highlighted the nexus between water scarcity and drought and the dislocation, ethnic tensions and disputes that may erupt over water use.
Within this document we employ the terminology “in transition settings countries”. At the time of this project’s launch, there is no concrete consensus on the definition for this term, and thus we will define it as follows: In transition settings “refers to a shift in focus and activities [within a country] from relief to development-oriented activities, or may broadly refer to a transition from conflict to peace, with varying phases depending on the institutional lens or discourse being used”.
The project will be executed by DESA/DSD in coordination with DESA’s Task Force on Conflict, Disaster and Development and close cooperation with the UN partners including UNEP, UNCCD, WMO, FAO, UNISDR and UNDP. The UN partners will serve on the project’s Advisory Group, take part in developing the project’s conflict-sensitive tools and methodologies and participate in the capacity development and engagement activities within the pilot countries. Two regional commissions, ESCWA and ECA, will support regional awareness and networking within the participating countries in transition settings. The project will also be coordinated closely with the UN-EU partnership project on sustainable management of natural resources (under the auspices of the UN Inter-Agency Framework for Coordination on Preventive Action) and the UNDG Task Group on Natural Resources.
The project will aim for close coordination and partnership with key government offices, institutions, and national ministries, including ministries of the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture, Economic Development, and Planning. The project will also emphasize communication and transparency between all stakeholders outlined in Section 3.2 (Stakeholder analysis and capacity assessment).
State of Palestine
For more information, please see Contacts
The project will be monitored by the Division for Sustainable Development (DESA) through established indicators elaborated for each of the expected accomplishments set out.
Before closing the project by 31 December 2015, an external independent evaluation will be carried out in order to evaluate results and derive lessons learned from implementing the project to strengthen the capacities and enhance effectiveness in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of conflict-sensitive ex-ante drought management strategies in future work.
The proposed indicators of achievement are:
The project’s main objective is to strengthen the capacities of national planners, policy makers and stakeholders in water-scarce and in transition settings countries in West Asia/North Africa, and to enhance their effectiveness in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of conflict-sensitive ex-ante (proactive) drought management strategies.
The project will start with a study that analyzes and maps existing knowledge and practices as well as identifies critical gaps in the area of ex-ante (proactive) drought management in water-scarce countries in transition settings in West Asia/North Africa. An expert advisory group meeting will be held to discuss the findings of the study, gather further information, assess experiences and provide directions to the project.
A project milestone will include selecting six (6) representative pilot countries in West Asia/North Africa. The countries to be selected need to demonstrate and express a high degree of interest by the national and local governments. They must also be representative of different water scarcity and drought challenges, regional socio-economic and institutional characteristics and water conflict trends and causes as well as maintain an acceptable level of recovery and stability.
A national assessment and consultation mission to each of the candidate pilot countries will be conducted to build a project team and develop a pilot-country implementation plan in consultation with the partners and stakeholders. Following this stage, activities and actions will be taken to make simultaneous progress toward the project’s two expected accomplishments.
The project plans to work with and strengthen the capacities of national planners, policy makers and stake-holders in six (6) water-scarce countries in transition settings in West Asia/North Africa and to enhance their effectiveness in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of conflict-sensitive ex-ante (proactive) drought management strategies. The project will aim for close coordination with key government offices, institutions, and ministries, including ministries of the Environment, Natural Resources, Economic Development, and Planning, and for open communication and transparency between all stakeholders. Effective implementation for project success requires a proper analysis of these stakeholders, the conditions of drought, and project objectives so that the right solutions can be focused on and implemented within future training workshops.
The purpose of this project is to support moving from ex-post (reactive) government and international assistance to sustainable ex-ante (proactive) drought solutions in countries in transition settings in WEST ASIA AND NORTH AFRICA. The project contributions include strengthening the capacity of national planners, policy makers and stakeholders to develop, implement and monitor conflict sensitive ex-ante (proactive) drought management action plans by increasing their awareness, understanding and access to key components that include:
-Drought monitoring and early warning systems
-Characterization and mapping of drought vulnerability
-Drought mitigation polices and measures that focus on water conservation and exploiting alternative sources of water such as rainwater harvesting, water reuse, recycling, and reclamation.Drought risk reduction programs including micro-finance and index-based insurance
-Relief and rehabilitation measures
-Water scarcity and drought conflict prevention measures
Figure 2 shows a range of ex-post and ex-ante strategies and an indication of what this shift would look like from a policy perspective.
In practical terms, awareness, understanding, access and application of the above key components through capacity development activities will enable national planners, policy makers and stakeholders to formulate and implement conflict-sensitive ex-ante (proactive) drought management action plans that will build resilience and preparedness, reduce the risk as well as mitigate the severity and increase the speed of response to severe drought. In parallel with increasing livelihood opportunities and decreasing vulnerability these measures help to prevent water conflict by reducing water scarcity and competition as illustrated in the following objective tree (Figure 3).