The event was organised by the SAARC Disaster Management Centre with support from the UN-SPIDER programme of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs and International Water Management Institute (IWMI), one of the 26 regional support offices of UN-SPIDER, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The workshop was attended by over 25 participants from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Drought is one of the most devastating natural disasters in the world. South Asia has faced several droughts in recent decades and 50 major droughts reported Since 1990 and affecting a population of over 750 million and economic damages estimated at 7 billion USD. Droughts are projected to be more frequent and prolonged in the arid and semiarid areas of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Being able to accurately identify and monitor drought is therefore of considerable importance. Thus, monitoring the severity and its impact on drought is critical for drought risk mitigation by policymakers in improving food security and enhancing livelihood among smallholder farmers. In South Asia, traditionally the station-wise weather data were used to derive meteorological drought indices for drought monitoring and early warning. But sparse meteorological networks and a lack of timely availability of weather data always hinder the accurate and timely monitoring of regional drought.
The workshop discussed how Earth observation and meteorological data along with ground data can be used to assess drought risks well in time, provide early warning and provide training on the South Asia Drought Monitoring System developed by the IWMI.
The South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS) developed with the help of key stakeholders of South Asian countries was launched during the workshop. The participants were briefed about the capabilities of SADMS in drought monitoring and early warning and the training was offered to institutionalize the SADMS at the national level. Please click the below weblink for details of the launch of the SADMS: https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/2022/09/iwmi-launches-the-south-asia-drought-monitoring-system-sadms/
Through this programme, UN-SPIDER continued its engagement with the countries in the South Asia region to promote the use of space-based and geospatial information in supporting the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.