Countries in Central Asia are highly vulnerable to drought and sand and dust storms (SDS), particularly outside high-elevation areas where the climate is mostly semi-arid to arid. Most areas in Central Asia see dry and continental climate, with hot summers. Strong winds frequently occur at the end of dry season and are met with sparse vegetation cover.
Recognizing the increasing risk of drought and sand and dust storms (SDS), UNCCD Parties adopted decisions on addressing the negative impact of drought [decisions 29/COP.13 and 23/COP.14] and SDS [decisions 31/COP.13 and 23/COP.14].
In collaboration with various partners, the UNCCD secretariat has developed drought and SDS policy advocacy frameworks, provided support for countries to develop national drought plans, methodology frameworks, and tools, including the Drought Toolbox, compiled the SDS Compendium and SDS source base-map in assisting country Parties to enhance the preparedness and resilience to drought and SDS.
Against this backdrop, the proposed activity will focus on supporting countries in Central Asia to develop and implement risk reduction strategies for SDS and drought at national and regional levels, while mobilizing experts, partnerships and resources. This will facilitate a multi-stakeholder coordination processes including government agencies, academia, practitioners and local communities. With a comprehensive SDS and drought risk reduction strategy, including monitoring and early warning systems, Central Asian countries will have strengthened regional advocacy and capacity to effectively enhance preparedness and resilience to these environmental disasters by focusing on pre-impact governance in line with national disaster risk reduction and mitigation and national land and water management plans.
More information about the UNCCD and the project could be found at the UNCCD website (https://www.unccd.int/conventionregionsasia/regional-approaches-combat-drought-sand-and-dust-storms-central-asia)
The ultimate goal of the project is to enable an environment for coordinated action and data sharing at national and regional levels and informed decision-making in addressing drought and SDS risks in Central Asian Region. To this end, a Regional Drought Risk Management Strategy for Central Asia (under Component 1) and a Regional Framework and Strategy to Combat Sand and Dust Storms (under Component 2) will be developed.
Component I: Regional Project on Drought Risk Management Strategies for Central Asia
The objective of the Regional Drought Risk Management Strategy for Central Asia is to build on the momentum generated by the UNCCD and establish an effective strategy for drought awareness, preparedness, planning and management for decision-makers in Central Asian countries. Mapping of drought vulnerability will also be carried out. A comprehensive assessment of the National Drought Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation plans will serve as a base of the strategic document for further uptake by the UNCCD Parties in the Central Asian Region for planning and disaster risk mitigation. The strategy aims to achieve the long-term objective of countries in the region to develop technical and institutional capacity to manage droughts and other natural hazards in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner.
Regional Working Group formed;
Regional drought risk management and mitigation strategy compiled;
Inventory of national drought management policies and strategies created;
Regional Capacity Building workshop held;
Regional Expert Group Meetings (EGMs) conducted;
Drought risk vulnerability mapped;
Grant proposal conceptualized.
Component II: Regional Framework and Strategy to Combat Sand and Dust Storms
A comprehensive approach is needed to address negative impacts of SDS across sectors in Central Asia. Participation of and coordination among relevant sectors, ministries, and stakeholders in turn is imperative for developing and implementing a comprehensive risk reduction plan at national and regional levels. Built on a clear understanding of SDS, inclusive policy allows governments and society to strengthen adaptive capacities and enhance resilience to SDS risks, reducing vulnerability to this recurrent disaster. Within the scope of this project, national working groups will conduct a risk assessment, source mapping and then develop a comprehensive national strategy and action plan. The outcome of the national activities will offer input to a Regional Draft Framework and Strategy. National Working Groups (NWGs) will be meeting to discuss the report template, required data and schedule or work in coordination and consultation with CAREC and UNCCD.
With this, the Regional Framework and Strategy to Combat Sand and Dust Storms will build on the comprehensive national strategy and action plans, demonstrating national priorities in this context. National plans will be developed by the national multi-disciplinary expert teams in close collaboration with UNCCD National Focal Points. The role of CAREC at the national level, in consultation with the UNCCD national focal ministries and the UNCCD secretariat, is to draw up and ensure use of a common methodology of each NWG to guarantee regional focus in SDS matters and to safeguard, to the extent possible, that national activities are coordinated and consistent with the overall objectives and common methodologies used by the NAPs of participating countries.
National Working Group formed (by appointed national implementation agency);
National kick-off meetings coordinated;
Vulnerability maps produced;
Comprehensive national SDS plan developed;
Regional mid-term strategy for SDS management compiled.
Project manager: Rustam Issakhojayev
Project coordinator: Jamal Annagylyjova