The UNCCD Drought Toolbox: An Instrument for Managing Drought Effectively

Publication date: 27 January 2021
The UNCCD Drought Toolbox: An Instrument for Managing Drought Effectively

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#DroughtRiskManagement #TheDroughtToolbox #UNCCD #CAREC #Drought #Desertification #COP14

In September 2019, during the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the participants discussed drought preparedness. The UNCCD, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) reiterated the need for swift action to enhance drought preparedness across the globe.

As part of the international communities’ efforts to manage drought, an interactive Drought Toolbox was launched. The Toolbox is meant to serve as a platform for developing a proactive approach to drought management. It was developed by the UNCCD in collaboration with FAO, GWP, WMO, the University of Nebraska and the UN Environment Programme’s Centre for Water and Environment (UNEP-DHI).

The Drought Toolbox us one of the three areas of the Drought Initiative, which the UNCCD Secretariat had launched after COP 13. The Toolbox aims at increasing the resilience of the affected population and ecosystems to drought and provides easy access to resources on drought preparedness.

The Toolbox includes three main instruments designed to help assess and manage the risk of drought, mitigate its impact and develop national drought plans.

Monitoring and Early Warning

This section provides information on tracking, assessing and delivering data on climatic, hydrologic and water supply trends. Some of the crucial data is available for free as part of UNCCD efforts in enhancing global resilience to drought. This information can be used to generate custom reports on drought risk for a given region/country.

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

Drought risk depends on a number of factors including various geographic, climatic, social and economic variables. The general formula to assess drought risk includes the following:

Drought risk = Vulnerability x Hazard x Exposure 

The Drought Toolbox allows users to assess drought risk by answering a few simple questions.

Risk Mitigation Measures

Along with the two aforementioned sections, The UNCCD Drought Toolbox provides tools and methods to reduce drought risk, enhance preparedness and boost the effectiveness of drought response measures. Similarly to the previous section, in order to assess risk mitigation measures, users can use a simple questionnaire. 

The Drought Toolbox can be effectively used by experts from Central Asia who are working together with UNCCD Secretariat and The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) on implementing the “Regional approaches in combating sand and dust storms and drought” project. The project is part of the UNCCD Secretariat global efforts in tackling the problem of drought and is intended to assist the countries of Central Asia in enhancing their drought preparedness.

The Drought Toolbox is available here:


Information about the Project:

In January 2020, in all five countries of Central Asia with the financial support of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) the project “Regional approaches in combating sand and dust storms and drought” was launched. The project is implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), which works in close cooperation with designated national institutions and UNCCD National Focal Points in each of five countries.

The main objective of the project is to assist Member States in improving their preparedness and resilience to droughts and FDP, and to enable coordinated action and data exchange at national and regional levels.

You can learn more about the Project and its activities here:

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