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Podiusmdiskussion am 24. April 2017

We would like to kindly invite you to a panel discussion which is part of the drought series at GIUB.

Title: Enhancing Drought Resilience through comprehensive Early Warning systems 


  • Daniel Tsegai (UNCCD)
  • Joachim Post (UNOOSA, UN-SPIDER)
  • Olena Dubovyk (ZFL, University Bonn)
  • Joanna Post (UNFCCC)
  • Yvonne Walz (UNU-EHS)
  • Joerg Szarzynski (UNU-EHS)


When: 24 April 2017, 18:00

Where: Alfred-Philippson-Hörsaal, Department of Geography (GIUB), Meckenheimer Allee 166



Living conditions in Africa - the world’s fastest growing continent- have greatly improved over the past decade with the prospect for a much better Africa in the next years. However, the continent’s development is also being hampered by extreme weather events and recurrent droughts, among others. The unusually strong El Niño, one of the worst in decades, coupled with record-high temperatures caused catastrophic impact on rainfall across southern and eastern Africa.  It has crippled countries from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe and affected as many as 36 million in the region. Namibia is experiencing its worst crop performance in 80 years and the food shortages in Malawi and droughts in Zimbabwe have prompted a declaration of disaster. Yet, solutions are at hand: a concerted global effort is essential for reducing the risks and mitigating the effects of droughts and associated risks. We have to prepare better for and manage the risks of drought. The time is ripe for countries for a paradigm shift from a reactive, crisis management approach to proactive, risk-based approach to create greater resilience to future episodes of drought. We need to emphasize on the path of “protection” rather than “recovery” and to move away from piecemeal/uncoordinated approach to a more comprehensive/coordinated approach. We need to strengthen early warning systems in a way that will urge, facilitate and lead to early action by stakeholders. Against this backdrop, the proposed panel event will discuss, among other things, the key challenges with regard to drought monitoring and early warning systems; the underlying reasons for vulnerability to drought; the important drought risk mitigation measures that can be carried out by African countries; the potential of south-south cooperation in communicating early warning and the prospect for a private sector to play a role and the challenges thereof.