United Nations launches concerted push for effective drought policiesListen /
Three United Nations institutions have now joined forces to promote the development and adoption of practical and proactive policies at the national level to make drought-prone countries more resilient.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and other partners will hold a High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy on 11-15 March 2013 in Geneva, to focus on drought preparedness and management policies.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said "Since time immemorial, drought has been a feature of the natural variability of our climate". He said "The frequency, intensity, and duration of droughts are expected to rise in several parts of the world as a result of climate change, with an increasing human and economic toll.
UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said "Despite being predictable, drought is the most costly and the deadliest disaster of our time," stressing that "Governments of all drought-prone countries need to adopt, mainstream and operationalize national drought policies, based on the principles of early warning, preparedness and risk management".
And, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said "More extreme and frequent droughts resulting from climate change are having devastating food security impacts, especially in the most vulnerable regions of the world". He suggested that "To buck this trend, we must build resilient, 'drought-resistant' communities.
Droughts cause the deaths and displacement of more people than cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined, making them the world's most destructive natural hazard.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.