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5 May 2021

Within the framework of the UNCCD Secretariat funded pilot project Regional Approaches in Combating Sand and Dust Storms and Drought in Central Asia, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) initiated a thematic workshop to discuss drought management and mitigation in Central Asia, which took place online on 5 May 2021.

The main objectives of the workshop were to receive strategic feedback, comments and recommendations of international development partners on the approaches, focus and objectives of the Regional Drought Risk Management Strategy for Central Asia project, further on to present the Drought Monitoring and Early Warning System (DMEWS) tool, and discuss the on-going initiatives and development agendas pertaining to the drought and climate change related events management.

DMCSEE was also presented there, on how its establishment began and how it has become operational. It was emphasized that it is crucial to have cooperation between different sectors and levels (researchers, practitioners and NHMS) but one of the main challenges of DMCSEE remains ensuring its continuous funding.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on possible benefits and difficulties of establishing such a centre in Central Asia. It was commonly agreed that “drought is a connector” and such centre can spark reginal collaboration, data exchange, synergies between different initiatives and organizations, also the political support and possible financing opportunities.