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International Seminar on Drought and Agriculture

International Seminar on Drought and Agriculture

From 19/06/2017 To 19/06/2017

Location: Red Room, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy

There is no shortage of knowledge, technologies, resources and good practices for addressing drought, agricultural and rural development and water shortage. Coping with these issues in a global framework and global approach have to help us to avoid famines. 

Promoting and supporting partnerships to harness the knowledge and experience of stakeholders and enabling targeted actions for drought response, agricultural production and sustainable use of water in agriculture is the way forward, thereby addressing the challenges for agricultural production and livelihoods posed by climate change.

Drought, a devastating natural hazard, affects a significant proportion of the global population, particularly those living in semi-arid and arid regions. The consequences for agricultural communities can be stark, often reversing gains in food security and poverty, hampering efforts to reach SDG1 and 2. Drought can also exacerbate social tensions and fuel civil unrest.

Despite the known impacts of drought and the growing availability of technological and policy innovations to lessen them, drought management and planning is too often overlooked until a crisis unfolds. This reactive, crisis-led, response gives rise to a fragmented policy and project space where interventions are sectorally isolated, and drought mitigation strategies under-perform.

In recent months, the world has watched drought unfold in Near East and East Africa where an emerging and devastating famine in Somalia is occurring alongside famines in South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia. Famine has also hit Nigeria, and further to the east in Yemen. In the context of this region-wide, cross-country drought and with the prospect of many millions of people suffering, improving how we manage drought has never been more prescient.

In this context, and building on the momentum provided by the SDGs, the Paris Climate Agreement, and recent efforts by the UN Water, FAO, and others, to support national drought management policies, this seminar seeks to rewrite the drought story by promoting proactive, integrated action that engages actors within and beyond the drought community. By engaging in this way, the seminar hopes to highlight existing best practice drawn from different contexts, drive the sharing of knowledge and promote the implementation of integrated, holistic drought interventions.