Flood and drought management programs mark milestones – World

Key WMO programs to improve integrated flood and drought management mark important anniversaries – at a time when devastating droughts and floods in different parts of the world have underscored the need for a coordinated response to these major threats.

The Associated Program on Flood Management (APFM) was established in 2001 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP). In its 20th year of existence, APFM has provided government agencies, international organizations and private companies and academia with scientific guidance, tools and pilot projects on integrated flood management, a holistic approach to monitoring, forecasting and managing floods to reduce loss of life and livelihoods minimize.

Integrated flood management minimizes the risk of damage to land and property, but also maximizes the benefits of using floodplains, such as groundwater recharge and soil fertilization, by providing integrated solutions for societies and ecosystems.

Hwirin Kim, head of WMO’s Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Services, said the APFM business model was used to inform the Volta Basin flood and drought management project and community-based flood management activities. This approach – which emphasizes the need for comprehensive early warning with active youth engagement and gender mainstreaming – is widely implemented in other WMO projects.

APFM celebrated its 20th anniversary at its annual Support Base Partners (SBPs) Forum on August 26, discussing program implementation and development while considering scientific and technical advances in flood-related issues.

The meeting also recognized the Integrated Drought Management Program (IDMP) for nearly 10 years of work. In 2013, WMO and GWP created the IDMP to address drought issues more effectively. IDMP provides advice and guidance to communities, countries and regions affected by drought through the Integrated Drought Management HelpDesk. Integrated drought management mitigates drought risk and builds drought resilience by addressing multiple components of drought management, including disaster risk reduction, climate adaptation strategies, and national water policies.

The WMO/Global Water Partnership (GWP) Associated Program on Flood Management and Integrated Dought Management Program successfully organized an online session on “Closing the Last Mile: People-centric Flood & Drought Early-Warning-Systems” during the ongoing Stockholm World . Week 2022. The interactive session brought together practitioners and researchers to present and discuss existing problems and new approaches that put people at the center of hydro-meteorological event alert services, specifically using case studies on the 2021 flood, Central Asia drought, and Germany youth-led early warning systems in Indonesia and Tanzania.

All APFM and IDMP activities and experiences are associated with Early Warning, Early Action in support of the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for Early Warnings for All over the next five years.

During the last World Meteorological Day in 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that the WMO would “lead new measures to ensure that every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years”. The two programs are part of this new activity with a particular focus on involving communities and other relevant stakeholders in the design and development of end-to-end early warning systems for floods and droughts.

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