The United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) and the Office of the State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (ANDMA) carried out a virtual thematic meeting on ‘Assessing Drought and Water Resources Conservation Using Earth Observation’, in collaboration with Delta State University and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). All key stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction, especially dealing with drought, attended the meeting which was chaired by His Excellency Deputy Minister Mohammad Qasim Haidari. This meeting, held on 26 May 2021, is part of the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Support to Afghanistan. It was attended by 48 participants representing national and international organisations supporting the activities related to disaster management in Afghanistan.
The meeting discussed the role of the key stakeholders in developing tools to support drought assessment, early warning, response, and mitigation. Experts from UN-SPIDER, the World Bank, the International Water Management Institute, and Delta State University presented innovative solutions and approaches for drought assessment and water resources conservation, focusing on the use of space-based and geospatial information. The discussion session focused on the current capacity, status, and challenges in the effective use of such information in drought and water resources management and suggested improved institutional coordination to facilitate data sharing and dissemination. The meeting identified the way forward for the engagement of UN-SPIDER with the disaster management and geospatial community to plan the activities of mutual interest. The focal point for this activity is shirish.ravan [at] un.org">Mr Shirish Ravan.