The First African Drought Conference conducted in Windhoek, Namibia, from 14 to 18 August 2016 shed the spotlight on the necessity for Africa to incorporate high on its development agenda a “Strategic Framework for Drought Risk Management and Enhancing Resilience in Africa”. Such a framework would allow this continent to enhance its drought resilience and to be better prepared to confront such droughts. For more information on this framework, please click here.
The UN-SPIDER programme of UNOOSA took the opportunity to make a presentation on the efforts it is conducting to enhance the use of Earth observation in drought early warning efforts during the Technical segment "Drought Monitoring and Early Warning Systems". The presentation highlighted the view that capacities to use space-based information need to strengthened at the national level, that the use of space-based information in drought risk management needs to be institutionalized, that cooperation among international, regional, and national organisations needs to be fostered and that early warning systems need to be improved with impact-based information.
The Conference which was attended by more than 300 participants, including country delegates, regional economic groups as well as development organizations and financing agencies concluded with adaption of “The Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought in Africa” on 19 August. The declaration states the commitments to implement the Strategic Framework for Drought Risk Management and Enhancing Resilience in Africa; to establish a continent-wide African network with national institutions for drought monitoring and early warning systems; and to convene African Drought Conference every two years. More information on this Windhoek Declaration can be found here.