Africa Meets China On Drought Risk Reduction

By Patrick Luganda ( Necjogha Online )

The Sino African High Level Seminar on Drought Risk Reduction opens on Sunday, September 25th 2011, in Beijing China. The three day meeting brings together ministers and high ranking delegates from Africa and China and is aimed at strengthening cooperation and collaboration between China and Africa particularly in reducing disaster risks.

Organized by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the Republic of China and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, this high level seminar is a result of the Action Plan of the Sino-African Fourth Ministerial Conference for 2010-2012 which clearly underlined that strengthening cooperation and collaboration between China and African countries is an effective way to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Although both China and Africa are satisfied with their on-going cooperation, the Fourth Ministerial Conference emphasized the importance of information and experience sharing and technology transfer in the areas of disaster risk reduction, especially regarding drought risk reduction.

In Africa, drought has been one of the major threats among natural hazards to people's livelihood and socio-economic development. Prolonged and severe drought in recent years has had complex impacts, especially in agriculture– upon which the majority of the African poor depend for a livelihood. It is estimated that more than 90% of farmed land has no access to irrigation, but depends on rainfall. Drought therefore has a profound impact on food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2009, prolonged drought pushed more than 20 million East Africans to the brink of starvation. Today, severe drought causes hunger for more than 10 million in East Africa alone . In addition, funds available to socio-economic development have to instead be used for food relief. The impact of drought is one of the key factors slowing African socio-economic development.

But Africa is not alone in this overwhelming challenge; drought is affecting many parts of China now. Early in 2010, China experienced one of the worst droughts in decades – affecting a number of provinces, including Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi, Sichuan, Henan and Shanxi. The drought has affected an estimated 18 million people, 8.3 million hectares of farm land and 12.4 million head of livestock. The estimated loss for agriculture alone is estimated in billions of dollars.

There has been a growing effort to address the complex impacts of drought and be proactive about reducing people's risks and vulnerabilities to drought – among Governments, UN agencies, research institutions and civil society. Some such initiatives have focused on early warning, reduction of vulnerability and underlying environmental, economic and social causes. Others have worked on drought policies, capacity building, drought resilient crops and drought relief.

To make a contribution to the drought risk reduction process and to build the resilience of people to the impact of severe drought, at the Sino-African Fourth Ministerial Conference in November 2009, Governments agreed to hold a Sino-African Seminar on Drought Risk Reduction to share information, technology and experience on drought management and drought risk reduction.

Overall Objective
The Sino-African Seminar on Drought Risk Reduction to be held at the Grand Concordia Hotel in Beijing aims to contribute to the on-going international process of building drought resilient nations and communities.
Specific Objectives

  • The specific objectives of the Sino-African Seminar on Drought Risk Reduction are to provide a forum for governments to:
  • Share information, knowledge and lessons learnt in drought risk reduction;
  • Share experience, and scientific and practical methods for building drought resilience, especially related to drought monitoring, early warning, water resource management and agriculture; and
  • Identify priority

areas and ways for Sino-African cooperation and collaboration in drought risk reduction.

Main Themes

  • National policy and existing mechanisms for drought management and risk reduction
  • The efficiency and effectiveness of national early warning systems for managing drought risks and disasters
  • Good practices and lessons learnt in reducing the socio-economic impact of drought, especially in the sectors of water management and agriculture
  • Main elements for effective Sino-African cooperation and collaboration in developing

an effective drought early warning system and drought risk management
Expected Results

  • Improved understanding of national policies and existing mechanisms of drought management and risk reduction
  • Improved understanding of the major elements required for effective drought early warning systems
  • Improved knowledge on approaches and technologies that are being used in China and Africa for early warning and for reducing the impact and risk of drought disasters, especially in water resource management and agriculture.
  • Consensus on areas of priority to advance collaboration and cooperation between China and Africa in drought risk reduction

The Sino-African Seminar on Drought Risk Reduction is co-organized by the Government of China and the UNISDR Secretariat. While the Government of China will cover the expenses of the meeting the United Nations will provide guidance to the overall organization of the meeting and technical assistance.

24-27 September 2011, Beijing, China

1. Kenya Prof. Laban Ogallo Resource Person IGAD Climate and Applications Centre (ICPAC), Director
2. Kenya Mr. Gordon Ootieno Muga National DRR coordinator
3. Malawi Mr.James Chiusiwa National Coordinator for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Rehabilitation Department of Disaster Management Affairs
4. Madagascar Mr. Olivier Andriakaja ELACK Director of Operation and Emergency Response, National Office for Disaster and Risk Management
5. Mozambique Mr. António Pacheco Dias Lima Head of Office and SETSAN Focal Point (MINAG) in Sofala Province.
6. Niger Mr. Adama Alhassane Diallo Resource Person Director General, African Meteorological Application Centre for Development
7. Nigeria Mr. Olusegun E Ojo, Ph.D African Centre for Environment Devpt & Information
8.Nigeria Mr. Kayode Fagbemi National Emergency Management Agency
9.Sudan Mr. Abdelrahman K. Osman Resource Person Dryland Cooperation Group Former Director of Dry Lands Research Center Agricultural Research Corporation
10. Sudan Mr. Ibrahim El-Dukheri (Ph.D.) Minister of Agriculture and Forests South Darfur State-SUDAN
11. Tanzania Dr Agnes Kijazi Director of Tanzania Meteorological Agency and Permanent Representative of Tanzania with WMO
12.Tanzania Ms Caroline Kilembe Ministry of Agriculture and Food security
13. Uganda Hon. Dr. Stephen Oscar Mallinga Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness & Refugees
14.Uganda Mr. Martin Owor Commissioner/Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Management
15.Uganda Mr. Patrick Luganda CEO Farmers Media Link Ltd Science Media Trainer and Consultant Chair Network Climate Journalists in the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) Secretariat at Farmers Media Link Center (FAMELI)
16.Zimbabwe Mr Madzudzo Spencer Pawadyira Director of Civil Protection
17. EALA Hon. Mr. Abdirahim H.Abdi Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
18. Ethiopia Mr Kidane Asefa Director of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (NMHS)
19.China Mr. Jing Li Beijing Normal University
20. China Mr. Jianjun Wu Beijing Normal University
21.China Mr. Zhihao Qin Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning ,CAAS, Agricultural Situation Room
22. China Mr. Qiming Qin Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS, Peking University
23. China Mr. Lifu Zhang Institute of Remote Sensing Applications Chinese Academy of Sciences
24.China Mr. Xiaodong Zhang College of Information and Electrical Engineering, China Agricultural University, Geographic Information Engineering Department/Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Technology
25.China Mr. Pengxin Wang College of Information and Electrical Engineering, China Agricultural University; Geographic Information Engineering Department/Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Technology
26. China Mr. Lianyou Liu Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education
27. China Ms. Juan Lu Ministry of Water Resources Flood Control and Drought Mitigation Engineering Research Center, Drought and Countermeasures Research
28. China Mr. Maosong Li Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture. CAAS
29. China Mr. Lifu Shu Institute of Forest Ecological Environment and Protection Research ,Chinese Academy of Forestry
30. China Mr. Weixi Yang Office of the State Forestry Administration Desertification
31. China Mr. Zhuguo Ma Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
32.China Mr. Bingfang Wu Institute of Remote Sensing Applications Chinese Academy of Sciences
33.China Mr. Jun Xia Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS
34. China Mr. Zhibao Dong Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences
35.China Mr. Peiqun Zhang China Meteorological Administration Climate Center
36. China Mr. Xiaoxiang Zhu National Satellite Meteorological Center China Meteorological Administration, Remote Sensing Room
37.China Mr. Yaning Chen Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography Chinese Academy of Sciences, Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology and Desert Environment Chinese Academy of Sciences
38. China Mr. Jihua Wang National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences
Technical Support
39. EALA Mr Alex Obatre Deputy Clerk, East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
40. UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA) Mr. Shirish Ravan UN-SPIDER Beijing Office
41.UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA) Li Suju UN-SPIDER Beijing Office
42. UNDP Drylands Development Centre Ms. Yuko Kurauchi Programme Officer UNDP Drylands Development Centre Nairobi, Kenya
43. UNISDR Mr. Alain Rakontondrandria UNISDR Consultant
44. UNISDR Dr. Feng Min Kan Special Advisor to UN Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR
45. UNISDR Ms Ana Cristina Thorlund Programme Officer, Advocacy