Restoring ecosystems to reduce drought risk and increase resilience
The Project aims to achieve at national and sub-national level that drought management planning and action incorporates Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to drought management in drought-prone locations.
Output 1: National experts and community members are informed and enabled to implement state-of-the-art knowledge on NbS for drought management.
Output 2: Recommendations for integrating NbS to drought in planning and policy making are generated through multi-stakeholder dialogue and policy analysis.
Output 3: NbS for drought management actions are adopted in partner projects or local public planning. (e.g. erosion control, restoration of strategic forest cover, sustainable pasture management)
The project will train 120 government staff and other experts (e.g. NGO staff) on NbS to drought and how to implement it through public drought management processes. It will train a further 150 community representatives to implement NbS for drought management action on the ground. The project is designed to directly influence partner projects and local government planning in the 3 target countries Kenya, Burkina Faso and Georgia, which will lead to a large number of indirect beneficiaries. Based on the scale of partner projects and local planning mechanisms it is anticipated that the project will influence actions that benefit approximately 10,000 people per country.
Output 1 depends on producing convincing, state of the art evidence that is both globally robust and locally valid. It will be enriched by local evidence from national case studies. The main publication will include guidelines on how to operationalize the concept of NbS to drought, which will revolve around known and accepted approaches to sustainable land management (SLM). Also, two experts’ meetings (virtual) will be held to develop an analytical framework for analyzing drought and land degradation and to validate a publication on NbS to drought. The achieved results will be presented in global fora to influence intergovernmental negotiations including the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Global Drought Partnership.
Output 2 will combine national policy and institutional analysis with multi-stakeholder dialogue and consensus building to identify pathways for implementation of NbS to drought. The project will convene critical public sector actors (e.g. from Ministries responsible for drought, water, agriculture and environment) together with community representatives and non-governmental organisations. These will include actors already implementing restoration actions as well as institutions mandated for drought response.
Output 3 will feed recommendations from Output 2 into existing projects and planning mechanisms in order to model the adoption of NbS into drought management. The project will provide minimal resources for such actions and will rely on the buy-in of those partner initiatives. IUCN has selected countries with existing projects where there is a high assurance of adoption, but where the existing initiatives lack the means to make the case for NbS in drought management.
The frequency of drought is reported to be increasing worldwide, costing USD 35 billion per year, with 83% of these losses in the agriculture sector and disproportionately affecting the poorest people. This increase is widely attributed to climate change, yet evidence suggests land degradation is also a significant factor. Misunderstanding of the anthropogenic drivers of drought leads to missed opportunities to mitigate drought through sustainable development and ecosystem restoration. Many countries lack national drought management plans, and where those plans do exist, they usually ignore the role of ecosystem degradation as a factor in drought, and therefore overlook restoration options for drought mitigation. The project builds on IUCN’s observer status at the United Nations and IUCN’s collaboration with its State members to support implementation of the Rio Conventions. This project was initially developed in response to negotiations among Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification: Decision 23/COP.14, “Policy advocacy on drought”. Project implementation will be led by IUCN’s Global Ecosystem Management Programme which will work closely with IUCN’s global water programme and regional and country offices in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Belgrade. IUCN will also collaborate closely with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), which will primarily contribute to developing state-of-the-art knowledge on land restoration and drought mitigation and supporting national partners to integrate this knowledge into drought management planning.