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USDA Participates in National Drought Policy Meeting

Drought knows no national boundary and can impact almost all socio-economic activities in the society. Projections indicate that the frequency, intensity and duration of droughts are likely to increase in the future.  Without a coordinated national drought policy nations around the world will continue to respond in a reactive, crisis management mode.  A national drought policy should include effective monitoring and early warning systems to deliver timely information to decision makers; effective impact assessment procedures; proactive risk management measures and preparedness plans aimed at increasing the coping capacity; and effective emergency measures. Comprehensive National Drought Policies can help countries cope with the impacts of droughts through pro-active drought risk management approaches.

Experts from around the world will begin developing an Initiative on National Drought Policy at the first of several meetings.  The first meeting will be held at George Mason University on July 14-15, 2011.  Participants will include Mannava Sivakumar, Director of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch Climate and Water Department, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; Donald Wilhite, Director and Professor School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska — who established the National Drought Mitigation Center in 1995; and Raymond Motha, Chief Meteorologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The aim of these meetings is to prepare a final document on the National Drought Policy Initiative that will be presented to the diplomatic missions in Geneva in late 2012 or early 2013.

To view the National Drought Monitor, please visit their website.

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