Nov 6, 2019, 6:15 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83544563
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FAO assists Iran in drought management in Urmia Lake basin

Tehran, Nov 6, IRNA – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) examined the newly developed Combined Drought Index (CDI) for Urmia Lake basin.

According to the FAO Tehran office, in the line of the Integrated Programme for Sustainable Water Resource Management in the Urmia Lake basin, FAO held a validation workshop in collaboration with Iran’s Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Center (ASMERC) to examine the present state of Urmia Lake.

The workshop convened on 05 November 2019 at ASMERC office in Tehran and was attended by the experts and researchers from FAO, ASMERC, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture Jahad, the Iran Meteorological Organization, the National Drought Center, the Urmia Lake Restoration Program (ULRP), the University of Tehran, Sharif University of Technology and Iran University of Science and Technology.  

The participants were briefed on the rationale, procedures and methodology employed to develop CDI. They further discussed different potential variables, components, and indices that can be taken into consideration in following steps to fine tune the CDI.

Mr Gianluca Franceschini, the FAO Senior Land Resource Information Management Expert who co-led the workshop said, “Today, the first results of drought assessment and drought measurement methodology were presented and discussed in details.” He added, “This was the first attempt for the country to provide such information which looks at this phenomenon from different meteorological, agricultural and hydrological dimensions.”

Praising the efforts made by the National Drought Center, Mr Rao Matta, the FAO Chief Technical Advisor emphasized, “Drought measurement is an important component for overall basin management in Urmia Lake catchment area and we need to identify what kind of variables need to be incorporated into the CDI.”

According to Dr Behdad Chehrenegar, the Head of Hydroinformatics Division of the ULRP, a well-developed CDI assists the Country “to have a vulnerability assessment of the whole Urmia Lake basin to see the effect of the changes in climate variables on the livelihood and socioeconomic parameters in the area.”

“The process we followed in this project not only have the potential to be applicable to different basins  of the Country, but also – as a successful prototype project – to be beneficial for other Middle Eastern countries,” the Head of National Drought Center, Mr Ahad Vazife said.

Funded by the Government of Japan and jointly implemented by FAO and ULRP, Integrated Programme for Sustainable Water Resource Management in the Urmia Lake basin supports the efforts of the Country in improving its institutional and knowledge capacities to restore this unique biosphere reserve.

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