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Regional Consultation on Sand and Dust Storms Risk Reduction and Developing Elements for a Regional Plan of Action on Sand and Dust Storms

Sources: Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management

Date: November 2021

The “Birth of dust storms” series  Photo shared by: Fred van Welie, the Netherlands  “I made this series in Mali nearby Tombouctou when we were travelling on a boat on the Niger river from Tombouctou to Gao in 2008”.

The “Birth of dust storms” Series, Photo credit: Fred van Welie, Submitted to APDIM Call for Photography 2021: Living with Sand and Dust Storms

Date: 6 December 2021

Time: 9:00 Geneva, 10:30 Tehran, 12:30 New Delhi, 13:00 Almaty, 14:00 Bangkok, 16:00 Incheon (4 hrs)

Meeting Connection Link: Click here to join the meeting

Registration link: https://forms.office.com/r/33hxnM8Drq

Background

The Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) invites government officials, experts, and practitioners from across the Asia-Pacific region to participate in an online Regional Consultation on Sand and Dust Storms Risk Reduction and developing elements towards a regional plan of action on sand and dust storms.

Pursuant to ESCAP resolution 72/7 which requested the ESCAP Executive Secretary to: “(a) Within existing mandates and expertise, accord priority focus on the work of the Commission relating to sand and dust storms as a great transboundary challenge; (b) Work, including through the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management, as well as with other relevant regional organisations, utilising a combination of existing funds and extrabudgetary contributions, to promote regional and interregional networking on sand and dust storms”.

APDIM working in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization, the UNCCD Secretariat, FAO, UNDRR and in consultation with other UN agencies involved in combating the negative impact of sand and dust storms, is organizing an online consultation on the findings of the report on Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific with a sub-regional and thematic focuses.  The consultation aims at generating discussions amongst affected countries to identify common ground for joint follow-up action along with the three key areas for further action suggested in the report.

  1. A deeper understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of sand and dust storms;
  2. Extension of the monitoring system and improvements of the early warning system, with an impact-based focus, to timely forecast sand and dust storms and enable targeted measures to minimise exposure and reduce risks; and
  3. Coordinated actions in most at-risk and exposed geographical areas with a view to mitigating the risks.

The outcomes of the consultation among others, will be used to develop elements of a regional plan of action on sand and dust storms for the attention of the Governing Council of APDIM for advice and guidance on further actions.  Subject to the advice of APDIM Governing Council on the following steps, an initial draft of regional plan of action on sand and dust storms will be made available online for ESCAP member States and expert’s review. A revised draft will then be presented to ESCAP member States’ representatives with a view to arrive at a final regional plan of action document.

The secretariat wishes to encourage broad participation of relevant government officials and non-governmental experts and communities involved with matters related to sand and dust storms, including those working on agriculture, disaster risk reduction, health, environment, transport, clean energy production and weather forecasting with a view to attend these meetings and contribute to the discussion. 

Programme


Opening remarks and introduction , Ms Letizia Rossano, Director, APDIM (5 mins) 


Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific , Mr Amin Shamseddini, Programme Officer, APDIM (20 mins) 


The UN response to understanding and dealing with sand and dust storms  (30 min)

- Mr Nicholas Middleton, Sand and Dust Storms Expert, FAO

- Ms Sunisa Soodrak, Programme Officer, UNDRR

- Mr Alexander Baklanov, Science Officer, WMO


Q & A (10 mins)


Break (10 min)


Process towards developing regional plan of action on reducing the risk of sand and dust storms, Ms Letizia Rossano, Director, APDIM (15 mins) 


Breakout Rooms (90 mins)

Breakout Room 1: Designing Actions to Reduce Risk and Impact of Sand and Dust Storm in East and North-East Asia

Breakout Room 2: Designing Actions to Reduce Risk and Impact of Sand and Dust Storm in South and South-West Asia

Breakout Room 3: Designing Actions to Reduce Risk and Impact of Sand and Dust Storm in Central Asia

Discussion on:

  1. Better Understanding
  2. Coordinated monitoring and early warning system
  3. Coordinated actions

*Key questions to be discussed and details are provided below


Reports on subregional discussions from breakout rooms (30 mins)


Q & A (10 mins)


Wrap up and closing, Ms Letizia Rossano, Director, APDIM (10 mins)


 

Key Questions for Discussions in Breakout Rooms  

 

Key Question 1: Better Understanding

What are the key areas that you see as a priority to tackle immediately in terms of deepening the understanding of the problem in the subregion, especially from the transboundary, collaborative perspective?

Follow-up questions

How do the report findings resonate with your experience at the national and international level in terms of understanding of the phenomenon?

The impact in what sectors between – socio-economic, human health, agriculture, environment, energy, transport – do you feel has the biggest gaps in data and literature? 

Are there other sectors that you think need to be better understood in terms of the socio-economic impact of SDS?

 What areas of collaboration with the other countries in the sub-region should be advanced on any of these issues?  If so, which areas would be most useful to explore to deepen the understanding of the impact of SDS in the sub-region?

Key Question 2: Coordinated monitoring and early warning system

How is the phenomenon currently being monitored in the sub-region and what action, if any, could be made in this regard at a trans-boundary level as well as at a national level? 

Rationale

Follow-up questions

What mechanisms are you currently using for monitoring and issuing early warning of sand and dust storms? Based on your experience, is the current system, and its products, being used by decision makers/actors in order to reduce the impact of sand and dust storms?

Are you using the WMO SDS-WAS regional centres forecasts of sand and dust storms (https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/focus-areas/environment/SDS/warnings) for your country early warning system? Do you see the need to collaborate? How do you plan to collaborate with other countries in the sub-region on monitoring and early warning of sand and dust storms?  In what areas would be most useful to strengthen the collaboration with other countries in the subregion on monitoring and early warning?   

 Key Question 3: Adaptation and Source Mitigation

Based on the evidence presented in the report and your own experience and understanding of the phenomenon, what actions and in what geographic areas would benefit from priority attention in the subregion to improve adaptation and source mitigation?

 

 

 

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