The second regional workshop involving stakeholders from Central Asia took place from 19th to 20th of October 2023 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This workshop plays an important role in the collaborative design process of OUTLAST to ensure that the developed system in OUTLAST will align with the requirements of users, stakeholders, and policymakers from multiple sectors all around the world. To achieve this goal, 12 participants from four countries located in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan) together with two colleagues from regional and international organizations, Nonna Loenko (KazHydromet) and Muhammad Usman (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg) joined the workshop which was organized by OUTLAST in close collaboration with the UNESCO office in Almaty, the German-Kazak University (DKU), and WMO HydroSOS.
Throughout the workshop, we discussed:
- Ongoing activities related to drought hazards and drought management in the region (KazHydroMET and drought map)
- The OUTLAST project and its aims to develop a global operational drought hazard forecasting system
- The Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS, WMO)
- The connection between OUTLAST and HydroSOS
- General concepts of deriving drought hazard indicators and the potential application of a variety of meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological drought hazard indicators
- The advantages of bias-corrected ensemble forecasts in the context of seasonal forecasting
The participants were actively involved in group work in each session to provide feedback on potential drought hazard indicators and preliminarily selected certain indicators, which are the most useful for them. Furthermore, the workshop offered a platform to obtain further ideas from the participants about how the end-products should be best visualized on the HydroSOS web portal.
At the end, there was a joint discussion with Ms. Kamar Saliyeva (Kazhydromet) on how OUTLAST can support drought management in Kazakhstan in particular and in the region in general. The workshop ended with closing remarks from Mr. Anil Mishra from the UNESCO Office in Paris, who joined virtually. He emphasized UNESCO’s commitment to supporting international cooperation and further initiatives related to operational systems, with a particular focus on addressing drought-related challenges. Together with the first regional workshop, which took place in Nairobi (Kenya) in September 2023, the outcomes of this workshop will be the basis for the further development of the operational forecasting system in OUTLAST.
We greatly appreciate the valuable support and contribution of all participants, project partners, and our colleagues from DKU and UNESCO Office in Almaty to a successful workshop.
For any further inquiries, please reach out to Tinh Vu.