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Droughts are natural hazards causing a change in the availability, timing and distribution of water which can endure for long periods. Droughts are often catalysts for multi-hazard environments influencing fires and heatwaves, which further the impact and vulnerability of ecosystems, societies and the economy. Globally, droughts are predicted to increase in both frequency and severity due to climate change, presenting a significant challenge in the current management of water.

Therefore, there is an growing need to understand how development dynamics such as water consumption, population growth and water interventions can create droughts or amplified their severity. The heightened sensitivities to changes in water availability can quickly escalate, in cases into environmental and societal crises. Thus, there is a need to increase awareness and understanding of the dynamics of drought through monitoring and information sharing on solutions to droughts in the Anthropocene.

The project Droughts in the Anthropocene will showcase and present selected case studies from around the world related to droughts and water scarcity and its social, environmental and cultural impacts. It focusses on solutions offered by the collaboration between scientists and local communities, highlighting the important work of UNESCO-IHP in bridging science with society and policymakers to better address the impact of droughts. The showcases and publication will be displayed as the exhibition Droughts in the Anthropocene prepared for the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris 2019

Status: Completed

Type: Global

Programme: Polar and Climate

Tags: water Africa Asia Caribbean Europe Latin America Pacific South Africa South Asia Saudi Arabia climate change West Asia polar deserts land use agriculture deforestation environmental disasters soil emerging issue North America


GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with partners and donors.

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