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Improved Drought Early Warning and FORecasting to strengthen preparedness and adaptation to droughts in Africa.
January 2011 until December 2013
168.618 € funded by EU - European Union: FP7-ENV.2010. warning systems to predict climate change related meteorological hazards in Europe and in Africa
Fred Hattermann

The main aim of DEWFORA is to reduce vulnerability and strengthen preparedness to droughts in Africa by advancing drought forecasting, early warning and mitigation practices. To this aim, a framework for monitoring, predicting, timely warning and responding to droughts at the seasonal time scale will be developed, applicable within the institutional context of African countries. At longer time scales, the project will also contribute to improve the identification of vulnerable regions taking into account the increased hazard due to climate change, and develop feasible adaptation measures.

Improved monitoring: DEWFORA will improve the knowledge on drought forecasting, warning and mitigation, and advance the understanding of climate related vulnerability to drought - both in the current and in the projected future climate. Prototype operational forecasting: DEWFORA will focus on the operational implementation of advances made, bringing these to the pre-operational stage through development of prototype systems and piloting methods in operational drought monitoring and forecasting agencies. Knowledge dissemination: DEWFORA will target dissemination of the advances made (i) through a stakeholders platform that includes national and regional drought monitoring and forecasting agencies, as well as NGO's and IGO's such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and (ii) through capacity building programmes to help embed the knowledge gained in the community of African practitioners and researchers.

In DEWFORA, PIK will lead the Niger River Basin case study and contribute to combined assessment and modelling of hydrology and vegetation (crops). Less than two percent of the land in Mali can be used as arable land, while the agricultural sector, however, employs about 80% of the workforce. Therefore, livelihood and welfare in Mali depends to a very large share on the timely onset and intensity of the annual monsoon, and any planning help in form of a mid-term climate forecast including uncertainty would have a significant impact on food security and human welfare. Additionally, PIK will contribute to WP 3.2 "Impacts of CC on drought vulnerability and risk" and WP 4.3 "Agricultural drought forecast at local scale". PIK has a long record of projects investigating the feedbacks of climate to hydrology and vegetation in different climate zones and will bring this experience into the project.