Green Central Asia: A step towards drought forecasting

Tashkent hosted the first regional seminar to discuss the development of the drought monitoring tool for the Aral Sea basin from 18 to 20 July 2022.

CAWA Green, a project of the Central Asia Green Initiative, aims to create an early drought warning system for the Aral Sea Basin (ASB) in Central Asia that optimizes analysis of drought problems and provides various tools for decision-making by government agencies. During the seminar, basic concepts, first results, validation strategies, and design questions of the tool were presented and discussed. The participants provided feedback on the implications of the implementation in the different countries of the region.

The seminar was attended by the Green Central Asia scientists of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, Prof. Dr. Christopher Conrad, Dr. Muhammad Usman, Matthias Völkel and student assistants, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research CASIB (Central Asia Sustainable Innovation Bureau) office in Almaty Dr. Peter Liebelt, and GFZ Potsdam, Germany, Dr. Abror Gafurov. Central Asia was represented by the Hydrometeorological Services of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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Drought is one of the most dangerous natural disasters because of its complexity and long-term impacts on the environment and society. These risks to communities, ecosystems and the economy are much greater than expected. Climate change projections suggest that many regions of the world, including Central Asia, especially the Aral Sea Basin, will face severe droughts, which could pose a serious threat to the sustainability of agriculture and livestock production.