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|Tags:||SENV EAID EAGR ECON SOCI PK IN AF XD REO|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 KATHMANDU 000685 SIPDIS DEPT FOR SA, SA/PAB, SA/INS, SA/RA AND OES/PCI (SALZBERG) DEPT PLEASE PASS AID/ANE (J WILSON) AND OFDA (G HAVENS) E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: SENV, EAID, EAGR, ECON, SOCI, PK, IN, AF, XD, REO SUBJECT: DROUGHT ASSESSMENT/MITIGATION IN WESTERN S ASIA REFS: A) ISLAMABAD 2069 B) KATHMANDU 371 C) STATE 31622 1. In response to ref a, the Regional Environment Office (REO) for South Asia in Kathmandu offers the following proposal on drought assessment and mitigation for selected regions of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. While we have used the format prescribed by ref c, REO would also like to submit this proposal to the South Asia Bureau for funding consideration under FY02 ESF (in addition to the proposals contained in ref b), as well as to AID/ANE and OFDA. This proposal will include a rapid drought assessment and identification of short-to-medium term mitigation measures for the ongoing drought in Western South Asia. It is intended to complement the Adaptive Strategies study, which has recently been approved for funding under FY01 South Asia Bureau ESF. The implementing agency would be the International Water management Institute (IMWI), with headquarters in Colombo, a regional office in Lahore, and project office in Vidhyanagar, Gujarat. 2. IWMI's proposal as elaborated in collaboration with the Regional Environment Office for South Asia: A. Project Title: Drought Assessment and Potential for Mitigation in Western South Asia B. Department Strategic Objective: The project addresses several Department strategic objectives: -- To render humanitarian assistance where needed -- To foster regional stability -- To safeguard the environment -- To promote sustainable economic development and livelihoods in developing countries. This project aims to promote greater political, economic and social stability in drought-ravaged and politically volatile western parts of South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan and western India). A collaborative assessment of current drought conditions will be followed by identification of tangible solutions and strategies for: -- Addressing immediate needs/alleviating severe impacts -- Addressing long term needs for mitigative measures, drought preparedness and sustainable water resources planning and management. C. Problem/Issue: South and Southwest Asia has been affected by a persistent multi-year drought. From a global perspective, this represents the largest region of persistent precipitation deficits over the last four years. More than 100 million people have been affected in the region, with severe impacts being felt in Gujarat and Rajasthan states in India, Pakistan's Sind and Baluchistan provinces, and in large swaths of Afghanistan and Iran. Political instability, war and economic isolation have further exacerbated the effects of drought. Afghanistan is particularly vulnerable, having witnessed over two decades of war and civil strife that has been further complicated by the operations of entrenched terrorist groups inside Afghanistan and the international action against them, as well as the recent earthquake in northern Afghanistan. Pakistan has also been experiencing economic and social disruptions that pose difficulties for the Government's fight against international terrorism and domestic religious extremism. In India, drought and flood- prone Gujarat has recently seen the worst communal violence in a decade. The severity and persistence of the drought has produced a wide range of impacts across the region. In many areas, there is widespread scarcity of potable water as well as depleted supplies for irrigation, industry and sanitation. Agricultural production has been severely affected, and there has been a significant reduction in the livestock populations that are the mainstay of subsistence livelihoods, especially in Afghanistan. Large population movements due to the combination of drought and civil strife have aggravated and compounded these miseries for communities, often with disproportionate impacts on women and children. Given the magnitude and persistence of this drought, severe impacts such as degradation of soil and vegetation, increased vulnerability to flooding, and depletion in groundwater stocks will likely persist even after a return to normal precipitation. Reduction of seed stocks may also impact agricultural communities' capacity to recover once the drought ends. The continuing political instability in the region and social and economic pressures may exacerbate these impacts even further. With increasing population, these regions face serious problems of overall water shortages and scarcity that must be addressed immediately, because failure to act now will greatly compound the cost and complexity of later remedial efforts. The ability of governments in the region and international relief agencies to deal with this situation is constrained by the absence of reliable data, information networks, and professional and institutional capacities. There is an urgent need for a full assessment of the drought situation and possible relief efforts, and a longer-term need to address the problem of overall water scarcity through improved and sustainable management of available water resources. The proposed project will review and update information on the drought situation in western parts of South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan and western India) by analyzing hydrological and human factors, and recommend concrete and tangible steps for future management of droughts: short, medium and long-term measures. However, effective use of climate information in drought management and response will require a sustained interaction between climate analysts, impact specialists, local planners and humanitarian relief agencies. There is also an urgent need to improve the climate observation network in the region, as well as to develop mechanisms to make such data available for timely input into climate forecasting models. D. Anticipated Results: The project will result in the following outputs: -- A report assessing the drought situation in western parts of South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan and western India) and identifying potential solutions to alleviate drought stress in the short, medium, and long term. -- An interim "action strategy" for regional governments, relief agencies and local communities to manage and mitigate severe effects of drought. This will include developing effective drought management guidelines and promoting appropriate land and water management technologies and systems to mitigate the impact of future droughts. -- An analysis of present coping strategies for droughts in the respective countries chosen, and lessons learned. -- Development of a Decision Support Tool for planning drought mitigation and to map out drought vulnerability regions, using Remote Sensing and GIS. -- Identification of institutional and policy gaps in drought management and mitigation and, with stakeholders' participation, suggesting ways and means to improve mitigation efforts. -- Development of a project proposal intended to lead to a detailed, long-term program of action involving key players in drought management and mitigation. The project will be conducted in a collaborative and participatory manner involving national government agencies, the local public and other stakeholders affected by the drought. The project intends to promote a sense of unity and goodwill in the region as a whole and generate motivation to work together to fight against the common enemy, drought. In particular, we expect the following longer-term outcomes: -- Improved regional coordination in assessing and addressing drought. -- Greater trust and cooperation among the three countries to address critical transboundary environmental conditions. E. How this project will advance U.S. interests: The U.S. Government's top priority is to defeat terrorism in all its forms. Linked to this a vital U.S. interest in fostering stability in South Asia. U.S. strategic goals in the region include helping to rebuild Afghanistan and its institutions, promoting political stability and democracy in Pakistan and encouraging peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan. The knowledge, tools and information networks that this project will produce will further these objectives. In the short term, regional governments and the international relief agencies will be able to take cost-effective measures to deal with the severe effects of drought. In the medium term, timely collection, analysis and sharing of data, and the development and application of decision support tools will result in improved predictability and preparedness for droughts, reducing the financial and political costs of mitigation to society. In the long term, improved and sustainable planning and management of water resources will contribute to a reduction of conflicts within societies and lessen tensions over water between countries. F. Contribution to political and economic stability: Senior U.S. policy makers and analysts have described South Asia as one of the most dangerous places in the contemporary world. The long-standing dispute over Kashmir has dogged the two nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan, for the greater part of the last 53 years, sending the two countries repeatedly into war. At this moment, the bulk of the armies of the two countries are amassed on either side of their common border. In the wake of the September 11 tragedy, the global nature of instability in South Asia and its links to U.S. security have become ever more clear. Despite the defeat of the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, threats of terrorist attacks against American interests remain. Religious extremists continue to pose a danger to Pakistan's secular order. In the long run, however, the countries of the region are bound to each other by shared space and common interests, which cannot be addressed without a degree of cooperation. Fortunately, the scientific community and many civil society organizations in both India and Pakistan are willing to engage each other in a constructive dialogue to begin to address issues of vital importance to people living in both countries. The impact of the current drought constitutes an opportunity for professional and scientific circles to collaborate in dealing with this common problem. At a recent conference of the South Asian Water Forum (SAWAF) in Katmandu, Nepal, delegates from all South Asian countries underlined the need for regional experts to work in concert to address non-political cross- border issues, such as water and drought management. For reasons of recent history, relations between Pakistan and the new interim government in Afghanistan are at best tenuous, despite the declaration of a new beginning by both governments. The best way to translate good intentions into good practice is through confidence- building measures, starting with important and non- contentious issues such as drought management. The present proposal is intended to build vital bridges of confidence between these neighbors whose long-term social, economic and environmental interest are inter-linked by rivers, mountains and other vital ecological systems. The project will also contribute to reducing political and military tensions by engaging scientists, practitioners and policymakers from all three countries to use their knowledge and skills in resolving issues of common long- term interest to the whole region. G. Proposed recipients of funds: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) will be the recipient of the funds. The proposed vehicle for obligating the funds is a grant to the Headquarters of IWMI, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. IWMI - HQ will manage and account for the funds and implement the project through its regional office in Lahore, Pakistan and project office in Vidhyanagar, Gujarat, India. H. Detailed project Description: Purpose and Objectives: The purpose of the project is to carry out a rapid scientific assessment of the drought situation in the region and recommend concrete and tangible solutions: immediate, medium and long-term measures to address the problem. The project will also be an effort to prepare the groundwork for a larger initiative, linking local and regional efforts in drought management to global networks in climate forecasting and improving disaster relief planning and operations. The project has two specific objectives: (1) Develop an interim "action strategy" for managing and mitigating the severe effects of drought for regional governments, relief agencies and local communities. This will include developing effective drought management guidelines and promoting appropriate land and water management technology and management systems to mitigate the impacts of future droughts, and (2) Develop a detailed proposal for a regional initiative. With support from donors, international research organizations, and development banks, this would bring together expertise from several related fields, bridge gaps in current knowledge, and establish a framework for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to develop and implement an effective drought management plan in the region. Especially in Afghanistan, capacity-building is an important need not yet built-in as a specific objective for this project, but to be included in the larger initiative. Research sites: The project will focus on three typical provinces of the chosen countries where drought occurs frequently. The possible candidate sites are Kutch or Saurashtra region in Gujarat, India; Baluchistan or Sind in Pakistan; and Balkh or Faryab provinces in Afghanistan. Research Methodology and activities: Many quantitative measures of drought have been developed, of which the most frequently used are those developed by Wayne Palmer of U.S.A. in the 1960s. These include the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI), the Palmer Z-index and the Crop Moisture Index (CMI). Among these, the PDSI is superior in that it accounts not only for precipitation totals, but also for temperature, evapotranspiration, surface run off and soil recharge. The CMI measures short- term agricultural drought on a weekly scale. The project will use these and other advanced techniques to measure the severity of the drought situation in the region. The project will: -- Review long term hydrological, meteorological and human- related factors affecting drought, and will carry out an analysis of drought characteristics, frequency of occurrence, severity, and management- institutional- and policy-related gaps in drought mitigation programs. -- Study the coping strategies adopted by various stakeholders in mitigating the drought and document what happens during a drought, as this is the time people learn (or don't learn) how to adapt to shortages. Such research- based information would be useful in facing future droughts. -- Assess hot spots through the use of remote sensing and field surveys to study crop failure, the variety of means adopted to relieve water shortages, out-migration (including movement of cattle and livestock), and coping strategies for meeting drinking water requirements. -- Document successful innovative procedures adopted by people, NGOs, government agencies and aid-agencies in mitigating drought and disseminate this information through cross-border exchanges. -- Rely mainly on secondary data collected from various sources, in addition to carrying out selected field survey using techniques such as process documentation, questionnaire surveys, and focus group discussions with actors involved in the process at all levels. Data will also be collected using remote sensing techniques. All collected data will be put into a GIS format to develop a Decision Support Tool. IMWI will conduct a final workshop during which national government agencies, international experts, donor representatives, and national and international disaster relief organizations will discuss suggestions advanced, exchange information and chart out a "Way Forward." I. Performance targets and period of performance: Preparation: (1) Identification and consultation with key players and stakeholders: 2 months (2) Final selection of the research sites: 3 months (3) Fine-tune research methodology, research questions and computer models: 3 months Implementation: (1) Data collection and analysis: 6 months (2) Draft report on the assessment of the drought situation: 9 months (3) Draft report on coping strategies, assessing the capacity and effectiveness of respective agencies as well as community efforts: 12 months Completion and dissemination: (1) Development of a Decision Support Tool for planning drought mitigation and mapping out drought vulnerability regions, using Remote Sensing and GIS: 18 months (2) Identification of institutional and policy gaps in drought management and mitigation and, with stakeholders' participation, suggesting ways and means to improve mitigation efforts: 18 months (3) Development of a project proposal intended to lead to a detailed action program for long-term drought management in the region: 18 months J. Assumptions: The security situation inside Afghanistan will improve sufficiently in the coming months for scientific personnel to travel and to collect relevant data. The government of Afghanistan will develop adequate capacity to participate meaningfully in the final workshop and subsequent multi-party initiative. Diplomatic approaches can overcome barriers to travel between India and Pakistan, in order to permit the meaningful participation of Indian and Pakistani partners. Alternatively, a neutral venue such as Kathmandu could be selected. K. Total proposed cost: USD 343,600. L. Funding request: Item Unit Cost Quantity Total 1. Senior research personnel Day 650 150 97,500 2. Mid-level research personnel Day 450 90 40,500 3. Travel/per diem Trip 1000 30 30,000 4. Consumables, satellite images, etc L/S 5,000 5,000 5. Workshop Number 30,000 1 30,000 6. Sub-total 203,000 7. Administrative Cost (15 percent of Subtotal) 30,450 8. Contingencies (5 percent of Subtotal) 10,150 9. Contract research through partners 100,000 10. Total 343,600 Schedule of disbursement Two equal installments, disbursed at the start and middle of the 18-month project period. M. Principal Partners -- International Water Management Institute -- Global Water Partnership -- Care International -- Disaster relief and water resources affiliated agencies of respective governments -- International relief agencies such as OFDA, Red Cross and others -- Multilateral/bilateral donors -- USGS -- NOAA -- Institute for Social and Environmental Transition N. Roles and resources partners will contribute: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) will be the lead agency for implementing this project. IWMI is an international non-profit research organization specialized in water and land management. IWMI is part of a global coalition of 16 international agricultural research centers, collectively known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), or Future Harvest Centers. IWMI has extensive experience in finding and promoting integrated and sustainable solutions to water problems, with a bias for river basins as appropriate units of water management. With its head offices located in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and regional and country offices in over 15 locations in Asia and Africa, IWMI has a team of over 150 scientists, making it the largest international organization scientific in the developing world in the field of water management. IWMI has strong professional presence in Pakistan and India, and is part of a new CGIAR initiative for the agricultural revival of Afghanistan. Other partners: The project will be implemented in collaboration with disaster prevention and water management agencies in all three countries. International research, development and relief agencies will also cooperate, including the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and its regional and country chapters in South Asia, the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) India and CARE International. Global Water Partnership (GWP) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting best policies and practices in integrated water resource management. With a small secretariat in Stockholm, and three resource centers, of SIPDIS which IWMI is one, GWP is a decentralized network of independent stakeholders, including national governments, research and non-profit organizations, NGOs, UN agencies, multilateral banks, private companies, and other institutional stakeholders involved in water resource management. The GWP facilitates the exchange of knowledge, experience and the practice of integrated water resource management. GWP has active country water partnerships in both India and Pakistan. AKRSP (I) is a community-based rural development initiative in Gujarat state with extensive experience in developing and promoting cost-effective water management techniques and technologies. CARE International has an on-going agreement with IWMI to collaborate on projects designed to serve smallholders in water-stressed areas. The major focus of this partnership is on developing and promoting cost-effective technologies and management methods, such as water harvesting, storage and application. The two organizations plan to join hands in assessing the needs and developing appropriate responses to water and agricultural problems in Afghanistan. Multilateral and bilateral donors and investment banks will be presented with project proposal for a larger initiative required to address chronic drought conditions in the region. We expect that some of these donors will be interested in funding elements identified in the proposal which address their priorities, such as poverty alleviation and environmental management. In addition, the project will seek to develop close links with international, regional and national players in the fields of climate and drought monitoring, mitigation/relief, and water management. The project will also seek technical cooperation from USG agencies involved in drought assessment, including OFDA, USAID, NOAA, and USGS. The project will coordinate closely with ISET's Adaptive Strategies study (funded through South Asia Bureau ESF) to share results and experience, and to avoid duplication of effort. O. OES sponsoring Office: OES/PCI MALINOWSKI
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