Chapter 1. Overview
South-East Asia is frequently affected by drought and its impacts. During 2015 to 2020, the entire ASEAN region experienced at least six months of drought.1 For a better understanding of current drought management practices in South-East Asia, ESCAP has advocated for a shift to a more pro-active drought management approach and introduced a three-track framework in their publication, Ready for the Dry Years: Building resilience to drought in South-East Asia (second edition). Considering future drought risks in this region, the framework demonstrates three parallel tracks for policy interventions for drought adaptation that need to be taken across different sectors and at various timescales. Track 1 focuses on reducing or preventing drought risk though managing food, water and energy using a nexus approach. Track 2 enables countries to be better prepared and respond to drought risks through risk assessment, monitoring and early warning using climate services, data and innovations. Track 3 emphasizes to build-back-better by adopting risk-informed financing and insurance strategies. For the effective implementation of this framework, it is essential to integrate these adaptation strategies into existing drought management plans and policies in both individual countries and in ASEAN as well.
This guidebook aims to promote drought adaptation as the key to drought management processes and provides strategic and practical options to operationalize drought adaptation in South-East Asia. It includes the fundamental concept of integrating drought adaptation into existing drought management process and into regional or national drought management policies and their mainstreaming mechanism.
Furthermore, this guidebook describes various Track 1 strategies as well as provides technical support for the implementation of Track 2 strategies. Track 1 presents the lessons learnt from the best practices for drought adaptation in water, food and energy sectors across the South-East Asia region. To develop the Track 2 adaptation strategies, it is essential to understand the underlying causes of drought risks, including exposure to drought and specific vulnerability at the regional or sub-regional level. Different approaches (methods and data) have been adopted by various countries to identify drought risk, however, a common methodology can ensure the consistency and systemic replication of risk assessment across the region. This guidebook presents examples of geo-spatial-based drought risk assessment tools, at different spatial scales, using critically validated open source data and open source data analysis interface, which can be replicated across the region. It includes the identification of drought risk hotspots, exposure and vulnerability to drought as well as guidelines to estimate the economic impacts of drought in South-East Asia.
This guidebook targets multi-sector stakeholders, such as professionals from agriculture, water resources, energy, disaster and climate change, land management, planning and finance sectors, as well as administrators, government officials and policymakers who are working in relevant sectors. It is expected that this guidebook will become a useful tool in assisting such multi-sector stakeholders in addressing drought risk to develop more resilient communities in the future.