ESCAP’s Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning

ESCAP’s Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning (Regional Drought Mechanism) provides a toolbox of data, products and services to support countries in building their resilience to drought. These tools are leveraged from the data and expertise available in the region's space faring countries, and then used to build the capacity of drought-prone countries to apply earth observation-based risk information for managing drought risk.

The Mechanism is established under ESCAP's Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development (RESAP), which pulls together regional resources such as satellite-derived data, knowledge products, tailored tools, timely service and training networks to promote sustainable development. It follows this approach to support the development and installation of customized drought monitoring and early warning systems in pilot countries, by enhancing their access to data and knowledge, and strengthening their institutional capacity to utilize this for drought management.

Utilizing regional collaboration allows the mechanism to provide pilot countries with more tailored and accurate information. The in-season monitoring information that comes from these drought monitoring and early warning systems is combined with long-range climate outlooks issued before the start of the season, to provide a near real-time and finer assessment of drought risk throughout the crop growth cycle. Furthermore, the Mechanism facilitates the replication of best practices by strengthening institutional capacities to utilize the existing platform, tools, technologies and space-based data based on demand. It does so by developing tailored systems and institutional capacity through its service nodes in China, India and Thailand.

Learn more about the ESCAP Regional Drought Mechanism here.

Through years’ efforts, the following ASEAN countries have been assisted in establishing drought monitoring and early warning systems:

  • Myanmar: A Drought Monitoring System in Myanmar has been operationalized by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology. This combines data from remote sensing and ground databases to provide information about the prevalence, severity and persistence of agricultural drought. ESCAP is providing technical support to build the capacity of government stakeholders to understand how to use this software for drought monitoring, analysis, early warning and decision making
  • Cambodia: Tools are being customized to support evidence-based decision making in drought risk management, including the DroughtWatch system which is being installed and validated at the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and DataCube, which is being developed by Geoscience Australia. ESCAP is providing in-depth training and technical support for relevant line ministries on how to utilize these tools


Sub-regional level: