About 50 Turkish decision-makers, scientists and stakeholders recently learned about state-of-the-art drought monitoring and planning at a workshop presented by staff from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s National Drought Mitigation Center. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization sponsored the workshop in Ankara in April for Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Mark Svoboda, the drought center’s monitoring program area leader, praised Turkey’s proactive approach to drought planning. “They’ve done their homework. I’m optimistic that there will be some follow-on activities,” he said. “All the future climate models show the Mediterranean lit up like a Christmas tree. They’re concerned about water security and food security. They’re talking about it before they’re at a crisis point.”
A memorandum of understanding is in the works between the FAO, Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and UNL’s School of Natural Resources and the National Drought Mitigation Center, to allow the drought center to conduct a formal evaluation of Turkey’s drought plan.
Besides Svoboda, other drought center presenters included Brian Wardlow, remote sensing and GIScience program area leader, and Cody Knutson, planning and social science program area leader.