Disaster risk reduction mainly focused on flood events in the past decades. However, one of the most impactful water-related climate risks to both nature and humanity is considered to be droughts, many regions in the world have already been hit hard by drought events in recent years. Drought impacts are far-reaching and include degraded ecosystems, limited availability of drinking water and loss of food production. To be better prepared for future drought events, the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters has taken the initiative for a joint action in preparing guiding principles on drought risk management.

This action was led by Government of the Netherlands with support from Deltares and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation. International experts over the world have contributed to this initiative and this has resulted in a set of guiding principles for operationalizing integrated drought risk management in the context of changing climate.

The report was launched in a session ‘New perspectives on droughts in a time of climate change’ during the 9thWorld Water Forum and handed over to Dr. Han, High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP).


This report was prepared by joint collaborative action from international experts, coordinated by a core team consisting of Harm Duel, Henk Wolters, Ingrid Timboe, Judith ter Maat and John Matthews.

This report benefitted greatly by the contributions from the following experts (in alphabetic order): Valentin Aich (GWP), Abou Amani (UNESCO), Carlos Benitez Sanz (EMGRISA), Tom Bucx (Deltares), Johannes Cullmann WMO), Katrin Ehlert (WMO), Nathan Engle (World Bank), Neeltje Kielen (Government of the Netherlands), Audrey Legat (Deltares), Felicia Markus (Stanford University), Rita Marteleira (UNESCO), Alex Mauroner (AGWA), Anil Mishra (UNESCO), Tom Panella (ADB), Frederik Pischke (Umweltbundesamt), Gwyn Reese (UK-CEH), Guido Schmidt (Fresh Thoughts), Robert Stefanski (WMO), Tony Slatyer (HELP advisor), Yva Veldhuis (Government of the Netherlands), Koen Verbist (UNESCO), Niels Vlaanderen (Government of the Netherlands), Koos Wieriks (Government of the Netherlands). The views, opinions and conclusions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of HELP or any other organisation or government the authors represent. We would like to thank the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands for leading this flagship initiative.

We are very grateful to the HELP chair Dr. Han Seung-soo for this initiative and the HELP secretariat and HELP advisors in reviewing and shaping the report. We would also like to thank Welmoed Jilderda for providing the layout and design for the report.

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