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Towards Drought Resilient Societies - Drought monitoring, impact assessment, and management from local to national scale

Speaker: Dr. Parmeshwar Digamber Udmale


Among all the natural hazards, drought ranks first in terms of the number of people directly affected. The droughts are more likely to affect the developing or agrarian economies like India, where a considerable proportion of the population earns their living from agriculture and allied activities. Drought results in various socio-economic impacts such as a decrease in crop yield, unemployment, income decrease, which reduces the risk absorptive capacity, eventually increasing the vulnerability of a community. A warmer climate with increasing climate variability is likely to increase the risk of climate extremes such as droughts in the future. Consequently, it would alter the magnitude, frequency, duration, and spatial extent of droughts. The drought impacts and its severity vary from region to region. An area may experience frequent droughts, but the risk of drought will be less if society's adaptive capacity to the hazard is high. In this background, it is important to monitor drought, assess impacts, and come up with location-specific drought management options through stakeholders' involvement in research using the co-design and co-produce approach. The talk will provide an overview of the scope of drought research followed by an example of defining national-scale droughts in India by using common drought indices, cropland, and cereal production data.

Bio of Speaker

Dr. Parmeshwar Udmale is an Affiliated Faculty & Research Fellow at AIT, Thailand. He has a Ph.D. in Integrated River Basin Management (ICRE-UY, Japan) with five years of postdoctoral research experience (of which four years were in Japan). His research interests include water, agriculture, and society; disaster risk research (floods and droughts); drought monitoring and impact assessment; agriculture, food security, and food supply chains (domestic and international trade); water and rural livelihoods; and monitoring sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the local scale. To date, he has 20+ publications out of which 17 are listed in Scopus. The total google scholar citations are 390+ and the h-index is 8. During doctoral studies, he has researched the socio-economic and environmental impacts of droughts at a catchment scale in the drought-prone area of Maharashtra. His JSPS Postdoctoral research was about 'how local or regional scale drought impacts on crop production propagate to national and international level. Besides his core research interests, he has worked as a team member of different projects undertaking a range of research activities: (1) SATREPS Project in Nepal- Hydro-microbiological Approach for Water Security in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, (2) Human‐ Environmental Security in Asia‐Pacific Ring of Fire: Water‐Energy‐Food Nexus (WEFN) Project in Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, USA, and Canada (3) Research support to Secretary, UNESCO IHP Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific, and (4) current ongoing project - UKRI GCRF Living Deltas Hub in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

While undertaking the Living Deltas Hub project research at AIT, presently as an affiliated faculty, Dr. Udmale is a co-instructor and coordinator in the following courses taught at AIT:

(1) IN 84.9010 Multi-hazard Risk Assessment: Methods, Tools, and Techniques

(2) IN84.9007 Asia Pacific Initiative in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (A joint seminar course offered by the University of Hawaii and AIT).

Event Date: 
Friday, 30 October 2020 - 5:15pm