In Europe and Central Asia, FAO works for countries to better understand damages and losses from disasters
13 October 2021
- Different types of hazards prevail in the countries of Europe and Central Asia, including earthquakes, floods, droughts, and locust, but their impact on agriculture is largely underestimated and unreported. Yet, countries interest in FAO’s methodology on reporting agricultural damages and losses is increasing, revealed FAO officer Daniela Mangione at a virtual roundtable today.
Her intervention was part of an FAO virtual event to commemorate the 2021 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, held on 13 October, by highlighting FAO’s work on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the international cooperation for disaster risk reduction in agrifood systems.
In Europe and Central Asia, the risk of disasters spreads unevenly and with a severity ranging from very low to high. It is estimated that three percent of potential agriculture production in Central Asia and Eastern and Southern Europe is lost to disasters.
“The main obstacle to understanding the scope of the problem is the lack of a common methodology for assessing and reporting damages and losses that would enable us to monitor, assess, and compare data,” Daniela Mangione added.
To tackle this, FAO has been promoting its widely accepted methodology among the countries of the region since 2019. So far, 17 countries have benefited from trainings, workshops, and other activities, including three countries (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan) that are in the pilot phase of implementing the damage and loss assessment methodology.
The most important part of the process is for national institutional partners to define and agree upon the clear objectives and design of an action plan for their achievement. No blueprint approach exists on adopting and using the FAO methodology, because the plans have to reflect and be adapted to the reality and expectations of each country.
Mangione mentioned a few recurring challenges and obstacles observed in the region, such as the absence of relevant national legislation. In some countries methodologies already exist, but are not harmonized nor sector-specific, neither were they developed to generate data (at different administrative levels down to individual farmers).
“Therefore, proper legislative and policy framework, well-maintained databases, funds, the involvement of all relevant public actors, and, most of all, a strong governmental commitment are needed to successfully adopt and scale up the damages and losses assessment methodology in Europe and Central Asia,” Mangione concluded.