he United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Ministry of Energy, I. R. Iran have recently launched the International Drought Initiative (IDI) to act as a platform for networking between international entities active in the field of drought.

IDI was approved by the 19th session of the IHP Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO held in Paris, France, July 2010. The interim secretariat for the initiative is provided by the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM) under the auspices of UNESCO in Tehran, Iran.

In this respect the IDI Executive Strategic Committee was formed to review, clarify and explain the principles, foundations and main frameworks of IDI activities consisting of representatives from relevant national entities. Accordingly, several meetings were held with the aim of promoting IDI’s mission and objectives in the Ministry of Energy/ IDI Secretariat.

In view of the crucial importance of introducing the International Drought Initiative (IDI) at national and international level as well as compiling the IDI Road Map, the first International IDI meeting was held in Tehran 9‐10 November 2011. The main objective of this meeting was to exchange with different national and international groups experience on drought and to liaise IDI with other UNESCO‐IHP Initiatives including ISI and IFI as well as discussing and to reviewing a zero draft version of the IDI Road Map.

In this way, UNESCO, the IDI interim secretariat (RCUWM) supported by the Iranian Ministry of Energy and the Iranian IHP National Committee in collaboration with a number of UN Agencies, International and Regional Organizations and key national agencies, jointly motivated the scientific expertise and knowledge and facilitated the exchange of experience among countries through the joint International Seminar on “Drought Management” and “2nd International Drought Initiative Meeting” held in the convention halls of the Ministry of Energy, Tehran- Iran on 14 to 15 May 2013.

Holding this event by the cited entities was considered as one of the most important joint activities in the field of drought in 2013 as the year of International Water Cooperation.


The meeting aimed at providing and exchanging information on lessons learnt and improving responsiveness towards droughts. The meeting will bring together experts and experience of highly skilled professionals to debate openly drought issues and discuss the IDI Road Map.

The main purpose of this meeting was finalizing the IDI Road Map and determining its future activities and action plan.