When a flood occurs, lives are lost, and vital ecosystems and their accompanying biodiversity are threatened. Population growth and human activities on flood plains, evolving patterns of climate variability, and climate change increase the risks of flooding. In the interest of coping with these flood risks, the Integrated Flood Management (IFM) HelpDesk was established. Hosted by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and led in cooperation with the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM) provides guidance on flood management policy, strategy, and institutional development related to flood issues to countries that want to adopt an integrated approach to flood management.
Most recently, the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) and APFM signed a Letter of Engagement to strengthen cooperation, particularly in the context of the IFM HelpDesk among other areas of mutual interest. Grounded in its philosophy of working together on weather, climate, and water issues, the IFM HelpDesk functions through a decentralised network of technical and financial partner institutions that form the “HelpDesk Support Base”. UNU-FLORES will support the HelpDesk as a partner under its Support Base.
The IFM approach aims at balancing development needs and flood risks in river basins within the overall context of Integrated Water Resources Management — a process coordinating water, land, and related resources development and management with a goal of maximising welfare while considering sustainability. Backing up these efforts, UNU-FLORES will share its expertise by providing technical inputs as well as to promote the HelpDesk, particularly to parties that are likely to benefit from its services.
The cooperation extends to collaboration on nexus research on flood management, development of topic-specific literature and guidance material on nexus-relevant aspects, help with on-the-ground scientific assessments, help with leading/hosting workshops on policy design and strategic frameworks, and development of online/blended learning tools.
The hope is that this collaboration will further reinforce global efforts towards the sustainable management of resources primarily through the mitigation of flood risks.