The National Drought Agreement 2018: A Comprehensive Plan to Tackle Drought in Australia

Drought is a natural calamity that has always been a part of life in Australia, but with changing climatic conditions, it has become more frequent, severe, and prolonged. The devastating effects of drought on agriculture, economy, and environment have prompted the Australian government to take a proactive approach and devise a comprehensive plan to tackle drought. The result is the National Drought Agreement of 2018, which is a collaborative effort between the federal, state, and territory governments to manage and mitigate the impacts of drought.

The National Drought Agreement 2018 is an umbrella framework that sets out the responsibilities, roles, and coordination mechanisms of all levels of government, industry, and community in the event of a drought. It aims to improve the preparedness, resilience, and response capabilities of Australia`s drought-prone regions by promoting risk management, climate adaptation, and sustainable resource management. The agreement also recognises the need to address the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of drought and promote social inclusiveness and equitable access to support services.

The key features of the National Drought Agreement 2018 include:

1. Drought-affected communities and farmers: The agreement recognises the crucial role of communities and farmers in managing drought and provides a range of support services, including financial assistance, counselling, and mental health support, education and training, and access to information and resources.

2. Climate adaptation and risk management: The agreement promotes the adoption of best-practice climate adaptation and risk management strategies to minimise the impacts of drought and build resilience in drought-prone regions. It also encourages the development of innovative technologies and practices to enhance water use efficiency and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

3. Sustainable resource management: The agreement emphasises the importance of sustainable resource management practices, such as soil conservation, water conservation, and biodiversity conservation, to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and natural resource-based industries.

4. Coordination and collaboration: The agreement outlines the roles, responsibilities, and coordination mechanisms of all levels of government, industry, and community in managing and mitigating the impacts of drought. It promotes collaboration, information sharing, and joint investment to maximise the effectiveness of drought management efforts.

The National Drought Agreement 2018 is a significant milestone in Australia`s efforts to manage drought and build resilience in drought-affected regions. It provides a comprehensive, coordinated, and collaborative approach to drought management that recognises the importance of social, economic, and environmental considerations. With its focus on climate adaptation, risk management, and sustainable resource management, the agreement provides a roadmap for Australia to become more resilient and better prepared to face the challenges of drought.