EHA Connect is a unique digital tool spanning the humanitarian-environment nexus. It allows environmental actors to get involved in the disaster management space and humanitarian actors to mainstream environmental considerations in preparedness, response and recovery. EHA Connect is the first comprehensive online repository of environment in humanitarian action (EHA) tools and guidance and was produced as part of the Coordination of Assessments of Environment in Humanitarian Action Initiative. EHA Connect responds to the highlighted need for connection between environmental and humanitarian actors in order for them to maximise their collaboration for better quality humanitarian action for both people and the environment.
EHA Connect can be used at any stage of disaster management, from preparedness through to recovery. It can be used to explore more about a topic at any time, or for practical immediate guidance in the middle of a response. The tool is structured around the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC), an operational framework similar to the project cycle that is used in the international humanitarian response system, also known as the humanitarian architecture. The HPC sets out the sequence of actions that should be taken to prepare for, plan, manage, deliver and monitor humanitarian responses. In EHA Connect, environmental considerations are directly linked to humanitarian guidance and resources with recommendations for practical and rapid actions to be taken. Using the HPC as the basis for addressing environmental issues in humanitarian response will help environmental actors operate effectively in crisis and disaster situations. This is one of the ways that the tool helps to facilitate environmental actors to be able to speak the humanitarian “language” and strengthen their understanding of the humanitarian system.
EHA Connect can be used in two ways; either by using the search function to explore topics, or by navigating through the content. The content structured around the humanitarian programme cycle is presented in two sections:
- Environmental Preparedness for disaster response
- Response and Recovery with separated guidance for sudden onset and protracted crises
These sections either follow the sequence of HPC-related actions or the main components of preparedness. EHA Connect distinguishes between sudden-onset events and protracted crises in acknowledgement of the distinct mechanisms in place for both types of crisis, and the potential for corresponding environmental issues and their management to unfold over different timeframes.
The user can also explore the content by categories: humanitarian “clusters” or key thematic areas such as gender or debris and disaster waste. This is useful if you are looking for specific guidance on environmental issues in your area of work, for example Shelter and Settlements or Disaster Risk Reduction. There is a catalogue of resources available across all subjects.
We invite everyone to contribute to EHA Connect and to improve the tool by keeping it up to date! Send your improvements, guidance, comments and suggestions to the UN Environment /OCHA Joint Unit (JEU): firstname.lastname@example.org
Experts from the following organizations have contributed to or reviewed the content:
- Environment Community of Practice, Global Shelter Cluster
- Environment Management Group (EMG), UN Environment
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
- Public Health, England
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- The Cadmus Group
- The Nature Conservancy
- United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
- United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
- United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- World Food Programme (WFP)
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
In addition, numerous individuals have contributed to the content in their individual expert capacity.