Assessment of environmental consequences after an emergency
Guidance for Assessments in Protracted Crises
How to assess environmental consequences in protracted crises response and recovery
Include an assessment of the state of the environment when updating the overall humanitarian needs assessment. Natural resource depletion and environmental degradation are drivers of subsequent disaster risk, can severely add to the vulnerability of affected people, increase the overall complexity of crisis and complicate recovery efforts.
To assess environmental sensitivities and potential impacts of specific humanitarian project interventions, conduct a NEAT+ environmental screening.
To assess environmental issues affecting the disaster wide context conduct a Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (REA).
In case of a sudden-onset event during the protracted crisis like military strikes damaging industrial facilities causing severe environmental pollution, conduct a (rapid) environmental assessment to quickly screen for environmental issues.
Invite environmental actors to support with carrying out (parts of) the environmental assessment.
For environmental actors: Proactively engage with humanitarian country teams or cluster coordinators to offer expertise on environmental assessments.
Know how and where to request additional environmental expertise if necessary – consider the host government and national organizations for expertise. For details on how to request international assistance see the Environmental Emergencies Guidelines.
As the state of the environment continues to change throughout the crisis, pay close attention to the communities’ perceptions of environmental issues and concerns.
Are livelihood activities impaired by changing environmental conditions?
Which environmental risks are communities facing?
The REA and FRAME contain a community assessment to capture the environmental concerns and needs of disaster affected people.
For donors: Make environmental assessments a donor requirement to ensure their systematic integrating in humanitarian programming. Consider the use of environmental markers.
Keep in mind that during protracted crises, the depth and volume of information needed increases as the crisis evolves. This often translates into specific thematic assessments, which necessitate a harmonized assessment approach with joint needs analysis. Thematic assessments may take a recovery or resilience perspective, making environmental elements particularly important.
Strong engagement with humanitarian actors during the preparedness and assessment planning phases is an opportunity for integrating environmental elements into the coordinated assessment process and the subsequent joint analysis.
A situation analysis following a crisis typically looks at key crisis drivers, affected areas, the number and type of affected people, the ways in which people are affected, the most urgent needs and available capacities.
Response and Recovery Planning
Environment is included into response plans in order to improve programme quality and accountability to disaster-affected people.
Environmental mainstreaming is dependent on successful resource mobilization, where environmental concerns must be integrated in funding proposals in order to secure funding.
Successful integration of environment into the implementation of humanitarian response requires that environment be included into preparedness and planning phases, but also effective coordination with national actors.
Response monitoring is about creating evidence for humanitarian actors about what actions should be taken to address shortcomings and fill gaps in in the response, with the aim of improving accountability towards affected populations, local government, donors and the general public.