Coordination for Environmental Mainstreaming in Disaster Management
Guidance for Coordination in Protracted Emergencies
Guidance on coordination of environmental issues in disaster management of protracted crises
In protracted crises there are often more opportunities and time to get environmental issues on the humanitarian response table through the cluster system, inter-cluster coordination, or the Humanitarian Country Team where they exist. These fora enable strategic discussions and decision-making by senior management of humanitarian organizations (IASC).
Humanitarian actors: Through the head of (your) organization, emphasize the need to raise environment as a cross-cutting issue in the humanitarian response, highlight key environmental issues and advocate for heads of organisation to take these cross-cutting issues to the inter-cluster coordination level. Request to participate in these meetings where possible and bring environmental partners to the table.
Environmental actors: Request to participate in humanitarian coordination fora to highlight key environmental issues relevant to the response. Focus on humanitarian impacts and use “humanitarian” language.
Participate in the Inter-cluster coordination group (ICCG), that brings together cluster/sector coordinators and representatives of cross-cutting issues at national and regional levels for the coordination and implementation of operations related to the humanitarian response.
As the environment is one of the principal cross-cutting issues, the ICCG is an adequate entry point to raise awareness for environmental considerations amongst all clusters involved in the response coordination of protracted crises.
Consider that there might be a number of actors engaged in the environment and/or humanitarian response, which act outside the overarching coordination structures such as local conservation organisations or environmental NGOs that might provide important knowledge of local practices and realities.
Specifically relevant for protracted crises in which local organizations tend to emerge over the long time frame that cover a wide range of activities within humanitarian response.
Make the effort to consult local actors to improve sub-national coordination of response activities and increase accountability of international activities.
The UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit can support coordination efforts through the deployment of an Environmental Field Advisor (EFA) and through linking actors and sharing guidance through the Environment and Humanitarian Action Network.
Coordination structures and mechanisms related to environmental programming should also be formed outside the UN structure. Such coordination can already be achieved by creating partnerships between environmental and humanitarian actors in order to enable better sharing of data, information and resources.
The aim of such efforts should always be to bring stakeholders together to address issues with joint skills and resources, reduce duplication of efforts, manage and exchange information efficiently, close existing gaps, and increase cooperation for working towards common goals.
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.
Assessing the environmental consequences of an emergency and prioritizing the response actions based on the needs, forms the foundation of a coherent, efficient and sustainable humanitarian response.
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.