Crisis Response and Recovery

Crisis Response and Recovery

Including the environment in Crises Response and Recovery

How to Guidance for Sudden-Onset and Protracted Crises Response & Recovery

The most relevant steps for integrating environment in Crises Response and Recovery

  1. Conduct an environmental assessment to establish the key impacts of the disaster on the environment, using tools like the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (REA), Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT), the New Environmental Assessment tool (NEAT+), Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), or full-scale Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) depending on the context, government requests, and available resources.
  2. Involve environmental actors throughout response and recovery.
    1. For environmental actors: Proactively engage humanitarian organizations and offer environmental expertise in relation to ongoing crisis response.
    2. For humanitarian actors: Request environmental expertise ifn needed, e.g. support from line ministries, organizations active in the environmental field or external support such as Environmental Field Advisors mobilized through the international response system.
  3. Include environmental considerations in humanitarian response planning to increase environmental mainstreaming throughout response and recovery.
    1. For donors: specifically request that key environmental concerns are to be included in the response planning, for example by the use of environmental markers.
    2. For humanitarian actors: see cluster and themes on typical environmental issues to be aware of when planning.
  4. Seek to reduce the negative environmental consequences of humanitarian operations. This includes:
    1. Assess and seek to minimize the main environmental impacts of your operations.
    2. Whenever possible ensure sustainable procurement of relief goods.
    3. Monitor and report unavoidable environmental impacts so they can be addressed later.
    4. Manage disaster and relief waste, with specific focus on hazardous waste.
  5. Maximize opportunities to ensure that recovery and reconstruction activities are sustainable and environmentally responsible, and improve long-term community resilience.
    1. For humanitarian actors: engage environmental actors in response, including local conservation actors and environmental government ministries.
    2. Use training resources like the Green Recovery and Reconstruction Toolkit (GRRT) to plan longer term activities.
    3. Incorporate disaster risk reduction and eco-based disaster risk reduction [link to thematic page], in partnership with environmental organisations.
    4. Utilize ecosystem-based approaches as much as possible.The conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of valuable ecosystems will contribute to improved recovery as ecosystems reduce exposure to hazards, sustain local livelihoods and provide essential materials for surrounding communities



Timeline for Sudden Onset Events

Circle for Protracted Crises

Key Activities


Situation 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.



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.


Resource Mobilization

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

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.



Coordination involves bringing actors together. It is a key mechanism for mainstreaming environment in disaster management.


Information and Data Sharing

Environmental information and data is important for an efficient humanitarian response and should be shared according to established humanitarian information management practices


Evaluation and Learning

Humanitarian response evaluations and lessons learnt should consider the extent to which environment has been addressed



Addressing environment in the recovery process helps restore societal functions in a more sustainable manner

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