Implementation of Response and Recovery operations, programmes and projects
Guidance for Implementation in Protracted Emergencies
Guidance on environmental mainstreaming in protracted crisis response and recovery implementation
During project implementation in protracted crises, make use of local capacities, increasing the accountability of the response and rooting it in the local context. Local networks active over the long timespan of a protracted crises have had sufficient time to specialize in specific areas and possess valuable local knowledge and practices.
Engage external environmental experts as required, prioritizing national expertise but using international experts such as Environmental Field Advisors where necessary. Develop the Terms of Reference based on the clients’ wishes.
In order to address environmental considerations in humanitarian response, actors need to closely monitor the environmental impact of their activities. Implementation and monitoring activities are therefore closely related and need to go hand in hand.
In protracted crises, project implementation activities stretch over a significant time horizon and need to be coupled with awareness raising.
It might take time to establish whether environmental mainstreaming activities have been successful or whether more support and capacity building is needed.
Planned or operational humanitarian programmes, projects and activities in a protracted crisis should be screened for their environmental impacts and risks.
The NEAT+ screening tool can be used for environmental screening of projects [link to NEAT+ resource].
If activities with negative environmental impacts are underway or planned, three actions should be considered:
Postpone or cancel the activity if it will result in unacceptable environmental damage. This option has to be weighed carefully depending on the extent of immediate hardship for affected people – the life saving imperative should be prioritized.
Adapt ongoing activities or plans to incorporate environmental impact mitigation or avoidance measures.
Accept negative environmental impacts due to relief assistance as unavoidable and preferable to not providing assistance. In this case, it is advisable to include impact mitigation and remediation actions in other elements of the relief effort or in post-disaster recovery programs.
Module One, Section Five, of the Guidelines for Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disaster provides guidance on the identification of potential negative environmental consequences of relief activities [LINK to online REA].
Use the findings of the environmental assessment or screening to inform the humanitarian intervention – maximizing environmental sustainability, addressing environmental issues and reducing risk. Multi-year protracted crises provide the necessary time to engage relevant stakeholders in order to mainstream environmental considerations.
In case the assistance activities are led by UN Agencies, environmental screening findings should be included in the next Humanitarian Needs Overview in order to inform subsequent implementation activities.
Consider which environmental issues can negatively affect the way humanitarian assistance is implemented and delivered in the short and long term.
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.
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.