Recovery

Recovery

Addressing environmental issues in emergency recovery

Recovery

Integrating environment from the onset of early recovery efforts helps to restore societal functions, livelihoods and areas in a more environmentally and socially responsible way. If undertaken with environmental sustainability in mind, recovery and reconstruction can be utilized to reduce disaster risk and vulnerability to future hazards, and climate change adaptation. An early recovery process also provides a good opportunity to address the environmental impacts of humanitarian response operations, which helps to ensure that both communities and the environment can recover in a healthy, secure and sustainable way.

Typical recovery activities, such as restoring livelihoods can have more substantial environmental impacts. The key areas in which (early) recovery and reconstruction activities should take the environment into account include construction, agriculture, shelter and settlements, debris management (including reuse, recycling, repurposing and reducing), water use, sanitation, energy consumption, camps and other formal and informal settlements and living arrangements, transportation, and (green) procurement. Bringing livelihood, environmental management and disaster risk reduction concerns together in an integrated planning approach contributes to the sustainable development of communities and works to bridge the humanitarian development divide.

In protracted crises, there is often a prolonged period of response, with recurring relapses into crisis and a complicated route to recovery. The resilience approach considers ways in which communities and systems can be strengthened to plan and prepare for risks, cope with crisis and continuously adapt. Here, environment and climate risk considerations are also intrinsically linked.

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