Response and Recovery Planning

Response and Recovery Planning

Improving humanitarian response and recovery planning through environmental mainstreaming

Response and Recovery Planning

A pivotal moment for environmental mainstreaming in humanitarian action is the integration of environmental concerns in the overall humanitarian response plans, and in organizations’ programmes or project plans. Making environmental considerations part of the strategic objectives, indicators and activities devised under the national response plan, the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), or any equivalent response plan, ensures that environmental issues can be addressed as part of the overall response, and  improves programme quality and accountability to disaster-affected people. In the case of the HRP, the country strategy and cluster/sector response plans offer various entry points to include environmental considerations. The integration of environmental considerations should be based on previous environmental assessments that have identified the key impacts and risks caused by natural and/or technological hazards.

Environmental issues such as the accumulation of disaster waste and natural resource depletion affect the way humanitarian assistance is delivered, and must be addressed in response plans. Consulting environmental actors on humanitarian actions is pivotal in ensuring that the environmental risks are identified and adequately mitigated in the response. Importantly, these actors can advocate for action from outside the constraints of the humanitarian response system, as was the case in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The following two Response Plans are exemplary for the inclusion of environmental concerns and the formulation of objectives that include the mitigation of damages to the environment:

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