Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
All livelihoods are in some way dependent upon the environment and therefore vulnerable to environmental hazards or changes. Most livelihoods also cause impacts within the environment.
Early warning systems can be established that help people to see environmental changes and their potential impacts on their livelihoods early enough to take action to mitigate the impact on their income, and therefore on their families, their health and also on the environment.
Climate and natural hazards are increasing in intensity, frequency, and complexity. Their related impacts have powerful implications for humanity, particularly communities with deep reliance upon natural resources.
The development of effective Early Warning Systems could contribute to livelihood resilience by improving coping mechanisms and enhancing adaptive capacity. However, current shortcomings in early warning systems’ conception and applications undermine risk reduction at the grassroots level, which contributes to loss of lives and shocks to livelihoods.
Early warning systems should be designed to be accessible to and relevant to people who are most at risk – including the disabled, sick, minorities, children, the elderly, and women.
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural Resource Depletion
Environmental hazards and climate change impact livelihoods in different ways.
Storms, floods, droughts, landslides, tsunamis, disease, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, crop pests impact agriculture, manufacturing, mining, construction, service delivery, and green economy livelihoods.
Livelihoods also impact the environment and can exacerbate vulnerabilities causing air, soil, and water pollution; damaging ecosystems; unsustainably depleting natural resources; pesticides and fertilisers can pollute water causing eutrophication; releasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental hazards or changes impact livelihoods in different ways. Climate and environmental hazards such as storms, floods, droughts, landslides, tsunamis, disease, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, crop pests have different impacts on agriculture, manufacturing, mining, construction, service delivery, and green economy livelihoods.
Most livelihoods also cause impacts within the environment. Agriculture can degrade soil and damage or protect ecosystems; pesticides and fertilisers can pollute water causing eutrophication and species loss; Manufacturing, mining, and construction livelihoods can each cause soil, air and water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainably deplete natural resources; even service delivery livelihoods create emissions from the use of electricity for heating, cooling, hygiene practices and for operating computers and servers; green economy livelihoods can ensure sustainable use of natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Whether these activities are designed to reduce their impact on the environment or not, these impacts can all make communities and livelihoods more or less vulnerable to shocks.
Early Warning Systems are therefore essential to help people take early action to protect their livelihoods and the environment on which they depend.
Early warning systems can provide warnings of sudden shocks and long-term stresses, including storms, floods, droughts, landslides, tsunamis, disease, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, crop pests.
Early warning systems can also monitor environmental thresholds – drivers of environmental vulnerabilities, including air, soil, and water pollution; ecosystem vulnerabilities; pesticide and fertiliser pollution to soil and water; species loss; greenhouse gas emissions; unsustainable depletion of natural resources.
Livelihoods early warning systems can provide people with sufficient meaningful information about environmental hazards or changes that will impact their livelihood, that they have enough time to take appropriate action to reduce the impact or harm or loss.
Warning systems should be designed to look for climate and environmental hazards such as storms, floods, droughts, landslides, tsunamis, disease, landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, crop pests.
The rising number of disaster events and crises worldwide has alerted people to protect their livelihood. Learning from disaster preparedness in New Zeland, building on livelihoods recovery in remote locations after the Kaikoura earthquake.
Case study, field
observations, as well as interviews with business owners and individuals recovering from the earthquake, suggested physical and psychological preparedness, public enlightenment on insurance policies and obligations, external networks, livelihood diversification, cash and inventory management as well as the importance of self-efficacy as lessons learned for livelihood preparedness.
Furthermore, research findings highlighted that a vision for Kaikura town and a clear community identity was crucial for achieving long-term business viability and sustainable living. These Lessons could assist businesses, individuals, and governments in hazard-prone and relatively isolated locations to better prepare livelihoods against disasters and potentially minimise the economic burden of recovery.
Early warning system established.
Number of actors cooperating to ensure suitable monitoring, reporting, and advice within early warning systems.
Prevention of environmental damage
Time, budget, resources to coordinate across multiple actors and set up mechanisms to monitor and communicate rapid, clear, concise information on environmental/climatic events and their likely impacts and appropriate actions to take to reduce their impact/reduce losses or protect livelihoods, crops, the environment and livelihoods assets.