Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Sector Planning guidances allow you to environmentally align your project strategy design.

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VEHA - Sector Planning Guidance

Planning - Site planning and urban planning

Planning – Site planning and urban planning

Sector result

People have access to safe shelter while minimising any negative programme impact on the natural environment


Define the indicators

% of shelter and/or settlement sites that are located in areas with no or minimal known natural and human-made threats, risks, and hazards

% of collective shelter or campsites that have an environmental plan at all stages of the Transformative Agenda life cycle

% shelters or camps that have a sustainable or sustainable local supplier plan in place and implement a minimum number of sustainable actions for service provision.

% shelters or camps that have effective solid waste separation, management, re-use, repurposing, and recycling systems in place


Ask Questions

Does your shelter and settlement plan include environmental sustainable construction considerations, assess and mitigate potential environmental threats and potential negative impacts of the intervention?

Does your plan include an assessment of the environmental fragilities and benefits of multiple alternative locations?

Does your plan include an assessment of the activities of other actors, including non-humanitarian actors, and the combined environmental impacts of all of your activities?

Does your intervention monitoring plan include environmental consideration to measure how the impact is mitigated and environmental opportunities enhanced?


Include a Source of Verification

Known natural and man-made threats, risks, and hazards are listed in shelter and settlement plans together with safety/mitigation measures.

Planning documents include Environmental impact analysis, measures to mitigate the impact, and environmental enhancement opportunities.

Conduct risk and habitability assessments.

Conduct area-wide strategic environmental impact assessments.

Support a shelter cluster-wide joint assessment and strategy.

Evaluate both local and remote suppliers that follow essential sustainability criteria (defined in the early stage of the intervention).

Assess and monitor sites with waste collection and treatment systems


Consult Guidance & Examples

·   Develop a shelter and settlement plan in consultation with local authorities and community members responsible for environmental management and service provision.

·   Incorporate environmentally sustainable construction considerations in the project management cycle and longer-term environmental opportunities into recovery planning from the start of the response.

·   Conduct hazard mapping and strategic environmental impact assessment.

·   Consider the potential negative impact of certain types of activities such as cash-based interventions, on natural resources (e.g. increased logging).

·   If not already in place, support local authorities and communities to develop environmental management plans.

·   Consider ways to increase the level of security of land tenure as a part of the shelter program. A higher level of security of tenure can encourage long-term consideration for the local environment.

· Consider local hazards and climatic conditions in building design, implementation timeline, and siting.

· Encourage reuse and repurpose of disaster debris, waste, and emergency shelter materials provided towards the upgrading of shelter over time.

· Minimise amount of materials used through accurate bills of quantities and innovative design.

· Provide only household items that minimize energy consumption or potential environmental impacts.

· If the provision of fuel is identified as a need, identify and mitigate the impact that energy interventions can have on existing livelihood activities that involve the collection and sale of fuels.

· Provide improved burners or green energy stoves that optimize combustion efficiencies, to replace homemade burners.

· Provide and use energy-efficient lightings such as LED lighting and solar energy

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