Environment in emergency response preparedness
Environment in emergency response preparedness
Throughout the humanitarian programme cycle of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, a range of guidelines, manuals, toolkits and mechanisms have been developed to support the decision-making assessment process. However, no single mechanism or tool is comprehensive or accepted as standard operating procedure. Furthermore, the extent to which environmental assessments are integrated into the overall humanitarian emergency planning process can vary significantly. This patchwork of environmental tools can complicate when, where, and how to integrate environmental considerations into humanitarian projects and programmes.
Developed and published by the Joint Initiative, this scoping report provides a situational analysis, outlining the challenges and providing draft recommendations regarding the use of environmental assessment tools, with focus on the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disasters (REA).
The course, available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian, provides an overview of the international environmental emergency response mechanisms and introduces the main actors and tools available for preparing for, and responding to, environmental emergencies.
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach enables the humanitarian community to proactively prepare for crises requiring a coordinated international response. The ERP approach supports the identification and prioritization of preparedness actions to ensure an effective humanitarian response in the first few weeks of an emergency.
Environment in Emergency Response Preparedness outlines the minimum and advanced environmental preparedness actions that can be taken as part of overall Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP), and follows the Inter-Agency Standing Committee guidance on ERP.
These guidelines focus specifically on the roles and responsibilities of regional and international institutions and frameworks in environmental emergency response.
The Environmental Emergency Risk Index (EERI) builds upon existing humanitarian, development and environmental performance indices to support prioritizing work on environmental emergency preparedness and environment in humanitarian action.
This study examines the of integration of environmental considerations in humanitarian operations and provides recommendations for collective action to improve the effectiveness, accountability, and sustainability of humanitarian action.
The Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) Programme aims to reduce industrial risks at local level, raise awareness and build local capacity to respond to emergencies.
The Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT) helps to identify existing or potential acute environmental impacts that pose risks for humans, human life-support functions and ecosystems, following sudden-onset natural disasters. FEAT focuses primarily on immediate and acute impacts arising from released hazardous chemicals.
The course, available in English and Russian, equips environmental experts and international first responders with the necessary knowledge to rapidly identify, prioritize, and mitigate the impacts of industrial chemical releases to human health and the environment.
Guidance on legal and policy framework from across the world along with special reference to the Indian legal framework and disaster management guidelines
The course, available in English, French, Spanish and Russian, provides humanitarian actors with information on how to effectively integrate environmental issues into humanitarian response and early recovery strategies.
The course, available in English, French, Spanish and Russian, seeks to provide humanitarian response staff as well as local, national, and regional government authorities with increased awareness and enhanced knowledge on disaster waste and management strategies to mitigate their environmental impact.
This publication draws attention to the importance of multilateral cooperation in preparing for and responding to environmental emergencies. It raises awareness of the devastation that environmental emergencies can cause and highlights the strong need to integrate humanitarian and environmental action.
This study, conducted in 2020, sheds light on a variety of potentials and pitfalls of remote sensing for disaster risk analyses in fragile contexts. This topic gains importance in light of the need to formulate more systemic and better-integrated approaches to risk-informed development. Evidence-based policy recommendations encourage organizational learning and action such as resource pooling, project evaluation and multi-stakeholder cooperation.
The research reveals cutting-edge practical experiences from a dozen in-depth expert interviews, including the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit and UN-SPIDER, the aerospace community NASA, DLR and Maxar, the German development agency GIZ and civil protection authority BBK. Supported by an extensive body of interdisciplinary literature, this work offers a contribution to understanding ambiguous feedback effects of digital technologies in dynamic environments.
The study is available in English only.
These two documents from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides guidance for governments seeking to develop, review or strengthen their national chemical accidents prevention and preparedness programme.
UNEP is leading an international initiative to promote chemical accident prevention and preparedness. The initiative focuses on the development and implementation of a Flexible Framework for Chemical Accident Prevention and a Flexible Framework for Addressing Chemical Accident Prevention and Preparedness. Both offering guidance for governments wanting to develop, review or strengthen their national chemical accidents prevention and preparedness programme.
UNEP informs that almost every country experiences chemical accidents each year, occurring both at small facilities such as pesticide warehouses and large installations such as refineries, at public facilities (including water treatment plants using chlorine or private manufacturing facilities for the chemical, pharmaceutical, and consumer products industries), in urban settings and industrial parks or in rural areas where there might be mining operations or refrigeration facilities.
Find more information about the guidance on Flexible Framework for Chemical Accident Prevention and the brochure on Flexible Framework for Addressing Chemical Accident Prevention and Preparedness on the Environmental Emergencies Centre (EEC) here
This factsheet provides an overview of the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit’s IKI Project, an inter-agency project which aims to strengthen climate change adaptation in target humanitarian hotspots. The project supports vulnerable communities, internally displaced people, refugees and host communities that face climate-related risks.
The projects involves three implementing countries, Burundi, Chad and Sudan. The partners involved in the project involve the United Nations World Food Programme, the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit,, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA).
The IKI Project aims to improve understanding and integration of climate-environment risk planning. It aims to improve clean energy access, proper waste management and encourage reforestation. It also aims to empower communities on a local level so they have the capacity to address the impacts of climate change.
Download the factsheet here.
Download the two page annex here.
Integrating environmental considerations into the humanitarian programming cycle from the onset of the operation enables the prevention and mitigation of future environmental damage, increases the likelihood of humanitarians doing no harm, and helps to increase the resilience of (potentially) affected peoples.
For more information on the development of HNOs, click here.
To access recent HNOs for given countries, click here.
This report presents the results of an environmental scoping mission using the Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT+) by the UNEP / OCHA Joint Environment Unit (JEU) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to Hpa An Township, Kayin State in Southeast Myanmar.
The purpose of the mission was to highlight key areas of environmental risks in the Hpa-An Township while using, testing and promoting the Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT+). The mission took place from 23 September to 1 October 2019 and was financially supported by NRC, UNEP and OCHA.
Key findings (and related recommendations) cover programmatic, strategic and external advocacy relevant recommendations. These encompass the need to prioritise disaster risk reduction interventions and education, the large gap in waste management, climate change, improving the capacity for screening environmental risks, and suggestions for the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund.
There are approximately 5,600 internally displaced people in Kayin, mostly from conflict and environmental issues like river bank erosion. The purpose of the mission was to highlight key areas of environmental risk in NRC’s programming in Hpa An, and to apply and promote the Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT+). The JEU team also trained seven NRC staff in the use of NEAT+ so that it can be applied to other projects across Myanmar.
The NEAT+ field test took place in two locations within Hpa An Township: Saint Chaung and Sein Pa La village. These locations were selected by NRC. Separate environmental sensitivity assessments were completed for each location. The Livelihoods and Food Security (LFS) expert completed the activity module based on NRC’s current activities in Sein Pa La village (Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation modules). Neither the WASH nor the Shelter and Settlements modules were completed as NRC does not have these specific technical activities in the area of the pilot.
The findings of this report are based on a combination of a field test of the NEAT+, six focus group discussions including participatory mapping with community groups, and a secondary data review. In this report, the results of the NEAT+ are analyzed in the context of the focus group discussions, secondary data review, and the NRC programme of work to provide tailored recommendations for mitigating environmental risks in Hpa An, and more broadly on a national level.
To learn more about NEAT+ please visit https://ehaconnect.org/resources/neat
This report published by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) highlights the results of its environmental impact scoping. The report was prepared as a scoping exercise for DEC members in order to highlight possible areas for further research among the membership. It summarizes the key tools, mechanisms and initiatives aimed at mainstreaming the environment in humanitarian action.
The Knowledge Hub on Health and Migration is a joint effort committed to building expertise on the public health aspects of migration and making information in this area widely available. The Hub provides tool kits, training materials, reports and schooling to better prepare for the health needs which arise during large-scale migration events.
The Flood Resilience Portal is a tool which provides open access to resources to build resiliency to floods. It issues reviews of past responses and provides community-specific flood resilience measurements.
PrepareCenter.org is an initiative established by the Red Cross which provides reports, case studies and training materials to encourage better preparedness for emergencies. It also provides insights and tools to integrate themes such as climate change, environment and urban resilience in disaster preparedness.
The Disaster Waste Management Guidelines for Asia Pacific, published by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, is developed to enhance preparedness for disasters by exchanging information, awareness and human resources during normal (non-hazard) times. The guidelines aims to provide a practical tool during a potential disaster as well as in a post-disaster recovery stage by preparing DW disposal in advance for a more effective process.
The Early Warning Systems Toolkit is an information resource for sector practitioners, policy and decision makers which can assist in developing and/or strengthening early warning systems for hydro-meteorological and coastal hazards within the Caribbean context. The Toolkit is a compilation of guidance and operational documents in an online platform developed by the CDEMA, IFRC and UNDP.
This summary is based on previous studies and work conducted by the UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit and its partners related to integrating environment in humanitarian action. It outlines major humanitarian trends that will shape the future integration of environmental considerations in humanitarian action.
This document published by Irish Aid provides a general overview of the links between environment and humanitarian assistance.
Understanding the current and potential future environmental conditions of a region is essential for an efficient and sustainable response
Risk analysis provides a common understanding and prioritization of risks, and should include existing environmental conditions and threats
Addressing environment as part of preparedness planning lays the foundation for its integration into humanitarian action.
Communicating risks effectively to populations and communities is essential for people to be able to be better prepared and to reduce the damaging impacts of hazards.
Policies supported by institutional frameworks and legal arrangements make up the disaster risk management framework. In order to systematically integrate environmental concerns in humanitarian action, one must consider the institutional arrangements governing disaster preparedness, response, recovery and emergency funding.
An understanding of evolving risks is fundamental to a timely and effective response. The analysis of disaster risks informs the planning of a response, while monitoring ensures that the process is responsive to changing contexts
Information management services support humanitarian actors in gathering, analyzing and disseminating key information about a humanitarian situation.
It is important to identify and close gaps between existing resources and anticipated emergency response needs. In preparedness, this entails an assessment of the current disaster risk management system and its available resources as well as capacities.
Environmental actors are assigned specific roles and responsibilities within the response, and interact with other responders within existing coordination mechanisms.
Including environmental considerations in disaster response exercises and trainings encourages exchange among actors and lays the foundation for a sustainable response.