UN Environment Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch
From Kosovo to Afghanistan, Lebanon, Sudan, China and Haiti, the Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch has responded to crisis situations in more than forty countries since 1999, delivering high-quality environmental expertise to national governments and partners in the UN family. As the international community has shifted its focus from post-crisis intervention to crisis prevention, the branch has expanded its operational range, adding disaster risk reduction and environmental cooperation for peacebuilding to its core services of post-crisis environmental assessment and recovery. The Branch, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, with project offices in Afghanistan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Nigeria, is also tasked with coordinating the Disasters and Conflicts programme across UNEP.
UNEP’s Disasters and Conflicts Programme delivers the following four core services to Member States:
- Post-crisis environmental assessments: Field-based assessments of the environmental impacts of crises on human health, livelihoods and security form the core of UNEP’s conflict and disaster management operations. Through its Joint Unit with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNEP mobilizes and coordinates the international emergency response and identification of acute environmental risks caused by conflicts, disasters and industrial accidents. With the aim of integrating environmental needs into relief and recovery programmes, UNEP is also available to conduct detailed post-crisis environmental assessments based on fieldwork, laboratory analysis and state-of-the-art technology. Each assessment is conducted on an equally neutral, impartial and scientific basis and adopts a tailor-made approach to the situation’s particular geographical, political and security conditions.
- Post-crisis environmental recovery: Following an assessment, UNEP is available to help national governments address identified environmental needs and priorities. Post-crisis environmental recovery programmes, which can last for several years, aim to strengthen the capacity of national and local environmental authorities, rehabilitate ecosystems, mitigate risks and ensure that resources are used sustainably within recovery and development processes. Where it is necessary and requested, UNEP can establish project offices in country to ensure a continuous presence on the ground.
- Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding: Capitalizing on the shared need to manage natural resources for livelihoods, UNEP aims to use environmental cooperation to transform the risks of conflict over resources into opportunities for peace in war-torn societies, and to integrate environment and natural resources issues within the peacebuilding policies and strategies of the UN. To help address the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding effectively, UNEP has developed a unique relationship with the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and broadened its expertise and capacity by establishing an Expert Advisory Group composed of senior experts from academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations and think tanks with demonstrated leadership in environment and conflict issues.
- Disaster Risk Reduction: Healthy ecosystems are the front line of defense against a changing climate. The services they provide not only protect lives and livelihoods from natural hazards, they also support livelihoods and other crucial aspects of human wellbeing. Guided by the Hyogo Framework for Action, UNEP provides decision-makers with sound information about disaster risk and works to catalyse a broad range of environmental actors to further reduce risks. UNEP’s risk reduction work also extends to Climate Change and Environmentally Induced Migration. UNEP works closely with the humanitarian community, focusing on regions vulnerable to disasters, outmigration and social instability.
- A fifth cross-cutting area of work – Environment, Humanitarian Action and Early Recovery was formally established in 2009. Through tailor-made training programmes for humanitarian actors, in-country technical support and a global network of practitioners, UNEP is building capacity to integrate environmental considerations within humanitarian and early recovery operations. This work helps minimise potential environmental impacts and ensure that they do no harm with regard to longer-term vulnerability and development.
PCDMB builds on the initial work conducted by the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environmental Unit which assesses acute environmental risks in the days following an emergency. PCDMB also partners with a multiplicity of international and national stakeholders including major NGOs, UN agencies, scientific laboratories and research institutions.
PCDMB’s publications are available on: http://www.unep.org/conflictsanddisasters/Publications/tabid/332/Default... To access the UNEP Disasters and Conflicts Programme brochure please see: http://www.unep.org/pdf/brochures/DisastersAndConflicts.pdf All publications are available on the website. See also http://www.unep.org/DEPI