2017 Environment and Emergencies Forum | Ignite Stage & Exhibition Space
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Ignite Stage & Exhibition Space

Ignite Stage


The Ignite Stage offered Forum participants their moment in the spotlight. Speakers had an opportunity to share their experiences, initiatives or projects through five-minute presentations. The audience was treated to interactive, energizing and dynamic presentations on a range of subjects related to environment and emergencies.


Welcome and Introduction to the Ignite Stage 

Hannah Moosa, UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit 


Environment in WASH: The sidelined cross-cutting issue  

Moritz Hauer, UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit  


Challenges integrating environmental concerns in the WASH Cluster and options moving forward  

Environment is too often an under-appreciated cross-cutting issue or afterthought within the humanitarian sector. Efforts to systematically integrate environmental concerns have been limited.  


This presentation discussed the state of environmental mainstreaming in the WASH Cluster and existing challenges. It presented the main barriers that hinder a systematic integration of environmental concerns in emergency WASH operations, and discussed options moving forward.   


The Dadab Story

Environmental impacts of the refugee community in Garissa CountyKenya Red Cross efforts to achieve environmental sustainability  

Eva Wanjiku, Kenya Red Cross Society  

Garissa county in Kenya was environmentally rich before human encroachment and inhabitation by the refugee community.  


This talk highlighted major environmental changes and impacts over the years, as well as key steps taken by the Kenyan Red Cross towards achieving environmental sustainability.  


How environmental woes are fueling Iraq’s conflict: a reporter’s take from the field 

One journalist’s experiences at how ISIS – and parts of the anti-ISIS coalition – have thrived off water, agricultural and climate woes  

Peter Schwartzstein, Freelance Journalist  

Iraq’s environment is, by most measures, in a bleak state, posing a serious threat to everything from public health to biodiversity. It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that it is also contributing to the country’s instability.  


This talk presented one journalist’s experiences over the past few years looking into how ISIS – and parts of the anti-ISIS coalition – have thrived off water, agricultural and climate woes.  


Celebrating 40 years of cooperation in the Mediterranean: preventing and combating marine pollution from ships 

Gabino Gonzalez, Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) Video presentation highlighting REMPEC’s past achievements and the outlook moving forward  

For forty years, REMPEC has worked to prevent, prepare for and respond to marine pollution in the Mediterranean. Today, REMPEC continues its ambitious efforts to provide a comprehensive, pragmatic, operational and sustainable system for the benefit of all Mediterranean coastal states.   


This video presentation highlighted some of the past achievements of the organization and the outlook moving forward.  


Words and Needs 

The value of environmental community consultations 

Gavin Reynolds, Swedish Red Cross  

Conducting successful and informative consultations on environmental issues with communities can be difficult. Local understandings of broader concepts such as “environment” and “environmental impact”, as well as the relevance of these to daily life, are often different to the understanding held by western environmentalists.  


This talk explored these challenges, as well as the value of persisting with environmental community consultation. It also offered some ideas to assist actors in gaining insight into a community’s environmental needs and concerns.  


Lessons learned from Cameroon 

Groupe URD’s research on the negative environmental impacts of the Minawao refugee camp and possible ways to minimize these impacts  

Francois Grunewald, Groupe URD 

Today, there are an estimated 62,000 refugees in Minawao refugee camp in the far north of Cameroon, who have fled the conflict caused by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The camp is located in a very arid region where the effects of climate change have already been felt for several years 


This presentation provided an overview of Groupe URD’s research work on the negative environmental impacts of the Minawao refugee camp, most notably on the water and wood resources. It also highlighted possible measures that could be taken to minimize the negative impacts on the environment.  


Connecting environmental responders through HumanitarianID 

HumanitarianID – the contact list management system for humanitarian emergencies

Anthony Liew, UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit  


This presentation introduced participants to HumanitarianID – a new tool to connect with environmental responders and humanitarian practitioners anywhere in the world.   


The promise of open source investigation: exploring the possibilities for environment and emergencies 

Christiaan Triebert, Bellingcat   

Bellingcat is known worldwide for its open source investigations, ranging from investigating war crimes in Libya, to corruption in Ukraine, the downing of MH17 to the bombing of a mosque in Syria. Bellingcat is now exploring the possibilities of open source investigation into environmental issues.  


This short talk introduced Bellingcat’s research methods and demonstrated how this may potentially be useful for environmental investigations.  


FEAT: the chemical preparedness and response tool for you! 

Launch of the FEAT 2.0 Pocket Guide – a compact hands-on reference guide for emergency responders  

Emilia Wahlstrom, UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit  


This talk launched the FEAT 2.0 Pocket Guide – a compact hands-on reference guide for emergency responders. The presentation also demonstrated to participants how the FEAT can help prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies.  


Exhibition Space


At the 2017 Environment and Emergencies Forum, participants also had an opportunity to showcase their work at a designated Exhibition Space. Participant exhibits included poster and banner displays of projects, toolkits, training manuals and the latest technological innovations in environmental emergency preparedness, response and environment and humanitarian action. The Exhibition Space was set up inside the UN Gigiri Compound, in the main corridor.  


The following organizations showcased their work at the Exhibition Space:  


  1. Raising GabdhoFoundation, Uganda 
  2. UN-Habitat, Kenya
  3. The International Centre for Research in Agro-Forestry (ICRAF), Kenya
  4. MSB Sweden
  5. Maestros Leadership Team,Kenya 
  6. Zoi Environment Network
  7. The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Kenya/Philippine Permanent Mission
  8. Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (WOCAN)
  9. The UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit