The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Field Handbook is intended as an easily accessible reference guide for members of an UNDAC team before and during a mission to a disaster or emergency. The Handbook serves as an accumulation of institutional memory related to processes and procedures for coordination as seen in the scope of the UNDAC Standard Terms of Reference. Its focus is on the ‘how to’, but also includes sufficient context to ground the user in the mandate of OCHA.
These guidelines focus specifically on the roles and responsibilities of regional and international institutions and frameworks in emergency response. They were developed in cooperation with member states and organizations of the Strategic Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies (SAGEE) and draw on references from a variety of sources.
For the purpose of these guidelines, an environmental emergency has been defined as a sudden-onset disaster or accident resulting from natural, technological or other human-induced factors, or a combination of these, that cause or threaten to cause severe environmental damage as well as loss to human lives and property.