Global Webinar Series


On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This global crisis has  been a very powerful reminder of the links between environment and emergencies. Disasters, crises and the environment are intrinsically interconnected. Therefore, a key element of emergency response is the rapid identification and mitigation of environmental risks. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have been partners for over 25 years, supporting countries in strengthening their capacities to respond to the environmental dimensions of disasters and complex emergencies.

In an effort to overcome COVID-19 related movement restrictions, the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit and the India National Institute for Disaster Management launched the Global Webinar Series on Environment and Emergencies in the face of COVID-19, which ran from July to December 2020.

Link to recording of the series

Watch the series online via this dedicated YouTube playlist!

You may also join the Facebook Community of Practice, created for the participants of the series and other enthusiasts to continue exchange about environment and emergencies. Kindly note that the group is not moderated, nor does it represent the views of the organizers of the series.


29 July 2020 “Environment and emergencies: what you need to know in a pandemic context” 

Moderator: Anil K. Gupta, National Institute of Disaster Management, Government of India
Opening remarks: Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, Chief, Emergency Response Section, OCHA
Opening remarks: Muralee Thummarukudy, Operations Manager, Crisis Management Branch, UNEP
Preparing for and responding to the environmental dimensions of emergencies – Margherita Fanchiotti, Focal Point for Response, UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit
Linkages: environment, emergencies and the current pandemic context – Lisa Guppy, Regional Coordinator Disasters and Conflicts, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Download the first webinar flyer here.

19 August 2020 “Environmental coordination in emergencies: localisation and lockdown challenges”

Moderator: Juan Bello, Head, UNEP Colombia Project Office
Opening remarks: Maj. Gen. Manoj K. Bindal, Executive Director, India National Institute of Disaster Management
Environmental coordination in emergencies – Dan Stothart, Regional Humanitarian Affairs Officer, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Coordination, decentralisation and localisation: insights from the Americas – Juan Pablo O’Farrill Duque, National Disaster Response Adviser, OCHA Mexico
Beirut explosion: sneak peek into the Emergency Operations Cell – Margherita Fanchiotti, Focal Point for Response, UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit

Download the second webinar flyer here.

23 September 2020 “Crisis waste management: COVID-19 and beyond”

Moderator: Marika Palosaari, Regional Coordinator Disasters and Conflicts, UNEP Regional Office for Europe
Opening remarks: Atul Bagai, Head, UNEP India Office
UNEP and COVID-19 waste management – Martin Guard, Hazardous Waste Specialist, UNEP/REACT Crisis Management Branch
Healthcare waste management in emergencies – Sally Edwards, Regional Adviser Climate Change and Health, Pan American Health Organization
Crisis waste management: perspectives from around the world – Ana Fonseca, Disaster Waste Management Specialist

Download the third webinar flyer here.

14 October 2020 “Preparing for and responding to chemical risks: re-starting industry”

Moderator: Bertrand Dagallier, Acting Principal Administrator, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development 
Opening remarks: Franziska Hirsch, Secretary of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Remembering Bhopal – George Joseph, Deputy Director, Bhopal Disaster Management Institute, India
Industrial risk management during the COVID-19 pandemic – Maureen Wood, Head, Major Accident Hazards Bureau, European Commission Joint Research Centre
Pandemic measures and chemical process safety: lessons learnt from COVID-19 – Mark Hailwood, Scientific Employee, Baden-Württemberg State Institute for Environment, Germany

Download the fourth webinar flyer here.

25 November 2020 “Enhancing the sustainability of humanitarian action”

Moderator: Gregory Rulifson, Sustainability Advisor, USAID 
Opening remarks: Victoria Saiz-Omenaca, Head of Office, OCHA Indonesia
Humanitarian action and sustainability: Why? Insights from India – Mihir Bhatt, Director, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute
Managing WFP’s environmental footprint: Stories from the field – Emanuela Cattaneo, Regional Environmental Adviser, WFP Regional Bureau for East and Central Africa
Climate crisis versus data revolution: A battle of the giants – Hussein Sulieman, UNEP National Consultant and Professor, University of Ghadarif, Sudan

Download the fifth webinar flyer here.

16 December 2020 “What have we learnt from past emergencies and future outlook?”

Moderator: Samantha Brangeon, Environment Advisor, Groupe URD 
Opening remarks: Muralee Thummarukudy, Operations Manager, Crisis Management Branch, UNEP
Environment and emergencies: lessons learnt and future directions – Urs Bloesch, Chief Executive Officer, Adansonia-Consulting, Switzerland
EU Civil Protection Mechanism: trends and environmental expertise in emergency response – Esther El Haddad, Deputy Team Leader, Emergency Response Coordination Centre, European Commission
Private sector case study – Andy Nicoll, Senior Preparedness and Response Advisor, Oil Spill Response Limited

Download the sixth webinar flyer here.

to top
icon-close-alt icon-bookmark icons / login