Themes and Topics of the 2023 EEF
THEME 1: Readiness for response
Environmental emergencies can arise as result of “natural” disasters, conflicts, or industrial/technological events. Hence, it is very important to ensure a quick, efficient, and appropriate response. Anticipating risks is essential to define the needs, and to design and implement effective preparedness actions and response operations. All humanitarian action therefore needs to be informed by risk assessment and analysis, which includes climate and environmental risks, and should consistently complement a needs-based approach. This theme will explore ways to enhance environmental emergency response readiness by examining best practices and innovative ideas. For this purpose, the Forum will focus on the following topics:
- The importance of building and developing national and local capacities: the Environment and Emergencies Training (EET) and its potential replication across regions.
- Identifying and assessing potential impacts of industrial hazards in high-risk countries as a key to a dynamic and rapid response
- The Gamification of training: the future of capacity building?
THEME 2: Response and recovery
The environmental impact of disasters and complex emergencies is often significant. Therefore, one of the key elements of emergency response is rapid identification and mitigation of environmental risks. Countries facing environmental emergencies often require technical and technological support to respond effectively, minimize adverse impacts, and recover rapidly. It is, therefore, crucial to provide immediate response assistance to maintain lives, preserve ecosystems and ensure a proper transition to early recovery. This theme will explore ways to strengthen response and recovery to environmental emergencies by scrutinizing lessons learned, best practices and innovative ideas. To this end, the following topics will be elaborated under this theme:
- The necessity of a multi-sectoral assessment and analysis strategy in environmental emergencies: OSOCC/ UNDAC Assessment & Analysis cell (A&A)
- Post-disaster environmental rehabilitation, importance of building links to (green) recovery
- Sharing lessons learned and evaluations of recent environmental emergency missions.
- The importance of a comprehensive disaster waste management strategy: case study of Beirut explosion
THEME 3: Environment in Humanitarian Action (EHA)
Minimizing environmental harm during a humanitarian crisis is crucial and contributes to the main purpose of humanitarian action, which is: saving lives and preserving and restoring people’s livelihood. Systematic consideration of the environment throughout response operations allows more effective recovery, contributes to sustainable development and lays the foundation for peacebuilding and conflict resolution. It will also mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change and support building resilience in communities and ecosystems. The following topics further elaborate the importance of environmental consideration during a humanitarian crisis, with concrete examples and sharing of knowledge.
- The importance of technology and innovation in environmental emergency preparedness: case study of the use of the NEAT+
- The Joint Initiative on Sustainable Humanitarian Assistance Packaging Waste Management
- Adapting Humanitarian Operations to the Climate Crisis
THEME 4: Environment in protracted conflict settings
Protracted conflicts are major drivers of current humanitarian needs, which often lead to environmental degradation with a long-lasting effect contributing to population and ecosystems vulnerability. In conflict settings, natural resources can be used as weapons of war, suffer as collateral damage, or exploited/overexploited as source of livelihood for affected populations. The linkages between conflict and environment are very complex and yet understudied. This panel session will provide concrete examples on how environment is impacted by or contributes to conflicts.