Browse articles and news for environmental emergency prevention, preparedness and response. Find links to news, events and important initiatives related to environmental emergencies.

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Honduras: Rapid environmental assessments after hurricanes Eta and Iota

Mission Report

Between 1 and 16 November 2020, tropical storm Eta and hurricane Iota caused devastating impacts across Honduras, notably. United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams, embedding environmental expertise, were dispatched to support the government-led response. The full environmental mission report is available here.  …

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Rapid environmental assessments after La Soufrière volcano eruption

Mission Report

La Soufrière volcano entered in eruption on 9 April 2021, leading to ash plumes of up to 20,000 feet heading east. The UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit (JEU) dispatched a team embedding environmental expertise to support the government-led response. An environmental mission report is accessible here.   The landscape of…

Sri Lanka: Rapid assessments on acute environmental risks after X-Press Pearl Maritime Disaster

Mission Report

On 20 May 2021, the MV X-Press Pearl container ship caught fire and started sinking on early June, releasing fuel oil, dangerous chemicals, and plastic pellets – among other materials – in the Laccadive sea as it was anchored around 9 nautical miles (17 kilometers) northwest of the Port of…

Protection and the Environment


This report analyses the nexus between the protection of civilians and the environment in humanitarian operations. The study focused on examining the type of harms that come out of this nexus, as well as reviewing best guidance and practices existing in the field. Finally, it underlines how the protection sector…

Beirut Explosion: Responding to Environmental Concerns in a COVID-19 Context

Mission Report

An explosion of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate occured at the port of Beruit. This incident left hundreds dead, thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. In the prevailing COVID-19 context many complications emerged and a more sophiscated  examination response to this incident was required.

Ariel shot of explosion at Port of Beirut (@BBC News)

Below are two presentations presented by Mr. Muralee Thummarukudy and Margherita Fanchiotti, PhD on the linkage between the environment and COVID-19 and  environmental reponse to the explosion.

Waste Not, Want Not


A growing number of people need humanitarian assistance (UNOCHA, 2020), which is intended to save lives, alleviate suffering and restore human dignity during and after manmade crises and disasters caused by natural hazards (Good Humanitarian Donorship, n.d.). At the same time, solid waste management (SWM) is a rising development challenge…

Global Webinar Series


Motivation 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…

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