Policy Document

First report of the Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies

This document is the first report of the Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies (AGEE), which created the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU).

The Joint Environment Unit (JEU) was established in 1994 as the UN mechanism to mobilize and coordinate emergency assistance to countries affected by environmental emergencies and natural disasters with significant environmental impact.

Until the 1990s, international response to industrial accidents dealt with environmental emergencies largely on an adhoc and bilateral basis. But as the scale of industry increased and public awareness of the damaging effects of industrial accidents grew, so did the volume of calls for a more coordinated response system.

Calls for an international mechanism to respond to environmental emergencies were finally answered in 1993, when UN Member States formally requested a new mechanism to deal specifically with the environmental aspects of disasters. With the establishment of the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (formerly Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit) – a partnership between UN Environment and OCHA – many needs from both requesting and providing countries were met.

Consult the first report here.

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