News & Stories


Growing momentum behind Joint Initiative as it launches Working Groups

The ability of communities to recover from a disaster, and flourish again, is underpinned by a healthy environment.

Clean waterways, landslide protection provided by forests and ground cover and sustained natural resources on which people rely for their livelihoods are some of the many environmental factors critical to early recovery and longer-term resilience.

More humanitarian organisations are recognizing this important linkage with growing momentum behind the Coordination of Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action (the Joint Initiative) at this year’s Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week (HNPW), which was held February 5-9 in Geneva.

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Towards a framework for environment in humanitarian action

The Coordination of Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action (the Joint Initiative) invited more than 40 experts from humanitarian and environmental NGOs, UN organisations, academic institutions, donor institutions and development agencies to Washington DC to brainstorm ways of strengthening coordination between the humanitarian and conservation communities. The breakdown of participants was 60 percent environmental actors and 40 percent humanitarians, given that many humanitarian colleagues were deployed to ongoing responses across the Caribbean in the wake of hurricanes which have affected large parts of the region.

Building on the inputs of a stakeholder workshop with largely humanitarian actors in Geneva in August, the gathering in Washington on October 25 and 26 explored opportunities for working together to improve the use of environmental data in humanitarian programming.

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IASC Event on Environment in Humanitarian Action: The Case for Partnerships, Innovation

Humanitarian response to disasters cannot be looked at in isolation from the impact on the environment, said Jesper Lund, Chief of OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch in opening remarks at an Inter Agency Standing Committee event in Geneva on June 7 to introduce the Coordination of Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action, a joint initiative to improve lives and livelihoods through better coordination between environment and humanitarian actors. Read the full story.