Global Community

In order to cope with the increasing prevalence and severity of environmental emergencies, the global community needs to play a more active role in seeking to reduce the impacts of environmental emergencies and strengthen the resilience of at-risk countries and vulnerable communities.

The EEC Global Community actively contributes at the advocacy and policy development level, so to ensure more countries are not only better prepared to respond to crisis, but also more resilient in the face of recurring disasters.

The EEC Global Community has the tools and capacity to ensure this. It is now up to the Global Community to harness this potential to ensure the most effective preparedness and response guidance reaches those countries most at risk of environmental emergencies.

Global Level

Raising awareness of the potential risks and impacts of environmental emergencies is a core element of the EEC.

Through international and regional fora, the EEC advocates for greater preparedness and increased commitment by the international community to adopt a formal, coordinated and comprehensive response system to environmental emergencies.

At the regional and local levels, the EEC promotes greater awareness through the dissemination of information and provision of technical trainings.

  • Network of JEU Environmental Emergency Response Providers. The network of response providers support international response to environmental emergencies and disasters with environmental impacts by providing technical experts at no cost to affected member states. As of March 2016, the following are registered with the JEU as providers of assistance to international environmental emergencies : Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the (European) Union Civil Protection Mechanism, UNEP, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Veolia Environment Foundation
  • Focus Task Force on Environment in Response under the Consultative Group on Emergency Preparedness and Response. The main goal of the Focus Task Force is to distil lessons learnt and best practices from recent emergencies, assessing how environmental issues have been addressed and to develop recommendations for better inclusion of environmental aspects in humanitarian response. The Focus Task Force meets in connection with the Humanitarian Network and Partnerships Week.
  • OECD Working Group on Chemical Accidents. The OECD Chemical Accidents Programme works in co-operation with other international organisations on three areas: 1) developing common principles and policy guidance on prevention of, preparedness for, and response to chemical accidents; 2) analysing issues of concern and making recommendations concerning best practices, and 3) facilitating the sharing of information and experience between both OECD and non-member countries. The Working Group on Chemical Accidents meets annually and also organizes workshops on specific topics.
  •  Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Industrial and Chemical Accidents. The main goal of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group is to bring together organizations and institutions involved in the prevention of, preparedness for and response to industrial/chemical accidents, with the aim to create an international platform allowing for the exchange of information on each other’s work programmes/activities and to foster inter-agency cooperation
  • Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies (IACRNE). The Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies is the co-ordination mechanism between relevant international intergovernmental organizations to ensure that coordinated and consistent arrangements and capabilities for preparedness and response to nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies are developed and maintained.
  • United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC): UNDAC was created in 1993 and is part of the international emergency response system for sudden-onset emergencies. It is designed to help the United Nations and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency. UNDAC also assists in the coordination of incoming international relief at national level and/or at the site of the emergency.
  • International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG): INSARAG is a global network of more than 80 countries and organisations under the United Nations umbrella. INSARAG deals with urban search and rescue (USAR) related issues, aiming to establish minimum international standards for USAR teams and methodology for international coordination in earthquake response based on the INSARAG Guidelines endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): OPCW is an international Organization to implement provisions on the Chemical Weapon Convention in order to achieve the OPCW’s vision of a world that is free of chemical weapons and of the threat of their use, and in which cooperation in chemistry for peaceful purposes for all is fostered.
  • World Health Organization (WHO): WHO is the UN specialised agency for health and chairs the UN Health Cluster during emergencies. WHO is a decentralised organization with a headquarters, six regional offices and 150 country offices. In most countries affected by environmental emergencies there will already be a WHO presence to assist with response.
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): The IFRC is the leading humanitarian organization active in post-disaster and post-conflict relief and rehabilitation as well as for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear preparedness.
  • Union Civil Protection Mechanism is an initiative of the European Commission to constitute a framework for cooperation in disaster preparedness, prevention and response. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) operates within the European Commission Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO), and acts as a coordination hub to facilitate coherent European response during emergencies.
  • The UNECE Industrial Accidents Convention is a regional instrument that seeks to protect people and the environment against industrial accidents, especially those with transboundary effects, by instituting measures to prevent, prepare for and respond to such accidents. The Convention has currently 41 Parties, including the European Union, and will soon be open for accession by United Nations Member States outside the UNECE region.
  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted over 50 international conventions addressing various marine issues, several of which contain measures to prevent, prepare for, and respond to maritime accidents. Some of the IMO Conventions are relevant to emergency response to marine pollution incidents, particularly the 1990 International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC Convention), and the 2000 Protocol on Preparedness, response and Co-operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances (OPRC-HNS Protocol).
  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes. Parties to the Basel Convention can request emergency assistance from the Secretariat of the Convention in order to estimate the magnitude of damage occurred or damage that may occur and the measures needed to prevent damage, to take appropriate emergency measures to prevent or mitigate the damage and to help find those Parties and other entities in a position to give the assistance needed.
  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands ratified by 169 countries, provides a framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development globally.
  • The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) provides an international portal for documentation, information and monitoring for the early warning of wildfire threats and events in near real time. In case of a large wildland fire that threatens national resources and/or national interests and thus requires response by the international community, the country affected may request information regarding response measures by using contact information.


  • The European Union
  • The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN): The ASEAN Member States have sought to collaborate and improve preparedness and response to environmental emergencies.
  • The Black Sea Economic Cooperation: The BSEC fosters political and economic cooperation among its 12 Member States. If a Party finds that its own disaster response forces are overwhelmed, it can request assistance from other Parties by forwarding a national appeal.
  • The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) CDEMA provides coordinated response to natural and human-induced hazards to CDEMA Participating States in the Caribbean Region. CDEMA also supports the building of disaster response capabilities, mobilizes and coordinates disaster relief, provides comprehensive emergency information and promotes disaster loss reduction.
  • The Coordination Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC) CEPREDENAC is a regional organization designed to strengthen the capacity of Central American States to protect their people from disasters.
  • The Organization of American States (OAS): The OAS provides disaster assistance through the Inter-American Plan for Disaster Prevention and Response and by coordinating activities through sub-regional organizations such as CDEMA and CEPREDENAC.
  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC): SAARC is committed to strengthening regional cooperation among its eight Member States and utilizes a variety of SAARC Centres, chiefly the Centre for Disaster Management and Preparedness, for the development of a mechanism for collective emergency response.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a regional international intergovernmental organization established by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the framework of the SCO Member States cooperate in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, including the area of prevention and liquidation of emergency situations.