The Terms of Reference for Environmental Field Advisors describes the main tasks of a deployed Environmental Field Advisor.
The objective of deploying an Environmental Field Advisor (EFA) is to identify and conduct a general evaluation of the risks the crisis poses to humans, livelihoods and the environment – and through this, to long-term recovery. The EFA also plays a key role in kick-starting the work to implement mitigation measures. Having a dedicated person in country will ensure a cross-cutting approach and go a far way towards bridging the gap between humanitarian action and development activities. The main objectives of the deployment of an EFA are to:
- Address the underlying environmental issues that may have contributed to the crises or disaster in the first place as well as reducing the risk of re-occurrence.
- Prevent additional loss of lives and suffering
- Improve affected communities’ health and safety.
- Protect livelihoods by safeguarding natural resources upon which those livelihoods depend.
Proactively addressing environmental issues can slow or reverse trends that lead to deforestation, desertification, soil erosion, pollution, and conflicts, which negatively impacts community resilience, biodiversity, food security and socioeconomic development.
The EFA is expected to be deployed for a period of three months, with a possibility of extension, through the Stand by Partnership Programme (SBPP). The duty station of the EFA will be determined by the OCHA Country Office or the RC/HC depending on the situation and needs on the ground.In March 2013, the Environmental Field Advisor (EFA) profile was added to OCHA’s managed Stand-By Partnership Programme. Environmental experts from stand-by partners can be deployed for up to six months to provide technical guidance to Humanitarian Country Teams on operationalizing environment as a cross-cutting issue.
EFAs support in planning, developing and supporting implementation of activities aimed at minimizing the adverse impacts to the environment within a specific humanitarian context, saving lives and livelihoods.
The first EFAs deployed to Sudan (August 2013-May 2014) and the Philippines (January-June 2014).
You can download the terms of reference here.