Camp coordination and management

Camp coordination and camp management in the aftermath of a crisis involves decisions and planning intimately tied to environment. Fuel and energy strategies, camp location and land, agriculture, water and sanitation and waste are just a few issues that must be addressed in a camp that are connected both to environment and human welfare. Neglecting environmental issues can result in additional human suffering, poor camp management and obstacles to longer-term recovery.

GuidelinesBack to top


Refugee Operations and Environmental Management: Lessons Learned (UNHCR 2002)

A sourcebook of compiled environmental practices and lessons learned from past refugee operations by theme and technical area. Explains the do’s and don’ts in detailed way. Covers environmental assessment, planning and monitoring, domestic energy, forestry and natural resources and education and awareness.



Decision Tree Diagrams on Factors Affecting Choice of Fuel Strategy
in Humanitarian Settings (IASC Task Force)

Diagram guides the decision maker in determining which fuel sources to use in humanitarian response. Environmental factors are considered along the way (i.e. environmental sustainability of option, different environmentally friendly choices).



Matrix on Agency Roles and Responsibilities for Ensuring Coordinated,
Multi-Sectoral Fuel Strategy in Humanitarian Settings (IASC Task Force)

Matrix outlines the roles and responsibilities in every phase of relief and recovery that each cluster has related to a fuel strategy. Environmental considerations are present throughout the phases and clusters.



Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide (Meegan Jones)

Book is targeted towards event managers, but applies to most large groups or gatherings of people (i.e. refugee/IDP camps). Explores the following topics: energy and emissions, transport, water, purchasing and resource use, waste and communications / messaging.

ToolsBack to top


Camp Management Toolkit, Chapter 6 Environment (NRC)

Chapter 6 on environment covers protection, wood, shelter, water and sanitation, environmental staff, monitoring, domestic energy, agriculture and livelihoods. Includes detailed checklists for each component from an environmental impact perspective (p. 180).



Cooking Options in Refugee Situations – UNHCR Handbook of Experiences
in Energy Conservation and Alternative Fuel (UNHCR)

Guide explains problems with traditional sources of fuel (firewood and charcoal) and importance of saving energy in a camp setting and offers alternative energy-saving methods such as grass, biogas, solar energy and more. Discuses when and how to supply fuel.



Livestock-Keeping and Animal Husbandry in Refugee and Returnee Situations
– A Practical Handbook for Improved Management (UNHCR and IUCN 2005)

Handbook outlines basic considerations for staff in camp management roles to make when planning livestock programs. Environmental and natural resource considerations are included throughout the document. Good practices and places for improvement are identified. Tips on implementation, checklists and monitoring and evaluation techniques are included.



Land Use Design in Refugee Situations (UNHCR)

Contact UNHCR Geneva office for hard copies, Shigeko Nambu, Associate Programme Environment Officer:



Caring for Refugees-Caring for the Environment (UNHCR)

Contact UNHCR Geneva office for hard copies, Shigeko Nambu, Associate Programme Environment Officer:



FRAME Toolkit (UNHCR & CARE 2009)

Framework for Assessing, Monitoring and Evaluating the Environment in Refugee-related Operations (FRAME) equips camp managers and in-country staff to assess, monitor and evaluate environmental issues in planning and operations. Guides operations to be more environmentally effective, thus beneficial to refugees and communities. Rapid Environmental Assessments and Community Environmental Action Planning are some of the tools used. Environmental indicators included with description, objective, method and type.

Best practicesBack to top


The Ecological Impact of Refugee/Returnee Programmes Supported by NRC
in Burundi: A Review of Actions Taken to Mitigate Such Impacts (ProAct & NRC)

External evaluation of NRC’s attempt to reduce its environmental impact in Burundi in its camp operations and programmes. Overall, NRC is deemed successful. Report reviews the ways NRC accomplished its goal, success and failures, recommendations, tools and checklists for ensuring minimal impact in office, energy/fuel, shelter, etc.



Assessing the Effectiveness of Fuel-Efficient Stove Programming:
Darfur-Wide Review (ProAct)

Evaluation highlights gender and environment as the most relevant issues in stove programmes. Environmental effectiveness of stoves is deemed high, p 38-40. Evaluation includes two basic indicators from larger data collection to determine effect on energy consumption compared to traditional firewood.



The ICRC and the Protection of the Environment (ICRC)

ICRC partnered with REDI to design fuel-efficient stoves to use in IDP/refugee camps to decrease the need for fire wood.



Environment Impact Assessment of a Proposed Refugee Camp, Fafi District,
North-Eastern Kenya (ProAct)

Assessment examines the amount of water, firewood, soil for bricks, waste that camps need or generate and makes recommendations for how to cope in light of the negative environmental impact these needs will have. For recommendations and best practice assessment outcome contact Mr. Grant Wroe-Street at the ProAct Network:



Supporting Livelihood Security in Refugee-Hosting Areas, Western Ethiopia (ProAct)

Article looks at how to close a camp and leave the area environmentally sustainable so that local populations and returning IDPs still have a source for livelihoods. For programme details and outcomes contact Mr. David Stone at the ProAct Network:



Boom Festival 2010

Website for annual music festival committed to operating in a sustainable way. Methods such as compost toilets and water reuse systems, apply to large gatherings of people such as refugee/IDP camps to address water, energy, waste and recycle issues.