Since 2005, UNEP has been the Cross-Cutting Issue Lead for Environment in the humanitarian coordination system (cluster approach). The overall objective of UNEP’s Environment, Humanitarian Action and Early Recovery programme is to ensure that environmental issues are integrated into humanitarian action at every phase of the response: relief, recovery and reconstruction in order to adequately address environmental needs in emergency and post-emergency situations. Not just disasters and conflicts, but also humanitarian operations can have an adverse impact on the environment.

Most humanitarian programmes and operations intersect in a variety of ways with environment, from shelter and protection to logistics and early recovery. UNEP works with humanitarian actors to build capacity and awareness to improve the way in which operations are carried out. More environmentally sound operations will ensure that both human welfare and environment are protected and preserved in response to a disaster or conflict. UNEP leads trainings, serves as the liaison with clusters and partner organizations regarding environmental issues, provides in-country expertise and facilitates policy and advocacy efforts at the headquarter level.

For more information please access UNEP’s Disasters and Conflicts Programme website. In particular the UNEP’s Environment, Humanitarian Action and Early Recovery Programme web pages.