Field-based assessments of the environmental impacts of crises on human health,livelihoods and security form the core of UNEP’s conflict and disaster management operations.
Through its Joint Environment Unit with the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, UNEP mobilizes and coordinates the international emergency response and identification of acute environmental risks caused by conflicts, disasters and industrial accidents.
Upon request from national governments, UNEP is also available to conduct detailed post-crisis environmental assessments based on fieldwork, laboratory analysis and state-of-the-art technology. These assessments identify major environmental risks to health, livelihoods and security and provide recommendations for national authorities, UN Country Teams and civil society organizations on addressing identified needs, investing in risk reduction and building back better.
Each assessment is conducted on an equally neutral, impartial and scientific basis and adopts a tailor-made approach to the situation’s particular geographical, political and security conditions.
Depending on the findings of the assessment, UNEP can initiate and implement capacity-building and recovery programmes, clean-up and rehabilitation projects, or environmental cooperation for peacebuilding.
Since 1999, UNEP has conducted post-crisis environmental assessments in the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Sudan, Ukraine and Rwanda, as well as the countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. In 2009, environmental assessments will be undertaken in such countries as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.