New Environmental Training Toolkit for Humanitarian Sector di, nov 15, 2011

From today, humanitarian workers around the world can access training and practical information to help them anticipate and minimize the negative environmental impacts of relief and recovery operations.

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Geneva, 15 November 2011 - From today, humanitarian workers around the world can access training and practical information to help them anticipate and minimize the negative environmental impacts of relief and recovery operations.

Whether through direct damage to land, water or air, or through coping strategies that can place further pressure on scarce natural resources, environmental impacts in the aftermath of crises can threaten the success of recovery activities and leave populations more vulnerable to future events.

A new training toolkit, entitled Integrating the environment into humanitarian action and early recovery, addresses the different ways in which the environment can be taken into account in humanitarian action, not least how to help protect the natural resources crucial to recovery.

Developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Groupe URD, with support from the Flemish International Cooperation Agency, the training consists of 11 modules which cover topics ranging from key environmental concepts and solutions for sustainable logistics to waste management in emergency situations and alternative energy sources.

Extensive research went into developing the training materials, and UNEP and Groupe URD conducted pilot training activities in Chad, South Africa and Zimbabwe to refine and test the modules.

The free toolkit is being distributed to humanitarian organizations and national authorities in DVD format.

"Environmental awareness during life saving humanitarian actions is crucial to optimize chances for a sustainable reconstruction and rehabilitation of the disaster area," said Kris Peeters, Minister-President of Flanders.

"By supporting the UNEP capacity building training program for humanitarian organizations, the Government of Flanders wants to emphasize that it is important that also in emergency aid long term sustainability is taken into account as of day one," the Minister-President added.

UNEP also is also launching today the French version of its online Resource Centre for Mainstreaming Environment into Humanitarian Action available at: http://postconflict.unep.ch/humanitarianaction.

It is a comprehensive online collection of guidelines, training materials, case studies and other practical information from more than 40 organizations explaining how to integrate environmental considerations into humanitarian action, arranged according to sector and environmental issue.

UNEP launched the resource centre in English in August 2010 in response to a clear need from humanitarian organizations for reliable and current information on incorporating environmental considerations into their policy and strategy development, programme design and relief activities.

To ensure the resource centre provides the best available current information, UNEP is calling for ongoing contributions of resources in any languages from NGOs, governments, UN agencies, the private sector and academic and research institutions.

To request a DVD copy of the training toolkit or to provide UNEP with further feedback on its training toolkit and online resource centre, please contact us via email at postconflict@unep.org.

For more information, please contact:

Julie Marks, UNEP Disasters and Conflicts programme, Geneva, Tel: +41 22 917 8478 / mobile +41 79 441 9937 or julie.marks@unep.org

Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk Nairobi, Tel +254 20 7623088 / mobile +254 731 666 214 or bryan.coll@unep.org

 
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