Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
Science · Diplomacy · Law · Finance · Education
Emergency Aid and Ecosystems
28 April 2010
On 27 April, the IES and the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands organised a meeting on ecosystem management after natural disasters and violent conflicts. This event took place in Artis Zoo, Amsterdam, as part of a larger conference called ?The Great Escape?, designed for a broader audience of policy makers from governments, business and NGOs.
The meeting brought together various international experts, including representatives from humanitarian aid organisations (Red Cross, UNHCR, Cordaid, ZOA Refugee Care), the government of Sierra Leone and various African and European NGOs. They discussed ways of integrating environmental considerations into (the planning of) emergency aid and recovery operations in the earliest possible stages, in order to prevent long term environmental damage, such as deforestation, pollution, and erosion.
After some brief presentations of some of the experts, participants worked on various group assignments. Based on case studies in different regions of the world, the groups discussed the role of environmental aspects in emergency response operations. Many participants expressed the importance of involving both host communities and affected communities in protecting and restoring ecosystems. Another important recommendation for aid organisations was to strengthen coordination of environment-related activities.
Eric van de Giessen
Coordinator Emergency Response Project &
Project Coordinator East Africa