Crisis / Disaster Reduction

Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and environmental management in disaster response.

Climate change, population growth, urbanisation and weak preparedness mechanisms have all contributed to the increasing number, frequency and intensity of disasters.

Although most natural hazards are bound to occur periodically, there is much that can be done to reduce communities' vulnerability to them, as well as to provide successful recovery after a disaster strikes.

Sound environmental management has a positive impact on reducing the scale and occurrence of certain disasters and recognition of the benefits of intact or well-managed ecosystems as buffers against natural hazards is slowly gaining attention. There are also situations where a combination of hard engineering (artificial structures) and eco-engineering (well-managed ecosystems) can - and need to - be integrated to provide appropriate and reliable defence systems.

Following a crisis, the clear priority is on saving lives and providing people with essential services. But livelihoods need to be secured as well, and recent evaluations reveal a number of situations where humanitarian operations have had unanticipated and negative impacts on the physical environment, such as over-pumping from wells, inappropriate waste management and severe damage to ecosystems such as forests.

Our approach emphasises the synergies between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

One of ProAct Networks' ultimate objectives is to minimise the impact of disasters on communities as well as to help ensure that neither peoples' livelihoods nor the environment are unnecessarily impaired during disaster and crisis recovery and rehabilitation. To reach this goal ProAct helps develop tools, provides institutional support and supports practical actions to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into consideration in humanitarian operations in a timely and more consistent manner. We also implement demonstration projects on sound environmental management and advocate for a more wide-scale and informed use of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation as a multi-benefit, no-regrets approach.


Crisis / Disaster Reduction Publications

Environmental Assessment Tools for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations Download - English
Ecosystem-based DRR: Key Publications Download - English
Brief Technical Guide: Asbestos in Emergencies Download - English
Brief Technical Guide: Building Waste Materials in Emergencies Download - English
The Role of Environmental Management and Eco-Engineering in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Download - English
ProAct Policy Paper: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Download - English
Disaster waste management assessment, South Ossetia, Georgia Download - English
Emergency Recovery - SRSA Training, October 2008 Download - English
Environmental Advisor of the Shelter Coordination Team (SCT) Download - English
Environment and Humanitarian Action - Increasing Effectiveness, Sustainability and Accountability Download - English