Humanitarian Aid

Environmental management and rehabilitation related to human displacement and humanitarian aid programmes.

People move for a number of reasons.

Some are suddenly and forcibly made to leave their homes and possessions when conflict breaks out or when a disaster occurs. People often have little or no warning of such an event and are not prepared for the consequences or how to deal with such radically changed circumstances.

darfurWhile the human suffering, social unrest and economic disruption caused by human displacement is well reported, awareness of the environmental degradation caused by human displacement gets nothing like the attention it deserves.

Camps and settlements established for refugees and internally displaced people often exceed the capacity of the area in which they settle, putting additional strain on a number of resources and services, such as water for drinking and washing, wild foods, wood for shelter construction, cooking and heating, and grazing for livestock. Often people have no choice but to take advantage of what little they might be able to gain from their immediate surroundings, but this can result in serious, long-term environmental degradation and loss of livelihoods.

A number of options are available that, if considered and applied early in a relief or humanitarian operation, can help reduce the negative environmental impacts commonly associated with camps and settlements. Dealing with such issues, and assisting affected communities, other NGOs and government agencies to address the environmental considerations of camp management is a core area of ProAct's mandate. Together with its partner organisations, ProAct is assisting a number of countries - primarily in Africa at the moment - deal with such issues, through demonstrating practical alternative practices and solutions, through dedicated training and capacity building, or conflict resolution as this relates to the use of natural resources.


Humanitarian Aid Publications and Resources

Practitioner's Resource Kit: Environmental Management in Humanitarian Operations Download - English
Evaluation Report: The ecological impact of refugee/returnee programmes supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council in Burundi - A review of actions taken to mitigate such impacts Download - English


Download - French
ProAct Policy Paper: Population Movement in a Changing Environment Download - English
Rapid environmental assessment of the internally displaced people situation, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo Download - English
Assessing the Effectiveness of Fuel-Efficient Stove Programming - A Darfur-Wide Review Download - English
Forced Migration Review - issue 31: Climate Change and Displacement Download - English