Humanitarian Environmental Integration Project, Darfur

Project dates: December 2009 - June 2010

8.1.3.Darfur DSC 0098As part of UNEP's umbrella project on Environmental Integration in Sudan, ProAct will develop sector environmental guidelines and strategies for humanitarian agencies working in the three Darfur states.

Appreciation has grown of how the environment affects peoples' well-being and livelihood security during an emergency or disaster. A range of tools and technical guidance has been developed in recent years to highlight and address critical environmental issues in humanitarian operations. Despite this, many agencies continue to overlook the environment in their responses, often with negative impacts for people affected by conflict, as well as the environment, with Darfur being an obvious example.

Several reasons may be responsible for this situation. First is the urgent need to provide basic security and life support to people affected by conflict. Decisions taken during an emergency phase, however, can and do affect the environment, sometimes with long-lasting impacts - economic, social and environmental. In addition, a lack of institutional commitment to the environment often leads to poor decision-making, planning and management, which leads to inappropriate actions being taken, important opportunities being lost, and scarce resources being lost or not used effectively.

This project seeks to identify, in the Darfuri context, the reasons underpinning this problem through a combination of research, on-site assessments and stakeholder consultations with key humanitarian organisations, government authorities, NGOs and existing community structures.

The project will develop practical guidance and recommendations on how environmental considerations might be addressed consistently and appropriately alongside other priority issues and concerns. Overall, the project will contribute to developing a strategy to address and inform environmental integration process in Darfur by identifying potential gaps and developing a response appropriate to this project's findings. It represents a combination of awareness raising, facilitation of integrating environmental issues, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation for key humanitarian agencies.

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