Tools for Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment Tools for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations

Integration of environmental management into disaster/crisis response can improve considerably the long-term sustainability of humanitarian operations. Several tools are available to assess the environmental situation and impact following a natural hazard or crises event and to guide subsequent humanitarian relief work.

Some of the main tools are listed and downloadable below for easy reference. ProAct encourages the use of these tools in humanitarian response, and can provide further assistance in their application. (Copyright and ownership remain with original publishers).

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Benfield Hazard Research Centre UCL and CARE International

E-Learning Course on Rapid Environmental Assessments in Disasters (linked to file: REA_eLearningCourse_2006.EXE)

A self-learn module introducing the basics of REAs
Size 178 MB

Guidelines for Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disasters. Version 4.4. Prepared by Kelly, C.

Tool to identify, define and prioritise potential environmental impacts in disaster situations

Quick Guide. Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disasters. Version 0. Prepared by Kelly, C.

Based on the Guidelines for Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in Disasters
Focus on practical steps and necessary forms


Caribbean Development Bank and Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM)

Sourcebook on the Integration of Natural Hazards into the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process

Compilation of mechanisms for assessing, within EIA, the potential interaction between a proposed project and natural hazards (prior to disasters)

Cluster Working Group for Early Recovery

Environmental Needs Assessment in Post-Disaster Situations. A Practical Guide for Implementation

Primarily designed to inform and influence the early recovery process


Handbook for Estimating the Socio-economic and Environmental Effects of Disasters

Guidance for identifying and quantifying the impact of disasters on the affected social, economic and environmental sectors
Assists in determining which geographical areas have been most affected and require priority attention during the rehabilitation and reconstruction process

Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit

The Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT). To identify acute environmental risks immediately following disasters. Version 1.1

A "first aid" tool to identify environmental impacts, and support initial response following disasters
Focuses on released hazardous chemicals, but provides also information on physical impacts to the environment (soil erosion, saltwater intrusion, etc)


  1. Guidelines for Environmental Assessment Following Chemical Emergencies. Prepared by J. A. Bishop
      Specific guidance for chemical emergencies
  2. Hazard Identification Tool (HIT). Identifying secondary/environmental risks after natural disasters (link not working)

Tool to assist in desk research based identification of potentially hazardous facilities (infrastructure, industrial installations, etc) following disasters

Kelly, C.

Checklist-Based Guide to Identifying Critical Environmental Considerations in Emergency Shelter Site Selection, Construction, Management and Decommissioning. Version 1.0.

A tool to assess whether environmental issues have been appropriately addressed in emergency shelter efforts
Can also be used to review planning for new emergency shelter sites

ProVention Consortium and CDB

Tools for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction. Environmental Assessment. Guidance Note 7

Guidance in analysing disaster risk-related consequences of potential projects via their impact on the environment as well as potential threat to projects posed by natural hazards, both for development projects in hazard-prone areas and, more briefly, for post-disaster relief and rehabilitation operations.


Integrating Environment in Post-Conflict Needs Assessments. UNEP Guidance Note

Specific guidance for post-conflict situations

UNHCR and CARE International

FRAME - Framework for Assessing, Monitoring and Evaluating the environment in refugee-related operations

Toolkit tailored for refugee/displacement situations
Chapters include:

    1. Introduction
    2. Environmental Assessments
    3. Rapid Environmental Assessments
    4. Community Environmental Action Planning, including participatory methods
    5. Environmental Indicators
    6. Evaluation

WWF Indonesia

Green Reconstruction Policy Guidelines

Guidelines to mainstream environmental concerns into all aspects of reconstruction; including using Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs)
Originally developed in the wake of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

WWF and American Red Cross

2010 (forthcoming)
Green Recovery and Reconstruction Training Toolkit

A training toolkit to equip field staff working in humanitarian aid, government, and conservation with practical, solution-oriented techniques for integrating environmental sustainability into disaster recovery and reconstruction