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2015 Environmental Emergencies Forum - Summary Document

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Environmental Emergencies Forum (EEF) is a biennial global forum focused on environmental emergencies. This event brings together stakeholders from around the world to improve preparedness, response and overall resilience to environmental emergencies. It offers a unique opportunity to influence global policy, share experiences, build capacity, forge new partnerships and strengthen existing ones.

The 2015 EEF was organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) from 1 to 3 June 2015. The Forum was held in Oslo, Norway and generously hosted by the Government of Norway with the support of the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB). The Green Star Awards ceremony was held on the first day of the Forum. More than 110 participants from 35 countries, including representatives from 72 organisations were present. Participants included government representatives (23), United Nations agencies and programmes (7), regional organisations (6), academia and research facilities (11), private-sector and industry groups (7), and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (17) who gathered to share experiences, promote partnerships, and agree on priority areas of focus for international cooperation.

The 2015 Forum explored the nexus of environmental risk, humanitarian crisis and climate change, identifying ways to better prepare for and respond to environmental emergencies and to contribute to global policy discussions. The format allowed for networking opportunities and sharing of knowledge.
The overall objectives of the Forum were to:

• Strengthen international cooperation on preparedness and response to environmental emergencies;

• Raise awareness of the risks, challenges and priority actions associated with environmental emergencies in a fast-changing world affected by environmental degradation and climate change;

• Identify ways to develop national and regional capacities to prevent, prepare for and respond to environmental emergencies;

• Promote commitment to analyse environmental risks and vulnerabilities during humanitarian action.
Through the different sessions, participants agreed to take forward the following recommendations in alignment with priority areas of work:

Preparedness

  • Promote local knowledge for risk analysis, enhancing involvement of local communities in preparedness and to communicate with affected populations to increase their awareness and understanding as partners in response to environmental emergencies;

  • Increase attention to preparedness for technological hazards under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction;

  • Further develop the Environmental Emergencies Centre (EEC) as a platform for national capacity development in environmental emergency management;

  • Disseminate private sector initiatives for preparedness.

Response

  • Mobilize additional, diverse, and specialised expertise for environmental emergencies and to leverage existing baseline information to enhance response;

  • Document practice from the Nepal earthquake emergency.

Advocacy

  • Develop a community of practice on risk disclosure (as part of lessons from Fukushima);

  • Promote key findings and outcomes at the World Humanitarian Summit and the next United Nations Environmental Assembly.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.