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close this bookEnvironmental Impact of Sudden Population Displacements - Expert Consultation on Priority Policy Issues and Humanitarian Aid (European Commission Humanitarian Office, 1995, 28 p.)
close this folder6.3. Urgent policy concerns
View the documenti. Energy
View the documentii. Shelter
View the documentiii. Agriculture
View the documentiv. Site and size of settlements
View the documentv. Indigenous knowledge
View the documentvi. Research and impact assessment

i. Energy

- Energy needs should be given the same status and priority as other basic needs such as food, water, health and shelter;

- Relevant agencies should have responsibility that fuel needs are met with minimum negative impact on the environment; take measures to reduce need for fuel and manage demand. Possible measures include less energy-demanding foods, milling and preparation, training and store distribution; ensure supplies of blankets and clothes to reduce need for fuel for heating;

- Where appropriate, relevant agencies should evaluate if they are the best organisations to collect, transport and distribute fuel;

- The emergency team should propose early how fuel needs will be met through the optimum mix of local and other sources;

- Where appropriate, the agencies should engage in replacement planting of vegetation in collaboration with local populations.

ii. Shelter

Provide suitable structural supports for shelter to minimise cutting of greenwood and hence deforestation.

iii. Agriculture

- To act to encourage host governments as to the positive outcomes of allowing displaced populations to engage in agriculture and have access to land;

- To use savings from this (e.g. in reduced needs for food aid) to address environmental protection and promote development benefits to the local people.

iv. Site and size of settlements

- Environment aspects must be fully incorporated in site selection and suitability, and suitable methods developed that do not isolate environment from other sectors;

- In regions of high likelihood of crisis that contingency preparation be done for discovery of preferred sites, fragile zones, and to use existing data sources to compile such information;

- An inter-agency co-ordinating body be established to anticipate and predict likely population displacements;

- To incorporate environmental monitoring into the operation of displaced populations settlements, and enable the monitors to recommend policies for improvement.

v. Indigenous knowledge

To promote indigenous knowledge sharing between local populations, displaced populations and agencies in order to minimise environmental damage and promote long term development.

vi. Research and impact assessment

- Integrate environmental concerns in emergency situation;

- Promote monitoring, surveillance and impact (socio-economic and environmental) assessment systems;

- Improve quality and quantity of applied research.