|Environmental Impact of Sudden Population Displacements - Expert Consultation on Priority Policy Issues and Humanitarian Aid (European Commission Humanitarian Office, 1995, 28 p.)|
|6. AN APPEAL FOR URGENT POLICY ATTENTION|
|6.4 Institutions, resources and technical interventions|
- Listing of refugee camps at a very early stage to assist government in selecting sites to assess the possibility and strengthen the capacity for dispersed refugee settlements in local population.
Within this perspective, the following weaknesses were underlined:
- Lack of policy framework within which institutions can work;
- Lack of co-ordination between agencies partly due to weak role definition;
- Need to reduce competition among and within agencies;
- Need for (environmental) co-ordinating strategy for planning and needs assessment;
- Standardisation of responses among relief agencies to cope with different problems;
- Sensibilisation of relief agencies of the environmental risks of standard responses;
- Institutional and capacity-building for early warning systems for environmental damage at local and national level;
- Mechanisms to translate warnings into preventive measures;
- Awareness building of donors.
- The minimum requirements to reduce problems related to resource related conflict between refugees and local populations include:
· organising participatory mechanisms involving, inter alia, refugees, local population, relief agencies and local authorities. This could be done by providing complementary relief goods to mitigate such competition in order to ensure success in the organisation of participatory mechanisms;
· discourage relocation of mass displaced peoples and refugees to unfamiliar environments to enable them: to stay close to their local network to keep in touch with their country.
Agencies are not sufficiently equipped with environmental awareness and knowledge capacity building programmes. UNHCR policy and guidelines which are currently under preparation to harmonise relief agencies policy and facilitate co-ordination on the field should be disseminated.