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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.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Open this folder and view contents2. OPENING STATEMENTS
Open this folder and view contents3. OVERVIEW OF POLICY ISSUES
Open this folder and view contents4. CASE STUDIES (SUMMARIES)
Open this folder and view contents6. AN APPEAL FOR URGENT POLICY ATTENTION
Open this folder and view contentsANNEXES
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The consultative experts were divided into three groups which discussed problem areas with regard to the environmental consequences of mass displacement and policy solutions. The discussions drew from the policy papers presented in the plenary sessions that covered both general policy issues from international and national perspectives and specific case studies from the field. The following is the summary of these discussions:

· Risk factors for negative environmental impact of relief and mass displacement need to be researched before policy can be developed;

· Comparative efficacy of a cross-sectoral approach or an independent approach to environmental problems in emergency situations should be examined;

· Environmental responses in emergencies are characterised by high pressure and short-term planning which detract from their effectiveness;

· Political and security constraints are frequently determinant in what can or cannot be applied for environmental protection;

· Emergency response to environmental impacts tends to fragmented and therefore less effective;

· Environmental impact assessment and monitoring systems for emergencies are generally very poorly developed. There is a lack of applicable measurement/observational methodologies for rapid impact assessment;

· When there are urgent environmental programmes, local authorities and population are often ignored;

· Immediate attention should be paid to provide complementary relief goods to mitigate conflicts over resources;

· Relief supplies should be environmentally friendly and procurement policies need to be reviewed in this direction;

· The number of operating agencies in an area should be limited to contain environmental damage;

· Assessments should be conducted keeping in mind the priorities of the local people;

· Environment element should be present in every part of the emergency response.