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The Environment – an essential issue for the sector!

Groupe URD continues to support initiatives which aim to improve the integration of environmental considerations in the humanitarian sector. We have run training courses on this issue for a number of years, we have developed context-specific tools, conducted impact studies and engaged in advocacy. On the strength of our expertise in the area, we are now very present in debates and networks related to the subject. We aim to stimulate collective learning in the sector to continually improve the quality of humanitarian action, placing local people and their environment at the centre of our approach. On the basis of this vision, we coordinate a network of francophone organizations who are actively engaged in this area and have been asked to take part in a number of ongoing general coordination initiatives.

 Advisory Group on Environment and Emergencies (AGEE) conference 2013

Organised by the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit on 15 to 17 May 2013 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the AGEE conference brought together more than a hundred environmental experts, political representatives and disaster managers working for governments, donors, NGOs and research institutes. This edition of the biannual conference attracted more participants than previous editions, evidence of the growing interest in this issue.

Groupe URD was present at the conference, where we presented the Training Toolkit that we developed in partnership with UNEP on Integrating the Environment into Humanitarian Action and Early Recovery. The Toolkit is based on the experience gained running a large number of training sessions in a variety of contexts and covers the most important issues for organizations. It includes 11 modules and is available in French and in English.

Find out more about the Training Toolkit at: http://www.urd.org/Environment-training-toolkit

 International coordination meetings

Groupe URD has been invited to present some of the key issues related to integrating an environmental approach in the humanitarian sector at several international coordination meetings this June. We will also be speaking about our experience in training and networking in this area.
We have also been invited as an external speaker to the meeting of international cluster coordinators on 12 June, and the weekly meeting organised by the IASC on 14 June.

 Facilitation of a network of Francophone organisations

Groupe URD has been facilitating a network of Francophone actors actively engaged in integrating the environment at an institutional level within their organisations for two years. This network aims to encourage the sharing of experiences, identify and take advantage of existing expertise, promote good practice and create synergy to strengthen integration within the sector. The last meeting took place on 24 May and focused on the specific topic of carbon footprints. For more information, contact: brenaudin@urd.org

 Future Groupe URD Environment-related activities

  • Groupe URD is currently conducting an assessment of its greenhouse gas emissions. This will be used as the basis for an action plan for reducing emissions to be drawn up by the team this summer.
  • A special “Environment” issue of the review Humanitarian Aid on the Move will be published in the autumn, with articles by numerous professionals who work on environmental issues.
  • Groupe URD will be running a number of training sessions on the Environment in French and in English, in Europe and beyond, in 2013-2014.

To stay informed, don’t forget to regularly consult the Environment section of our website: http://www.urd.org/Environment?lang=en