Environment and Humanitarian Action

There is a strong nexus between environment, livelihoods, and conflicts in humanitarian crises triggered by conflicts and natural disasters. By end-2015, more than 60 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations. Developing regions host the large part of the refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) often housed in large camps in remote areas. The fact that displaced persons mostly compete for the same dwindling natural resources (mainly water, arable land, wood for fuel and shelter, and pasture if
they have livestock) as the local communities, carries the risk of new conflicts. The risk of overexploiting the natural resources in the vicinity of the camps is high leading to long-lasting environmental damages especially when refugees or IDPs are housed nearby protected areas or other vulnerable ecosystems.

In humanitarian crises, especially during the emergency phase, environmental issues are often disregarded since most relief organisations are only concerned with life-saving activities neglecting that both, displaced and host communities, highly depend on open access to intact natural resources for their livelihoods and resilience. We strongly believe, however, that environmental and livelihood aspects should be taken care off from the outset of a humanitarian operation following an inclusive and conflict-sensitive approach: This will not only help to minimise environmental damages and costs for subsequent mitigation and rehabilitation measures but will also favour a peaceful cohabitation between refugees and locals.

Adansonia-Consulting is offering its expertise a) in general for programme/project evaluations, definition of inclusive approaches, stakeholder/conflict analyses and mapping (conflict-sensitive approach), and trainings, and b) more specifically for the following topics:
  • Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA)
  • Environmental action plan
  • Community-based sustainable natural resources management
  • Household energy survey
  • Alternative energies
  • Rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems (assisted natural regeneration)

The following consultancies have been carried out:

BahamasDebris and waste management, Swiss Rapid Response TeamSDC-HA22019
Chad Rapid environmental assessment of the Sudanese refugee-hosting area and elaboration of an environmental action planUNHCR1/SDC-HA22004
Definition of future support of SDC-HA to UNHCR regarding the environmental sectorSDC-HA22011
Elaboration of a pilot project for the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems around Sudanese refugee campsUNHCR1/SDC-HA22015
Backstopping mission for the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems around Sudanese refugee camps (report 1, report 2, report 3, report 4, report 5)UNHCR1/SDC-HA22017/18/2020
CongoDevelopment of an environmental programme for eastern Democratic Republic of Congo including the promotion of energy-saving mud stovesProAct13/UNEP32009
EritreaAssessment of the energy supply of internally displaced people and environmental rehabilitation of a former internally displaced people campSDC-HA22001
GuineaEnvironmental training of UNHCR staff (and of other agencies) in regional workshops for West AfricaUNHCR12000
HaitiAssisting the recovery phase after the 2008 hurricanes in the forestry sector in Haiti following a Disaster Risk Reduction approach (Haiti Regeneration Initiative)UNEP32009
Impact of the hurricane Matthew on the forest sector in Haiti: Valorisation of fallen wood and restoration priorities FAO162016
JordanEnvironmental training of MSB/IFRC staff in Amman on natural resources management in the recovery phaseMSB8/IFRC112009
NepalPost Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) in the aftermath of the earthquake, environment and forestry sectorSDC-HA2/Nepal government2015
Pakistan Assessment of the energy supply of Afghan refugees and the need of environmental rehabilitation of refugee-affected sitesUNHCR12001/02
Environmental impact assessment of the earthquake and the subsequent relief operation on the natural resources in north-eastern PakistanUNEP3/OCHA4/SDC-HA22005
Environmental impact assessment of the flooding on the natural resources including the promotion of environmentally-friendly Adobe brick houses in the reconstructionSDC-HA22010
Rwanda Evaluation of the environmental impact of the repatriation and reinstallation programme of Rwandan refugeesWorld Bank/UNHCR1/SDC-HA21995
Post-conflict environmental assessment at country level, in charge of the forestry sectorUNEP32008/09
South Sudan Definition of environmental strategy for Sudanese refugee hosting areas (report 2013)UNHCR1/SDC-HA22013
Forest mapping and pre-inventory of Sudanese refugee hosting areas (report part A, part B)UNHCR1/SDC-HA22014
Training of staff from forest service, universities and UNHCR in forest mapping and pre-inventory in Juba (report RSL)UNHCR1/SDC-HA22015
SwedenEnvironmental training of SRSA staff in Revinge regarding natural resources management in the recovery phaseSRSA82008
Co-organiser and lecturer at the joint training workshop for Environmental Field Advisor in RevingeMSB8, UNEP3/OCHA4, WWF, SDC-HA22015
Tanzania Environmental Coordinator for the Rwandan and Burundian refugee-hosting areas in Kagera and Kigoma RegionUNHCR1/SDC-HA21994
Set up of a peat extracting project for the energy supply of the Rwandan refugee camp of KagenyiSDC-HA21995
Developing a concept for using grasses as burning material for Rwandan and Burundian refugeesSDC-HA21996/97
Elaboration of a fire management plan for the former refugee camp of BenacoCare International1997
Uganda Feasibility study of the grass cooker in the Sudanese refugee campsSDC-HA21996
Joint environmental and social impact assessment for the Congolese refugee settlement at Rwamwanja (JEU, UNHCR, IUCN, Congolese practitioners)UNEP3/OCHA4/UNHCR1/SDC-HA22012

Copies of the mission reports may be obtained at

Bloesch, U. (2001) The use of fire in the environmental rehabilitation on the sites of a former refugee camp at Benaco, Tanzania. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Forstwesen, 152(9): 377-382. pdf

1 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
2 Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation - Humanitarian Aid
3 United Nations Enviromental Programme
4 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
8 Swedish Rescue Services Agency, nowadays Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)
11 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
13 ProAct Network, Environmental Partnerships for Community Resilience
16 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Last update: 08.09.2023 Visitors: 233494