Activities of the United Nations Environment / OCHA Joint Unit

2017 Environment and Emergencies Forum (EEF) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 26-28 September 2017
Organized by the United Nations Environment / OCHA Joint Unit, the 2017 Environment and Emergencies Forum (EEF) is a unique opportunity to discuss global policy, share experiences and knowledge, forge new partnerships and agree on key actions related to environmental emergencies. Participants are invited to contribute to different sessions in the following three areas: (i) Readiness for environmental emergency response; (ii) Integrating environment in humanitarian response and (iii) Environment in conflict settings. For more information and to pre-register, please visit the following website: Registrations will be open until 30 May 2017.
Green Star Awards 2017
On the occasion of the Environment and Emergencies Forum, the winners of the 2017 Green Star Awards will be celebrated during a formal ceremony. This biennial event, a partnership between OCHA, UN Environment and the NGO Green Cross International, recognizes individuals, organizations, governments and companies who demonstrate achievements in prevention, preparedness and response to environmental emergencies as well as in integrating environment into humanitarian action. More information, including the nomination form, is available on the Green Star Awards website: Nominations for the 2017 Awards are open until 30 April.

Green Star

Integration of environment into European Commission emergency response exercises
The UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit supported the European Commission emergency response exercise RoMODEX which took place in Timisoara, Romania, in March 2017. Environmental emergencies occurring in the aftermath of natural disasters was one of the focus of the field exercise, where participants applied the recently revised UN Environment / OCHA Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT). For more information on the FEAT, visit:

Two years of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
The second anniversary of the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was celebrated on 18 March. The Sendai Framework, a far-reaching framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, has seven Global Targets and Four Priorities for Action. This global plan, aiming at preventing disaster losses and reducing risks, sets a deadline of 2020 for a substantial increase in national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction.

In recent months, Haiti has lost 32 percent assets of its GDP to Hurricane Matthew. Earlier this month, huge losses were inflicted on agriculture in Madagascar along with major damage to schools and infrastructure as a result of Cyclone Enawo. Moreover, this year marks six years after the ‘triple disaster’- the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan and 123,000 people are still displaced. These events illustrate the vital importance of further reducing risk, hence the need for UN high-level representatives, Member States, local government representatives and community leaders, and NGO activists to take part in the 2017 Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, 22-26 May in Cancun, Mexico. Delivering on the commitments outlined in the Sendai Framework and at the World Humanitarian Summit requires that key stakeholders take this opportunity to strengthen their commitment to act on disaster preparedness for effective response at the local level with a multi-hazard approach and risk-informed decision-making.

Hurricane Matthew Jeremie Les Cayes Photo : Logan Abassi UN/MINUSTAH

With extreme weather becoming the “new normal”, and the impact of climate change putting the most vulnerable at risk, the linkages between humanitarian action and development work must become stronger. The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction will be a unique opportunity for OCHA to showcase progress made in interconnecting humanitarian action and development work. It will also serve as a platform to present on themes raised in Sendai and Istanbul, such as localization and risk-management approaches.

OCHA will also organize a Side Event “One Year After the World Humanitarian Summit: Istanbul Achievements and Sendai Principles” which will take place on the first anniversary of the World Humanitarian Summit. This event will be facilitated by the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), and will present the linkages between the Sendai Framework and the Agenda for Humanity commitments made by governments and humanitarian partners. The event will also raise awareness on preparedness activities by governments and partners.

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