This month’s Dispatch is dedicated to the 2017 Environment and Emergencies Forum (EEF). The event brought together more than 160 participants from over 100 organizations to discuss innovations in environmental emergency preparedness and response, and to better understand the interdependencies between effective humanitarian action and sustainability. Focusing on the theme “From crisis to opportunity: building resilience by managing environmental risk in emergencies”, the event drew upon the Agenda for Humanity, and set the scene for the third UN Environment Assembly. The Forum’s timing could not have been more strategic, against the backdrop of significant shifts in the nature of humanitarian crises and their consequent impacts on humanitarian assistance.
Over the course of three days, the event placed renewed emphasis on the importance of collectively addressing the environmental dimensions of emergencies, strengthening learning and international collaboration, stimulating demand, and empowering action. It provided me an opportunity to highlight the importance of the environment as a cross-cutting issue in ensuring sustainable and accountable humanitarian action, and emphasize relevant ongoing initiatives, including the New Way of Working.
I am extremely proud of the UN Environment / OCHA Joint Unit’s success in putting together the Forum, and am grateful to our host, UN Environment in Nairobi for their hospitality and consistent support. It was a wonderful experience to be part of such thought-provoking discussions with so many inspiring individuals, full of new ideas to bring to the table. I would like to thank each one of the participants for their inventive inputs and for playing an essential role in the success of the event. I hope this month’s Dispatch gives you an insight into the valuable discussions and important outcomes that emerged from the 2017 Forum.