GUIDELINES FOR RAPID ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN DISASTERS

AUTHOR: Aon Benfield Hazard Research Centre, University College London and CARE International

LAST UPDATED: April 2005

TYPE OF TOOL: Handbook

KEYWORDS: humanitarian action, environmental management, Benfield Hazard Research Centre, University College London, CARE International

FORMAT: Downloadable PDF document, 99 pages; Quick Guide

LANGUAGES: English

WEB LINK:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/abuhc (ABUHC)

http://www.care-international.org (CARE International)

http://www.preventionweb.net/files/8267_bhrcgen30apr1.pdf(tool)

ABOUT THE TOOL: The Guidelines for Rapid Environmental Impact in Disasters (REA) provide a tool to identify, define and prioritize environmental impacts in disaster situations. It aims to permit quick identification of salient environmental issues in disasters and improve linkages between sustainable environmental management and disaster response. For this purpose, it offers four modules on the following:

  • Organization level assessment
  • Community level assessment
  • Consolidation and analysis of assessment results
  • Green review of relief procurement

The REA is designed for natural, technological or political disasters, and as a best- practice tool for effective disaster assessment and management. The REA does not replace an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), but fills a gap until an EIA is appropriate. A REA may be use from shortly before a disaster up to 120 days after a disaster begins, or for any major stage-change in an extended crisis.

A Guidelines-based rapid environmental impact assessment may be conducted as a standalone exercise or as part of, and using information collected during, other standard disaster impact assessments. When done as part of another type of assessment, the REA process should not result in any significant increase in workload in the field or during analysis.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: “The UHC at University College London (UCL) is one of Europe’s leading multidisciplinary academic centres for hazard and risk research, education and knowledge exchange. Since its establishment in 1997, the Centre has pioneered the development and delivery of research and education programmes relevant to business, industry, local and national government, and humanitarian and development agencies, whilst at the same time maintaining academic excellence within the global higher education and research arena. Through the UHC, partners and affiliates of the Centre have direct access to expertise and resources within UCL, which is one of the world’s premier multi-faculty teaching and research universities.

CARE International is “a global leader within a worldwide movement dedicated to saving lives and ending poverty”.

INTENDED USER: Primary REA users are people directly involved in disaster response operations, with a basic knowledge of the disaster management process but no background in environmental issues. The REA process may be used by disaster survivors with appropriate support. The best results are expected to come when the REA is completed with structured input from survivors and organizations providing relief assistance. Sections of the REA may also be used for needs assessment and environmental impact screening during relief project design and review.