Environmental concerns are essential components of human well-being and contribute positively to human security, providing basic materials for good life, good health and good social relations. Yet, these same resources are being damaged and over exploited, ultimately to the detriment of humans. In addition, increasing incidence and intensity of natural disasters and climate change are having an overarching impact on the environment. One of the key reasons why this damage continues is that an integrated approach is rarely adopted in disaster risk management and adaptation initiatives. For example, relief organisations may focus on damage to life and property while others examine impacts on livelihoods. Very often, ecological services and their indirect economic values are completely overlooked during assessments and planning for adaptation to climate change.
The devastation caused by the two Asian Tsunamis of 2004 and 2010 have been unprecedented. IUCN and its Members acted promptly and undertook initiatives to mitigate the immediate as well as long term impacts. While working with other partners, especially humanitarian and development agencies, the integration of environmental considerations into disaster management interventions, from preparedness to emergency response to recovery and rebuilding phases, was apparent.
This event will examine what happened during the post-disaster responses at both the tsunamis, the success stories and the failures, and how environmental considerations were mostly marginalised with an emphasis on why it happened, will also be an important agenda item. Participants will then move on to examine their own organisations´ frameworks and policies in order to identify where environmental safeguards are necessary. The means to mainstream environmental concerns and considerations into traditional disaster risk reduction programming and the often faced impediments towards this end will be deliberated in detail.