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Humanitarian and Military Better Practices Exchange

Reducing Environmental Impacts and Improving Outcomes Methods and Lessons  to Improve Humanitarian Response and Outcomes Washington Exchange Meeting: November 5 and 6, 2013 Geneva Exchange Meeting: December 3 and 4, 2013.While the military and humanitarian establishments have different mandates and operating parameters, these incline to overlap in tranquility keeping and tranquility enforcement, and in military support to disaster palliation and instauration operations in non-conflict situations. In most of these situations, the military is expected to provide support to humanitarian organizations, ranging from security to consequential logistical capacities. Concurrently, humanitarian organizations have considerable expertise in engagement of disaster-affected populations in assuagement and instauration, an area in which the military is generally not focused.

Current good practice for humanitarian and military operations is to minimize the negative environmental consequences of operations by assessing and addressing impacts and reducing resource use. For the military community, these outcomes are incorporated into policy and doctrine of national military establishments as well as those of NATO, the European Amalgamation through its EU Military Staff (EUMS) and the UN Department of Placidity Keeping Operations/ Department of Field Support (DPKO/DFS). These policies and approaches are being incorporated into placidity support operations in South Sudan, and elsewhere.

For the humanitarian and environmental community, the objectives to eschew, minimize, or mitigate negative environmental consequences are predicated on the 1997 SPHERE Project Initiative, the 1994 Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Kineticism and NGOs in Disaster Assuagement, and the 2005 Hyogo Framework. Policy guidance, implements and trainings to these cessations are widely available. The Amalgamated Nations Environment Program, World Wildlife Fund, American Red Cross, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), the Joint Coalesced Nations Environment Program/Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance Environment Unit and other organizations have incorporated environmental issues into their operations or promoted this approach across the humanitarian community.

While the military and humanitarian establishments have different mandates and operating parameters, these tend to overlap in peace keeping and peace enforcement, and in military support to disaster relief and recovery operations in non-conflict situations. In most of these situations, the military is expected to provide support to humanitarian organizations, ranging from security to significant logistical capacities. At the same time, humanitarian organizations have considerable expertise in engagement of disaster-affected populations in relief and recovery, an area in which the military is generally not focused.

Many militaries and their civil coordinating structures have policies and procedures which integrate consideration of environmental issues into overall planning and implementation. This allows military staff to, for instance, systematically consider cost-effective sourcing of energy (e.g., generators or solar panels) or cumulative impacts of resource use (e.g., pumping ground water or sourcing fuel for cooking). Humanitarian staff tend to function in a more individualized manner, allowing for leading edge as well as donor-directed innovation. In this context, humanitarian operations can likely draw some innovation from the military experience and vice versa.

A number of actors in the humanitarian, environmental and military communities have identified an opportunity for an exchange of experiences between the humanitarian and military communities on environmentally positive approaches, methods and lessons to improve the effectiveness of support to crisis and disaster-affected populations.

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Washington Green Exchange – ” The environment is the context not the problem”

During this exchange, held in Washington on November 5 and 6 2013, members of military, humanitarian and environmental communities shared their current best environmental field practices.

The report shows that participantís discussions explored the subsisting successes of integration of environmental concerns into field operations, while setting the base for further reflexion on how to mainstream and even systemize environmental policies in field operationís implementation.

Costs and Funding: the exchanges are being organized on a self-funding substructure. There is no attendance fee. No funding is available to fortify peregrinate of participants.

Distance Participation: efforts are underway to enable participation in general sessions through Web access. Details will be posted at [add web address] and shared with participants who designate they may not be able to attend in person.

The exchanges are expected to result in three key outputs: 1. An identification of key areas, methods, approaches and technologies to ameliorate the environmental performance of humanitarian operations that can be shared between, military, military-coordinating and humanitarian communities. 2. Identification and engagement with, subsisting networks to exchange methods, approaches and technologies to ameliorate the environmental performance of humanitarian and military operations between humanitarian, military and military-coordinating communities. 3. An action framework for amending the environmental impact of military, humanitarian and military-coordinating communities.

An interim report will be yare after the first exchange as input to the second exchange. A final report will be yare and circulated following the second exchange.

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Geneva Green Exchange

Following the Washington Exchange, during which military, humanitarian and environmental communities shared their current best environmental field practices, the Geneva Exchange aimed to further identify environment policies, practices and experience to define how to improve the overall impact of humanitarian action by reducing the potential for negative environmental impacts. Download the full report

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