2012 Trainings

ECOWAS Beyond Response pilot training, Nigeria, November 2012

The programme helps low- and middle-income countries prepare for environmental emergencies. It teaches them how to use seven tools and approaches used by international emergency responders.  The pilot training comprised an eLearning course and a three-day workshop.

Three critical factors contributed to the pilot’s success: the participant selection, the instructional design and the facilitators. The designer responsible for the evaluation activities gathered feedback from participants and facilitators, which led to recommendations that will improve presentations of this programme.


ASEAN workshop on Environmental Emergencies, September 2012

The ASEAN Regional Workshop on Environmental Emergencies, hosted by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), was held in September 2012 in Singapore with support from the Joint Environment Unit (JEU). It was designed to raise awareness of regional and global mechanisms to respond to environmental emergencies.

For the first time, the workshop brought together representatives of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment and the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. OCHA sponsored the participation of five regional organizations: African Union, Centro de Coordinacion para la Prevencion de los Desastres Naturales en America Central, League of Arab States, Organization for Islamic Cooperation and the Central Asia Regional Environment Centre.

The outcomes included a two-year workplan to strengthen national and regional capacities in environmental emergency response; enhanced national-level coordination between disaster management and environment authorities; and a major role in prevention and preparedness for the Environmental Emergency Centre.

EET, Italy, June 2012

This training was held by the JEU and the Italian Civil Protection National Service. The aim was to update and familiarize active United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) members and civil-protection experts with the Flash Environmental Assessment Tool and the Disaster Waste Management (DWM) Guidelines as part of an UNDAC deployment. Participants learned first-hand about the immediate response activities to the capsized Costa Concordia, including the environmental emergency response components, e.g. fuel removal and hazardous materials.
The JEU, in cooperation with OCHA’s Field Coordination Support Services, conducted the first Environmental Emergencies Training (EET) for UNDAC members. The Italian Civil Protection National Service was congratulated for its generosity in hosting the training.

Environmental Emergency Training 4 in Spiez, Switzerland, April 2012

The Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU) held the Fourth Environmental Emergency Response Training in Spiez, Switzerland from 16-20 April, 2012.  The training was co-hosted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation/Humanitarian Aid (SDC) and the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB) with private sector participation by Veolia Environment Foundation.

Environmental Emergency Training exercises aim to strengthen the knowledge, skills and understanding of environmental experts and enable them to respond more effectively in difficult environments throughout the entirety of the emergency mission cycles of preparedness, mobilization, operations, demobilization and post-mission.  The most recent example of where this knowledge was being utilized was in the recent series of explosions that occurred on 4 March at an ammunitions depot near Brazzaville, leaving at least 200 dead and an estimated 1,500 seriously injured. A four-member UNDAC team was deployed by OCHA to the Republic of Congo to undertake a comprehensive site assessment, which included sampling and analysis to determine possible exposure. The blast destroyed houses, buildings and transportation infrastructure and had scattered unexploded ordnances and possible contaminants into the surrounding area. 

The trainings comprised a series of classroom sessions taught by experts, as well as an all-day field simulation exercise, which provided a demonstrative environment to what is faced by environmental emergency responders before, during and after their deployment. These trainings familiarize environmental responders with key international environmental response tools and resources such as: