Sustainable Environmental Management
UNHCR believes that the tragedy and evil of forced displacement must not be compounded by damage to the environment. Environmental management is therefore a policy priority at UNHCR and is relevant in all phases of our work, from emergencies to rehabilitating the environment when a camp or settlement is closed.
UNHCR's sustainable environmental management programmes cannot be achieved without the active involvement of refugees or internally displaced people. To promote and guide these programmes, UNHCR advocates four principles of action:
- integration - ensuring that the environment features in other related programmes or activities such as physical planning or sanitation
- prevention before cure - taking action as early as possible to minimize potentially large-scale problems and irreversible effects
- cost-effectiveness - with limited resources at its disposal, UNHCR must always strive to maximize the efficiency of its assistance programmes
- local participation - involving local communities in the development and management of environmental activities is fundamental to managing natural resources in a sustainable manner