The need to improve environmental standards in mine action is particularly clear when working in areas with rich or sensitive ecosystems. Kendra Dupuy and Linsey Cottrell report from their field visit to Colombia and on the challenges mainstreaming faces there.
Under a three-year partnership agreement, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the Conflict and Environment Observatory (CEOBS) are working together to improve environmental safeguarding within humanitarian disarmament. The work is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
NPA currently operate humanitarian disarmament programmes in 21 countries and seek reduce the environmental impacts from their field operations, fully embracing the ‘do no harm’ model of humanitarian aid. NPA’s field operations cover a diverse range of activities including the clearance of land mines and other explosive remnants, surplus weapon and stockpile management, and explosive risk education. The safeguarding policies which we are developing in this project will need to reflect regional constraints and variations in governance within the territories in which NPA operates.
Based on wide-ranging consultations across the sector and a literature review of existing best practice, CEOBS and NPA will be appraising current activities and operations through a series of field visits, assessing local environmental practices and identifying key environmental and socio-economic issues. Through engagement and collaboration with local agents, we will develop relevant policies and training materials to raise awareness and implement environmental safeguarding to reduce the potential adverse environmental impacts from NPA’s field operations and to manage risks to local communities from other conflict-related environmental impacts.
For more information please contact Kendra Dupuy (kendup785 at npaid.org) or Linsey Cottrell (linsey at ceobs.org)