ReliefWeb, UNDAC Rapid Environmental Assessment in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
: "Acute environmental impacts with immediate effects on human lives and direct relevance to humanitarian response efforts can be expected in the face of such a disaster. The Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (Joint Unit), integrated in the Emergency Services Branch of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is the principal United Nations mechanism mandated to assist countries facing environmental emergencies. The Joint Unit is supporting Rapid Environmental Assessments (REA) in the region, in collaboration with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams mobilized to assist national and international response to the tsunami crisis. The objective of the REA is to identify acute environmental issues with immediate implications for human lives and response efforts, and based on this, to provide humanitarian and other partners with effective support and analysis. In Sri Lanka, the REA identified: No major life-threatening environmental emergencies resulting from the tsunami; Urgent environmental concerns related to the management of tsunami debris, and sewage and sanitation issues in locations where displaced people are being offered emergency shelter; Coordination issues and re-mapping needs; and, Longer-term environmental issues that, while not the focus of this report, do require further attention. Full report (pdf* format - 11.3 MB)
The critical response by the Environmental Foundation Ltd. Can be down loaded here.