UN Peacekeeping Operations to Reduce Environmental Impact
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
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The UN Department of Field Support developed and launched a six-year, two-phase strategy to maximize peacekeeping operations' efficiency of natural resource use and reduce their environmental impacts on people, communities and ecosystems.

The Strategy centers around five pillars: energy; water and wastewater; solid waste; wider impact; and environmental management systems.

The strategy also has the objective of ensuring that peace missions take the wider environmental impact of their deployments into account.

29 November 2016: The UN Department of Field Support (DFS) developed and launched a strategy to reduce the “environmental footprint” of UN peacekeeping operations. The six-year strategy aims to maximize operations’ efficiency of natural resource use and reduce their environmental impacts on people, communities and ecosystems.

The strategy lays out challenges, objectives and performance indicators for five pillars: energy; water and wastewater; solid waste; wider impact; and environmental management systems. In its first phase, which will last until July 2020, the strategy aims to: improve environmental analytics to effectively monitor progress; review the five pillars; and set targets for the second phase, which will focus on implementation and conclude in June 2023.

On energy, DFS aims to reduce energy demand through efficiencies, increase the proportion of energy produced from renewable sources, and reduce pollution created by peace operations. On water and wastewater, the strategy aims to conserve water, reduce the level of risk from wastewater management practices, improve wastewater treatment and encourage frequent monitoring of disposal practices.

Regarding solid waste, DFS will seek to improve waste management, and reduce the level of risk from waste to personnel, local communities and ecosystems. On environmental management systems, the strategy will introduce a management model at the departmental and mission levels that motivates and monitors progress on environmental performance. The strategy also has the objective of ensuring that peace missions take the wider environmental impact of their deployments into account.

According to Atul Khare, Head of DFS, the strategy is a “living document” that will be refined and improved as new information becomes available. DFS provides services to international UN and non-UN peacekeeping operations, and has nearly 168,000 authorized personnel in over 30 countries. [UN Press Release] [DFS Environment Strategy: Executive Summary]

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