United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNHCR's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state and to return home voluntarily.
UNHCR works to minimize the environmental impacts of its operations for refugees and internally displaced people. It also coordinates environmental support activities, including education at schools, reforestation programmes in support of anti-erosion measures and the introduction of fuel-efficient cooking stoves. During the different phases of a refugee/IDP crisis (emergency, care and maintenance, and durable solutions), UNHCR follows four principles:
an integrated approach, which integrates environment concerns into planning;
- prevention before cure, which focuses on taking action as soon as possible to avert greater problems later on;
- cost-effectiveness, to maximize the efficiency of its assistance programmes;
- local participation, which focuses on involving local people with the development and management of environmental activities.
with UNEP, the World Food Programme, CARE, the German Development Cooperation Agency, UNESCO, IRD, UNICEF, IFRC, World Conservation Union (IUCN), and more than 500 national and international non-governmental organizations.
UNHCR Environmental Guidelines (1996, revised in 2005); UNHCR Cooking Options in Refugee Situations: Experiences in Energy Conservation; UNHCR Livelihood Options in Refugee Situations: Promoting Sound Agricultural Practices; Refugee Operations and Environmental Management: Selected Lessons learned from the Field. See the website.