Devastating 'natural disasters' increased in severity and frequency over recent years due to causes like climate change, population growth or land degradation. Heavy rainfalls causing floods or the absence of rain causing droughts are just two examples. If a country cannot cope with the impacts of a ‘natural disaster anymore they can request help from the international disaster management community. Disasters are not just 'natural' but always have a 'man-made' component and therefore the term ‘natural disaster is more complex.
This master thesis deals with the disaster management tool of Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) developed by United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB) and the European Union (EU). Its aim is to support local governments in figuring out the needs after the ‘natural disaster and to point out the priorities of action. Experts from UN, WB, EU and the local government carry out this assessment and specialists from up to 18 different sub-sectors can work on the final assessment report. The focus of this master thesis is on the sub-sector 'environment', which deals with ecosystems, the services they provide, their degradation and destruction and the post-disaster reconstructions and the recommendations for this sub-sector.
The importance of this topic is the influence of environment on mid and long term rehabilitation of a country or region after a ‘natural disaster. Especially the UN wants to know how environmental aspects are seen by the disaster management community and how the consideration of environment can be changed. Particularly issues like environment get less attention, not only in processes like PDNAs but also in every day life. Therefore the aim of this thesis is to figure out the status of the sub-sector environment and to present potentialities how its implementation can be improved in PDNAs.
For this purpose PDNA reports from 2009-2015 were analysed to assess and evaluate possible factors influencing on the implementation of the sub-sector environment. Based on these results an online questionnaire was developed to get the opinion of people working on different PDNA objects. Last expert interviews were held to get more detailed and insight data on PDNA processes.
The data evaluation shows that even though many experts are aware that the sub-sector environment is important in the PDNA process it still has not the same status as economic-related sub-sectors. Reasons underlying might be the declaration of the sub-sector environment as cross-cutting, the problem of the sub-sector to get figures for intangible damages and connected to that getting less attention because the effects often only occur in the mid and long term recovery process.
It is also challenging to get local governments to stronger look at environmental issues and other important sub-sectors. As the UN, WB and EU only have an advisory function in the process it is impossible to mandatory implement all sub-sectors needed if a PDNA is done at all. There have been good examples where environmental aspects were stronger taken into account. These assessments could work as models and show countries requesting for a PDNA how crucial the consideration of environmental concerns and also other less considered sub-sectors are in the long term.