In the year since this tragic event, WWF has earned the position of advocate for the environment in post-tsunami reconstruction through:
- Providing advice to governments around the world; various United Nations agencies and the United Nations Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former US President Bill Clinton; and various NGOs, including World Vision and American Red Cross. WWF is working with IUCN Sri Lanka to provide region-wide advice.
- Promoting the understanding amongst government officials, international and domestic agencies working on the ground, humanitarian and relief NGOs, and local communities that without a healthy environment there can be no long-term prosperity and security.
For reconstruction efforts to be considered successful, it is crucial that we create conditions for long-standing solutions. Quick fixes do not make economic, social or environmental sense and do not fulfil our collective moral obligation to build back as best we can.
What did WWF do?Immediately after the tsunami, WWF:
- Assessed environmental impacts, threats and needs (eg, by participating in the United Nations Environment Programme’s Tsunami Task Force, which published After the Tsunami – Rapid Environment Assessment in February 2005)
- Developed practical “green reconstruction” solutions to those impacts, threats and needs and has been working with implementing agencies to make positive choices for the environment to underpin the long-term success of reconstruction (see below for information on WWF’s Timber for Aceh initiative and Green Reconstruction Policy Guidelines)
In the longer term, WWF is working to establish sustainable reconstruction as a major consideration in responses to disasters through engagement with affected governments, donor governments and agencies, United Nations bodies and NGOs.