The number and intensity of natural hazards has increased exponentially in recent decades. While headlines highlight the impact on people and infrastructure, animals are also affected by these events and subsequent disasters. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction represented a significant evolution in risk management, including understanding the need to expand the focus beyond on people and physical infrastructure to include the protection of livelihoods and productive assets, including livestock and other animals. The conflict in Ukraine has also highlighted concerns and lessons related to both companion animals and livestock during conflict. Yet, despite a growing willingness to include animals in national disaster management plans, there remains a big gap in understanding and in implementing animal-sensitive risk management/programming.
In order to better understand the current status of how animal welfare is considered within disaster risk management, the Humane Society International (HSI) Europe has commissioned IRMA to undertake a comprehensive scoping exercise to assess the current state of animal protection within disaster risk management legislation and practices within the EU and four member states (Poland, Germany, Romania and Italy). The scoping exercise explores the extent to which disaster-related EU and member state Legislation includes animal protection and what good practices in disaster risk management are the most sensitive or protective of animals. Building on this, IRMA will support HSI Europe to identify key opportunities to positively contribute to this emerging and expanding area of DRM.
The IRMA team is made up of Lezlie Moriniere, TL, Hannah Vaughan-Lee (Research Lead) and Ambre Caillot (Ethologist/Research Associate).