Training of trainers in Central Asia on environmental emergencies and hazardous industrial activities

Reducing the risks of industrial accidents and associated environmental emergencies requires action at all levels. This ranges from strengthening international cooperation and assistance, to enhancing national capacities for risk reduction, and – crucially – building skills and awareness on the ground to enhance prevention, preparedness, and emergency response.

UNECE works with countries, partners and a wide range of actors across these interconnected scales to improve industrial safety and reduce related environmental risks through its Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (Industrial Accidents Convention).

At the invitation of the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU), UNECE recently contributed to the “training of trainers” from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Central Asia Centre for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR), which hosted the training in Almaty (Kazakhstan).

The initiative provided future trainers with the methodology and skills necessary to train many more women and men on environmental emergencies. The training focused on tools for prevention, preparedness and response to accidents releasing hazardous substances and working with case studies and scenarios of possible disasters that may affect the region. This offered a valuable opportunity for hands-on learning on the identification of hazardous activities under the UNECE’s Industrial Accidents Convention and the JEU’s Flash Environmental Assessment Tool (FEAT).

The newly trained trainers consequently delivered training on environment & emergencies and industrial hazardous activities, sharing the knowledge and skills they had gained with a larger circle of beneficiaries from the region. As a result of the two training activities, a total of 25 representatives of Central Asian countries were trained, twelve of whom have already become facilitators and will deliver similar courses to relevant national and regional authorities and public organizations.

This practical and innovative approach to knowledge sharing in the region is therefore helping to strengthen and multiply capacities on the ground to reduce the risks of industrial accidents and other environmental emergencies.

The training materials can be accessed via the Industrial Accidents Convention webpage.

E-Learning modules on industrial accidents prevention, preparedness and response and flash environmental assessment using FEAT are available at the JEU’s Environmental Emergencies Centre.

The training was co-organized by the UN Environment Regional Office for Europe, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Caucasus, Central Asia & Ukraine, UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit, UNECE and the Central Asia Centre for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction with the financial and administrative support of the UN Environment Regional Office for Europe.