Landmine Monitor 2001

Survey Action Center (SAC)

Website: www.landminesurvey.org (NA August 2001)

GLOBAL LANDMINE SURVEY

(Information as of April 2001)

After almost a decade of humanitarian mine action, the global landmine problem remains poorly defined. Number of mines and mine incidents are still being used as the definition of the problems. An improvement to this is measuring the area affected by mines. However, this does not represent a realistic definition of the problem, as some areas are more important then others. For instance a piece of agricultural land verses the same amount of land on the top of a mountain.

A fair amount is known about the suspected location of mine fields, but little is known about the socio-economic impact of landmines upon communities. Without information about this impact, it is impossible to develop effective strategies that seek to minimize the human and economic costs these weapons inflict. If the terror of landmines is to be contained within years, as envisioned by the Ottawa Treaty, rather than in decades as assumed in the early days of Mine Action programs, then better information is an immediate and unavoidable requirement.

To meet this need the Survey Action Center was formed in early 1999 with aim of managing the Global Landmine Survey initiative. This initiative involves the execution of Level One Landmine IMPACT surveys focused on obtaining not only information regarding the location of minefields, but also information regarding the socio and economic impacts that these minefields have on local communities. To date five impact surveys are ongoing or completed, as well as one modified impact survey.

Much has been learned during these initial surveys, not only about the true definition of the landmine problem in surveyed countries, but also about how impact survey information can be utilized to develop more refined national strategic plans. To further the incorporation of impact survey data into national planning processes, SAC in close partnership with the Cranfield University Mine Action unit has expanded the range of impact survey activities to include follow on training in strategic planning and survey data analysis. Greater efforts are also being made to more closely integrate impact survey activities with ongoing UN efforts at local capacity development.

Executed to a common international standard and certified by the United Nations Mine Action Service, the landmine impact survey will:

  • Allow donors to rationally apportion funds to places of greatest human need as defined by impact on communities;
  • Permit national authorities to develop national plans focusing on regions and areas of greatest impact; and
  • Give implementers baseline impact data that will provide success indicators for mine action programs.

WHO ARE WE?

In a unique cooperative effort, the NGO community, in collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GIC), has established the Survey Working Group. The Survey Working Group (SWG) will monitor standards and facilitate the international coordination of resources and expert personnel for the completion of the Global Landmine Survey in countries worst affected by landmines.

The members of the Survey Working Group (SWG) are:

Association for Aid and Relief
Japan
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Switzerland
Handicap International
Belgium/France
Landmine Survivors Network
USA
Medico International
Germany
Mines Advisory Group
United Kingdom
Mine Clearance Planning Agency
Afghanistan
Norwegian People’s Aid
Norway
UN Mine Action Service
United Nations
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
USA

 

The Survey Working Group has designated Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) to manage and serve as fiscal agent for the Survey Action Center (SAC) in the coordination and resource mobilization of the Global Landmine Survey program.

FUNDING

The Global Landmine Survey process is funded through a variety of channels. To date, the following funds have been pledged:

US Department of State
US $ 7,033,000
Canada – CIDA & DFAIT
US $ 5,271,000
European Commission
US $ 1,538,000
United Kingdom – DFID
US $ 842,000
United Nations Foundation
[1:3 challenge match]
US $ 825,000
Foundations
[Rockefeller, J & C MacArthur, Compton]
US $ 423,000
Japan
US $ 450,000
Norway – MFA
US $ 373,000
VVAF
US $ 300,000
Handicap International – Fran..
US $ 100,000
Australia
US $ 115,000
Germany
US $ 100,000
Finland
US $ 92,000
World Bank
US $ 20,000

COMPLETED PROJECTS

Yemen – The survey commenced in July 1999, was completed in July 2000, and certified by the UN Certification Committee chaired by UNMAS in August 2000. The Canadian government was the prime donor, with additional support from Japan, Germany, the US, and UN Foundation. UNOPS was the executing agency with SAC implementation contracted to the Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA). MCPA and the National Technical Executing Unit (NTEU) worked together to carry out the survey. In response to a request by Yemeni national authorities, SAC, MCPA and Cranfield University (UK) conducted a Survey Utilization Project to train national personnel to utilize survey data and develop a national mine action works plan.

The outcomes of the survey utilization project was trained national staff who could effectively use impact survey data for national mine action planning and a user friendly computer tool that assists in planning by utilizing the impact survey data.

MINED AREA SURFACE, BY VEGETATION AND GROUND PROFILE TYPES

 
Ground profile
VEGETATION
Flat land only
Contains gullies, hillside or ridge
Other
(eg. moving sand dunes)
Total
NONE
21.8
6.0
0.1
27.9
Short grass only
292.0
162.5
34.2
488.7
Tall grass, at least some
100.9
3.3
0.0
104.3
Bushes or trees, at least some
119.1
87.5
94.2
300.8
Other
1.0
0.0
0.0
1.0
TOTAL
534.8
259.3
128.5
922.7

 

The survey utilization project results were well received by the government of Yemen, the United Nations and other mine action organizations. As a consequence, government authorities where the survey project has been launched and the UN have requested SAC to assist them with national mine action planning through implementation of the survey utilization projects.

It has now been decided to incorporate this activity to the survey project. SAC is developing an integration protocol aiming to integrate the impact survey activities into the national mine action program for future update of the survey and national plan.

A populated IMSMA database and a printed report of the Yemen survey have been distributed to donors and other relevant organizations. More copies could be obtained from the National Demining Commission of Yemen or the Survey Action Center.

ALL YEMEN –

MINED AREA DISTRIBUTION BY CLASS OF MUNITIONS

Type of mine
Mined areas
Contaminated surfaces (sq m)
AP
631
157,149,373
AP, AT
114
446,389,765
AP, AT, UXO
49
188,928,804
AP, UXO
65
7,310,565
AT
128
49,212,706
AT, UXO
27
32,767,650
Unknown
5
2,660,000
UXO
59
38,308,018
TOTAL
1,078
922,726,881

 

Kosovo – A SAC technical advisor completed work with the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) to bring together disparate data-streams within the Landmine Impact Survey format. A final report was published and UNMACC is using the product to prioritize their work. The European Commission funded the project through UNMAS and UNOPS.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

Thailand –With funding from the United Kingdom, Norway, US, the UN Foundation, Australia, Canada, and Finland SAC contracted Norwegian People’s Aid to begin operations in June 2000. In August 2000 NPA conducted the survey pre-test and the pilot survey was implemented in September. Village level data collection began in November.

Community level data collection was completed in early April 2001 and all data has been entered into the IMSMA database. SAC, NPA and the Thai Mine Action Center are in the process of finalizing the final repot.

Chad – With support from the US Department of State, the UK and the UN Foundation, SAC contracted Handicap International - France to begin survey operations in November 1999. The pilot survey was conducted in summer 2000 in the western and northern regions. Community level data collection began in all regions of Chad in fall 2000.

Community level data collection was completed in mid March 2001. The projected date for completion of the Chad Survey is May 2001. SAC and HI have completed preliminary data analysis of the impact survey findings. It is estimated that the project report will be published in August 2001. The government of Chad has requested SAC to assist with mine action planning utilizing the impact survey. SAC and Cranfield Mine Action are planning to respond to this request.

Mozambique – The Canadian International Demining Centre (CIDC) is surveying Mozambique with a Canadian government (CIDA) contribution. SAC and UNMAS provided a Quality Assurance Monitor (QAM), up to October 2000, funded by the US Department of State, who was to ensure, that the survey is conducted according to SWG standards. The Mozambique survey is planned to be completed by the end of May 2001.

Cambodia –Canada (CIDA) is funding a Canadian company, Geospatial International, to conduct a survey according to SWG standards. Operations began in May 2000.

Lebanon –SAC and HMD sent advance survey mission teams to Lebanon and produced a country survey plan. With funding from the European Commission, MAG and SAC will begin the survey in July 2001. SAC is planning to hold a training course in Lebanon for the Lebanon survey team and possibly other country survey teams that will implement an impact survey in the near future.

Afghanistan – A SAC advance survey mission to Afghanistan in May 2000 examined the feasibility of retrofitting existing data into the Landmine Impact Survey module. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan (UNOCHA) has sent a letter of intent to SAC and project planning has begun.

It is planned to begin the Afghanistan impact survey in the summer of 2001.

Vietnam –With funding from the US Department of State an advance survey mission to Vietnam, will be conducted in May of 2001, and a follow-on pilot survey. This work is precursor to a national Landmine/UXO Impact Survey of Vietnam.

Azerbaijan – SAC conducted an Advance Survey Mission in December 2000 and plans to begin the survey in August 2001.

Bosnia–SAC conducted a mission to Bosnia in June 2000 to study feasibility of a Landmine Impact Survey.

Somalia –SAC subcontracted HALO Trust to conduct an advance survey mission in 1999 in Somaliland. Due to changes in the environment and to cover other regions of Somalia, SAC has conducted a second Advance Survey Mission in March 2001. Agreement of government authorities has been obtained to conduct a full impact survey in Somalia and Somaliland.

A project proposal has been developed. Depending on availability of funding, SAC plans to begin the survey of Somalia in the second half of 2001.

FUTURE SURVEYS

Eritrea – The UN and the government of Eritrea requested that a Landmine Impact Survey be conducted in this country. SAC will conduct an advance survey mission in May 2001.

Ethiopia – The UN requested that a Landmine Impact Survey be conducted in Ethiopia. SAC is coordinating an advance survey mission projected to occur during June 2001.

Nicaragua – SAC has engaged in discussions with the OAS since August 2000 regarding a survey in Nicaragua. The government of Nicaragua has requested that SAC conduct a study of existing mine action data there during summer 2001.

Senegal/Guinea Bissau -As a result of discussions at a mine action conference in Bomoko, SAC is investigating the need and feasibility of a Landmine Impact Survey in Senegal/Guinea Bissau. An advance survey mission is projected to occur during September 2001.

Western Sahara –Norwegian People’s Aid and Medico International have conducted an exploratory mission to Western Sahara.

Angola – NPA and SAC are exploring the possibility of retrofitting existing socio-economic data (collected by NPA) into the IMSMA Landmine Impact Survey module.

CAPABILITIES

Technical Advisory Team –A specialized SAC team of internationally recognized experts in social science, survey, GIS, and statistics is available to assist with surveys in the field and to help with later analysis.

Survey Information –The SAC information management office will support national surveys with map data sets and related information.

Data Base –The SWG has established the principles of Landmine Impact Survey. SAC and UNMAS have developed the survey protocols and field questionnaire. In cooperation with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, this data set has been integrated into the UN Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA). The field module is available for national surveys.

Training –SAC has provided detailed Landmine Impact Survey training to representatives of more than 20 organizations in the donor, UN and NGO communities. SAC will continue to provide this service to organizations preparing to implement surveys.

Worldwide Web Site –The Global Landmine Survey will maintain a web site allowing access to survey information referenced geographically.

Survey Action Center

Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
2001 S Street, NW Suite 310
Washington, DC 20009 U.S.A.
Tel: (202) 483-9222; Fax: (202) 483-6610
E-mail: sac@vi.org http://www.landminesurvey.org