Global News

Adapt to Respond Flexibly

As discussed during the INSARAG Steering Group meeting in February 2020, the INSARAG network must consider adopting a flexible response approach in order to be fit for purpose. This will ensure that INSARAG members contribute effectively to the COVID-19 national responses. The INSARAG Secretariat seeks the support of the Regional Chairs to lead discussions on the concept in 2020, to propose an agreed flexible response position for INSARAG, and to promote the development of relevant regional initiatives.    Views from the Netherlands and expert member Joe Bishop are also attached in the link:


Invitation: Online dialogue on Integrated Waste Management During COVID-19, 25 June 2020 / 14:00-15:30 hrs. +07

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to attend the online dialogue on Integrated Waste Management During COVID-19 organized by UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific which will be held on 25 June 2020 from 14:00 to 15:30 hrs (+07). Please feel free to disseminate through your networks, noting the regional focus on Asia-Pacific.

This online dialogue is part of a series organized under UNEP’s COVID-19 response, “Working with the environment to protect people which identified four main responses:

  1. The medical and humanitarian emergency phase
  2. A transformational change for nature and people
  3. Investing to build back better
  4. Modernizing global environmental governance

This online dialogue falls under the first response for Asia and the Pacific region to raise awareness on the importance of integrated waste management to prevent the level of severity and impact of pandemics, to prepare for managing waste effectively during the pandemic, to manage waste efficiently to control the spread of pandemic, and to treat the waste in environmentally sound manner. This will also highlight the different aspects of integrated waste management including holistic management perspective, need for regulatory frameworks and enforcement, waste management strategies during disasters and pandemics, and will also focus on hidden sources of waste generation which are critical for pandemic controls such as animal waste and waste from illegal trade of wildlife.

14:00 – 14:10

Opening remarks and introduction

Dechen Tsering

14:10 – 14:25

Why integrated waste management matters to the most?

Mushtaq Memon

14:25 – 14:35

Regulatory framework for integrated solid waste

Aphrodite Smagadi

14:35 – 14:45

Integrated solid waste during a disaster    

Lisa Guppy

14:45 – 14:55

Impact of illegal trade in wildlife on integrated solid waste management               

Georgina Lloyd

14:55 – 15:15

Q & A

15:15 – 15:20

Closing remarks

Isabelle Louis

Kindly register here no later than 23 June 2020 and invite your friends and colleagues to join us as well!

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting



INSARAG Guidelines Version 2020

Dear Colleagues,

After the endorsement of the INSARAG Guidelines version 2020 during the INSARAG Steering Group in February 2020, we are glad to inform you that they can now be downloaded here:

Countries are strongly encouraged to translate the documents for wider outreach. If you have any questions or in case you require some assistance, please contact the Secretariat directly at

For further questions on the Guidelines, please contact the Guidelines Review Group members from your respective regions. You can find their details here:

Thank you

INSARAG 30th anniversary


Message from Rudolf Muller, Chief Response Support Branch (RSB), Coordination Division


Dear Colleagues, Partners, Friends,


I hope this message finds you and your family in good health.


It is my pleasure to share with you a piece recently published to commemorate the 30th anniversary of INSARAG, available at:


I would like to thank all the member countries and USAR teams that have shared their pictures with the Secretariat and to express my apologies in advance if we could not include all of them, due to the limited space in the platform.


These last three decades have been an incredible journey demonstrating how your tireless efforts have contributed to the creation and development of the INSARAG network. A network that is special for its uniqueness in having such devoted and committed people who work around the globe and with no regrets to pursue the honorable goal to save lives, in very difficult circumstances.


I feel personally privileged to have seen how the idea of a small group of people and countries in the 90s has grown so extensively to involve more than 90 countries and organizations today, all of them united under the same objective, to build high quality USAR capacities and adhere to the INSARAG global standards of urban search and rescue.


So many people from all around the world have been and are involved in INSARAG’s work and it would be nearly impossible for me to thank all of you individually who have been engaged over this 30-year period, but I would like to express my sincere gratitude especially to those who have been there since the beginning, starting with members from Switzerland and the DACHL group, UK, the US, and the Scandinavians. Special thanks go to Toni Frisch for being the driving force to create this amazing network and now to Manuel Bessler for sustaining it. Within DHA and OCHA I would like to mention the Branch Chiefs, Mr. Robert Souria and Gerhard Putman-Cramer, the Secretariat leads/Section Chiefs, Ola Almgren, Arjun Katoch, Terje Skavdal, Jesper Lund, and now Sebastian Rhodes-Stampa, and the INSARAG Secretariat with Thomas Peter and Winston Chang, as well as all the General Service staff behind the scenes. I do recognize, however, that many more extremely committed people and countries have helped shape INSARAG and this anniversary is a moment to celebrate their work and support.


I hope you enjoy reading this story and looking at the pictures that are part of this piece and I sincerely hope you and your family remain safe.


Practices and Experience of the Fujian Response

COVID-19 Epidemic Control Measures in Emergency Response Action on a Construction Collapsing Accident in Quanzhou: Practice and Experience


On 7 March, the Xinjia Hotel in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province) in China experienced a building collapse. After the accident, the Ministry of Emergency Management of China dispatched a working group to the scene to guide the rescue. Fire & Rescue Corp of Fujian Province mobilized 1,086 fighters as well as rescue equipment and materials. In the spirit of life first, rescuers overcame the difficulties caused by COVID-19 epidemic and actively carried out rescue operations to minimize accident losses and casualties. Here is the interesting report prepared by the Chinese authorities and shared with the INSARAG Secretariat about the measures put in place during the operation.  It is heartening to note that elements of the INSARAG guidelines on the establishment of the Base of Operations seems to have been well implemented.

COVID-19 Control Measures in Emergency Response Action

Schematic Diagram of Rescue Site


 classic Rescue COVID