Report from the GICHD
International Centre for Humanitarian Demining provides operational
assistance to mine action programmes and operators, conducts research
and provides support to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
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Mansfield, Operations Director, GICHD
past 12 months, there has been an increase in the general activities of
the Centre, the publication of a number of significant studies, and
some changes to key staff.
By way of
a brief review, the GICHD was established in 1998 and it has three
primary functions, all designed to support mine action: operational
assistance; research work; and support for the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban
Convention. This assistance is provided to the mine action efforts of
national mine programmes and field operators, as well as the
international community and the United Nations.
currently consists of 26 permanent staff members, including a total of
five individuals seconded by various governments. Funding for the
Centre comes from the Swiss government, and a number of other donors.
Support and Assistance
The Centre is
well known for the development of the Information Management System
for Mine Action (IMSMA). Further installations of IMSMA have been
carried out and it has now been provided to 28 different field
programmes around the world. Version 3.0 of IMSMA is currently being
field tested, and it is planned for issue to the field in early 2003.
This version will offer enhancements to the database system, and it
includes Mine Risk Education data fields.
the next set of the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) is well
under way, to complement the first 23 standards endorsed by the UN in
2001. The next 15 standards will cover areas such as the use of mine
detecting dogs, test and evaluation, contracting procedures, and
management training. The IMAS outreach programme has continued with
workshops in North America, Europe, the Tran Caucasus and Asia.
has continued to provide both general and specialized support to the
field, by providing short-term operational and technical expertise for
mine action programmes in countries such as Angola, Cambodia, Somalia
and Yemen. In addition, the Centre has undertaken a number of
evaluation missions on behalf of various parties. This is an area
which is set to expand with the forthcoming appointment of an
evaluation specialist in the near future.
One of the
primary aims of the Centre is to contribute to the formulation and
development of improved procedures, practices and technologies in mine
action. This research, to support mine action, aims particularly to
improve the safety of demining and the cost-effectiveness of mine
action programmes in the field. A number of studies have recently been
Socio-economic “Operational Handbook,” which was developed from the
socio-economic study. An outreach programme is now being planned by
Communication in Mine Awareness Programmes and the handbook
Communication in Mine Awareness Programmes to provide informal,
practical advice on how practitioners can improve communication in mine
risk education programmes.
Action Equipment: Study of Global Operational Needs, was requested by
UNMAS and reviews equipment needs of mine action agencies. The study
also identifies a priority list of global operational needs that could
benefit from improved equipment, processes and procedures.
Dogs: Improving the Quality of Mine Detection Dogs, identifies and
discusses the essential and optional characteristics of mine detection
dogs, and identifies an alternative breed for development and training
as a mine detection dog—the Swedish Drever.
Explosive Remnants of War—A Threat Analysis assesses the threat in
post-conflict environments of explosive ordnance in order to develop a
methodology that can identify objectively the risk to the community
from generic ammunition groups.
addition there are a number of on-going projects, including studies
into the use of the military in mine action, mechanical equipment, the
development of local mine action organizations, and guidelines for
legislation and national management structures. All studies are
available by contacting the GICHD, or by visiting the GICHD web site (http://www.gichd.ch/publications/index.htm).
Implementation Support Unit
Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention mandated the GICHD
to form an Implementation Support Unit (ISU); this became operational
in January 2002. The purpose of the ISU is to support the activities
of States Parties in the Convention, especially: the work of the
Co-ordinating Committees and the Intersessional Work Programme; advice
and support to the President of the Meeting of States Parties;
assistance to States Parties and States not Parties on the work of the
Convention. In addition the ISU has commenced work to establish a
documentation centre on the Convention and its implementation. The
Head of the Implementation Support Unit is Kerry Brinkert who can be
contacted by email at
Avenue de la Paix 7bis
CH-1211 Geneva Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 906 1674
Fax: +41 22 906 1690