Government of BVI (GIS), BVI, October 29th, 2012 - The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit, with financial support from the Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability in the Caribbean Region (ERC) Project is hosting a stakeholders meeting to discuss the data needs for the DEWETRA Platform and how it can be used within the Caribbean context.

 

The DEWETRA Platform is a real-time integrated system for risk forecasting, monitoring and prevention designed by an Italian company - CIMA Research Foundation, on behalf of the National Civil Protection Department. The system offers a flexible and robust tool to support the operational activities of Civil Protection in Italy and is being replicated in countries within the CDEMA membership.

Mr. Davide Miozzo, Focal Point Representative for the ERC – Output 2 and Ms. Laura Rossello, GIS Expert from CIMA is meeting for one day with key stakeholders with interest in areas such as Physical Planning, Lands and Survey, Disaster Management, Water Resources and Management, Environmental Health and other national stakeholders who generate and use spatial data.Key stakeholders meet in DDM’s conference room to discuss the data needs for the DEWETRA Platform and how it can be used within the Caribbean context

This initiative takes an integrated approach to vulnerability reduction and enhancing resilience to climate change, natural hazards and poverty through enhanced capacity within civil protection agencies. The ERC project focuses on knowledge sharing and building linkages across Caribbean institutions, capacity development, and advancing the linkages between climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Technical Coordinator, Ms. Evangeline Inniss said, “As one of the pilot states, the Virgin Islands (VI) will benefit greatly in a number of ways including the provision of support to develop a National Volunteer System and an online database application that will allow for registration and tracking of volunteers; enhance the Damage and Needs Assessments Standard Operating Procedures (DANA SOPs); and execute a simulation exercise to test newly developed procedures for managing cruise ship and large scale accidents at sea.”

Ms. Inniss further said, “The VI has been afforded the opportunity for three persons to receive training in areas such as meteorological data collection and processing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) training and Volunteer Development at the Civil Protection Department headquarters in Rome, Italy, with additional training in GIS becoming available soon.”

In total, five persons from the Virgin Islands have been trained under this project, including two other persons who have completed Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Training in Grenada earlier this year.

Critical to the success of this project will be the numerous linkages it will seek to forge with various other initiatives and regional partners in sharing experience and achieving common objectives. Partnerships have been established with the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System, CIMA Research Foundation and the UNDP Youth Innovation project. The VI is benefiting from this partnership arrangement through the procurement of additional weather stations and participation in a Tsunami Public Awareness and Educational Stakeholders Consultation meeting which will be held in Dominican Republic next month.Laura Rossello, GIS Expert from CIMA and Davide Miozzo, Focal Point Representative for the ERC sits at meeting to discuss the data needs for the DEWETRA Platform and how it can be used within the Caribbean context

By the end of the project it is expected that there will be a network of real-time decision support centres for early warning systems through real-time sharing and use of hydro-meteorological data; strengthened national disaster management mechanisms; and support for the enhancement of the regional tsunami public awareness programme and the establishment of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC). The total value of the ERC project for which the CIMH has overall oversight is 3.5 million Euros.

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