CDERA Coordinator pays courtesy call on Premier

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, July 17, 2008, (DDM) – Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE on Tuesday received a courtesy call from Coordinator of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), Mr. Jeremy Collymore.

In their brief inter-change, Mr. Collymore informed the Premier of the decision to rename the agency to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

The decision was taken by CARICOM Heads of Government and is expected to take effect in September 2009. The change is designed to better reflect the more holistic approach that is required to disaster management.

In response, the Premier said “I am pleased to see how CDERA has developed from simple hurricane preparedness to disaster mitigation. I am glad to see how CDERA is spreading its wings.”

The CDERA Coordinator is in the BVI this week for the Elderly in Disasters Workshop coordinated by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). He commended the DDM for its proactive approach to disaster management, particularly as it relates to caring for the elderly.

During the courtesy call, Mr. Collymore also informed the Premier of two initiatives the agency is embarking upon. These are the creation of national recovery plans and a risk reduction strategy for the tourism sector.

Mr. Collymore said Caribbean territories have good response plans in place but they lack efficient recovery plans.

Elaborating on the risk reduction strategy for tourism, he said CDERA is seeking input from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and the Caribbean Hotel Association to move the initiative forward. He described tourism as a sensitive industry that is subject to external factors such as disasters.

The CDERA official also told the Premier of his agency’s decision to initiate talks with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College to push online training initiatives in the area of disaster management and he described college officials as being very receptive to the idea.

CDERA is the regional inter-governmental agency established by CARICOM to spearhead disaster management in the region. In the BVI, responsibility for disaster preparedness falls within the portfolio of the Governor while the Premier is mandated to lead disaster recovery efforts.

The Department of Disaster management is responsible for disaster mitigation in the BVI. Its vision is to serve as “catalyst in mobilising all sectors of the community, Government and non-government to take effective action to significantly reduce vulnerability to hazards of all kind.”

Philomena Robertson
Information Officer
Department of Disaster Management
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 2076
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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