Federation’s Disaster Fraternity To Consult On Climate Change / CDM Integration

Basseterre, St Kitts , October 14th, 2013, (NEMA) - Identifying and responding to the impacts of natural and anthropogenic hazards on St. Kitts and Nevis via an all inclusive method, is at the core of an upcoming consultation, which seeks to incorporate climate change and enhancement, into Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM). The exercise is being offered under the auspices of the second phase of the Government of Austria funded Project to Mainstream Climate Change in Disaster Management (CCDM II) and the Comprehensive Disaster Management Harmonisation Implementation Programme (CDM-HIP), which is funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The workshop is to take the form of presentations on relevant climate change and disaster risk management topics, involving break-out sessions between disaster managers and their stakeholders. Some thirty participants spanning various government and NGOs have been targeted for inclusion, with facilitation by a team from CDEMA, (Lyndon Robertson, Programme Coordinator, CCDM-II, Saudia Rahat – Senior Programme Officer and Gayle Drakes, Programme Officer, CDM-HIP and Sherrod James, Deputy National Disaster Coordinator of Antigua and Barbuda).

The workshop takes place from 21st to 25th October, 2013, at NEMA Headquarters, Lime Kiln, from 9am to 4pm daily, except on Wednesday, October 23rd, when participants will be hosted by the Nevis Disaster Management Department, in Charlestown from 9am until 3:30pm.

In accordance with CDEMA’s classification for the exercise, National Disaster Coordinator (NDC), Carl Herbert notes that the gathering will likely inform the existing St. Kitts-Nevis Country Work Programme (SKN CWP) 2010-2015, by identifying and addressing gaps, before the programme’s final phase is implemented.

“The participation of key stakeholders is necessary and important,” he said, “as the goal of CDM is to address all hazards, before, during and after an impact and to merge disaster management across all sectors through cohesive consultation.”

The CDM-HIP has supported the activities of the SKN CWP by sourcing available funding from stakeholders and international agents, to host activities and events. To date, a comprehensive ongoing education and awareness programme, “From Danger to Safety”, has been airing twice weekly on ZIZ Radio as part of that arrangement. Public Service Announcements currently ongoing on the Nation’s radio stations, including the popular “Drop, Cover, Hold On campaign, as well as the multi-hazard, multi-media public education programme, incorporating locally produced items, with some adapted material, now form part of the organised undertaking to reduce risks through education, outputs that have been achieved since project implementation.

This approach encapsulates Comprehensive Disaster Management, which is mandated to manage disasters through: Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Reconstruction, in all sectors including: Tourism, Health, Agriculture and nutrition planning.

“To date we can say that not only has capacity for disaster mitigation and response been built at national and community levels”, according to NDC, Herbert, “but our National disaster plan has been reviewed and updated and is being finalised for submission to Cabinet, and our capacity to research and prioritise hazards has been enhanced by the inclusion and improved understanding gained, of local, community based knowledge sharing and documentation.” Mr. Herbert says that this can consequently protect the fragile Tourism Industry, through the capture and dissemination of vital damage and recovery information, in a timely and standardised fashion.

The Comprehensive Disaster Management Country Work Programme (CDM CWP) is to be under review during the workshop.

For more information please contact:
Vesta I. Southwell
Public Relations Officer
National Emergency Management Agency


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