CDEMA and Pacific counterparts share experiences and identify areas for integration and collaboration

Bridgetown, Barbados, July 21, 2010 (CDEMA) - CDEMA and its Pacific counterparts shared experiences and highlighted areas for programme integration and collaboration to strengthen disaster resilience of both regions when they met at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit in Barbados on Monday, July 19, 2010.

The Pacific delegation included representatives from South-South partners including the Pacific Islands Applied Geo-Science Commission (SOPAC),  Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), University of the South Pacific (USP) as well as national experts from the Meteorological Services Tonga, National Emergency Management Office Palau, the Maldivian Meteorological Service and the South-South Project Coordinator, UNDP Pacific Centre.

Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director, CDEMA, in his welcoming remarks observed, “The Pacific Islands and the Caribbean States are confronted with the challenges of living in “paradises” embedded with persistent natural threats. The marked similarities in needs and vulnerabilities necessitate collaboration in the development of a culture of safety to build resilience and ensure sustainability in the Small Island Development States (SIDS) of both regions.”

“Exchanging experiences on our techniques and methodologies will help us to better understand and identify areas of synergies for advancing and strengthening disaster risk reduction efforts in our regions,” he said.

Two key areas identified during the dialogue at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit as starting points for engagement are climate change adaptation and building community resilience.

Several initiatives are underway in these two areas, but the participants at the meeting agreed that much more was needed to mitigate and manage the threats to both regions.

“These are niche areas for forging strategic cooperation in disaster risk reduction of our small island states,” indicated Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director of CDEMA.

Commenting on the discussions, Karen Bernard, South-South Project Coordinator, UNDP Pacific Centre said, “We knew that bringing the group of representatives from the Pacific, half away across the world would not disappoint.  It has been an extremely productive and worthwhile exchange. The wealth of experiences and common interests shared are substantial and we are going to start mapping out exchanges around specific topics from our small islands perspectives”.

“This is really a unique opportunity to build capacity in horizontal way. Huge distances separate us; but in other ways we can become close”.  Bernard added.

The Pacific Delegation is visiting four Caribbean countries (Cuba, Barbados, Jamaica and Saint Lucia) as part of the South- South Project exchange programme of key stakeholders in disaster management and risk reduction to share and learn from each other experiences.

A team from the Caribbean will visit the Pacific in early August, 2010 to participate in the meetings of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management (PPDRM Whilst in the Barbados, the Pacific Delegation met with several partners of CDEMA, including Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Coastal Zone Management Unit and the Department of Emergency Management.

These meetings also provided an opportunity to confirm project activities for 2010 and 2011 under the South-South Project. Funding for the cooperation programme components for this year (2010-2011) has been provided by the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in UNDP.

 

For more information, please contact:
Sharon Layne-Augustine
Senior Programme Officer/Office of the Executive Director
Building #1, Manor Lodge Complex
Manor Lodge, Lodge Hill
St. Michael
Barbados
Tel.: (246) 425-0386
Fax: (246) 425-8854
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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