PRESS RELEASE:-Georgetown, Guyana, May 19, 2017 (CDEMA) – In an effort to strengthen the resiliency of communities to disasters in the Caribbean, 25 representatives from 12 countries across the region are participating in a regional training workshop for integrating gender equality in disaster risk management programming for the agriculture sector. The workshop is being co-facilitated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is held on 17-19 May 2017 in Georgetown, Guyana.
The Caribbean region is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change and at high risk of natural and man-made hazards, such as floods, drought, hurricanes, landslides, earthquakes, fires as well as transboundary threats. Whilst Caribbean countries have made many efforts in disaster risk prevention and mitigation, integrating and mainstreaming disaster risk management in sector operations require the involvement of all people and sectors for greater resiliency at both national and regional levels. Special attention should be given to address the needs and priorities of both men and women, to ensure equal access to resources and opportunities for building their resilience and adaptive capacity.
The overall objective of the regional workshop is to strengthen the capacity of national practitioners in gender responsive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector. Participants include stakeholders from Disaster Risk Management, Agriculture, Academia and Gender Bureau from selected CARICOM States.
In her address to the workshop participants, Dhanrajie Madray, Assistant Representative Administration, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Guyana Office noted, “While hazards are unavoidable, they should not become disasters. FAO seeks to support countries to apply prevention and impact mitigation measures through the application of technologies, good practices and approaches in farming, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry and natural resource management. Careful gender and socio-economic analysis is required to ensure that men and women can participate in planning and decision-making of practices and technologies that improve agriculture sector resilience to disasters.”
“In line with the Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals, FAO is fully committed to leave no one behind in the support provided to countries for building their resilience and adaptive capacity. This involves also strengthening women’s knowledge and capacities to meaningfully involve them in planning and decision-making,” Madray added.
Given the region’s vulnerability to climate induced hazards including hydro-meteorological and technological, experiences from the impacts of disasters on Caribbean countries have resulted in major losses in GDP, which are reflected in both the economic and social dimensions undermining food security and livelihoods of citizens.
In delivering remarks at the opening session of the workshop, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Noel Holder said, “The way we approach mechanisms for combating the effects of climate change, and by extension increasing our capacity for disaster risk management, should be within a holistic framework. We cannot neglect the need for multi-sectoral and multidimensional approaches.”
“We fully appreciate the timely intervention of gender mainstreaming which will serve us well in the enhancement of our strategy and initiatives, as well as building relevant capacities”, said the Hon. Noel Holder.
Also speaking at the opening of the workshop, CDEMA’s Deputy Executive Director, Elizabeth Riley noted, “The mainstreaming of disaster risk management at the sectoral level is one of the priority outcome areas of the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy 2014-2024. In 2007, we deepened our engagement with targeted sector partners including agriculture. We agreed on a medium to long term vision of sector led mainstreaming of disaster risk management with CDEMA playing a facilitating or supporting role. The vision embodied the ‘all people’ of CDM, where partners could and would be empowered to lead the charge in resilient sector development.”