PRESS RELEASE: Barbados, June 28, 2018 (CDEMA) – The Sixth (6th) Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Cartagena, Colombia from the 20th-22nd June 2018 and brought together representatives from governments, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians and leaders. This year’s theme “Towards a Less Vulnerable Region with more Resilient Communities” was said by Ronald Jackson, Executive Director to CDEMA, to have come at a critical juncture in the CARICOM’s efforts to implement the Sendai Framework Priorities through the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy. The Sendai Framework for 2015-2030 was adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 and was implemented to achieve “the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries”. This year’s three day Seminar allowed the opportunity for participants to share experiences and lessons learned in the 2017 Hurricane Season, transfer knowledge and show successes related to Disaster Risk Reduction at Regional and National levels.
Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA, along with Elizabeth Riley, Deputy Executive Director and Andria Grosvenor, Planning & Business Development Manager participated in various panel discussions and delivered presentations at several sessions within the Regional Platform with an emphasis on the need for countries especially Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to accelerate efforts at building resilience.
Ms Riley shared a Caribbean perspective during the opening plenary on Risk Assessment, Analysis and Monitoring: Tools and Experiences outlining the work within the CDEMA System in the development of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Monitor and experiences in Risk Assessment. Ms Riley also presented at the Parallel Session on Integrated Early Warning Systems focusing on experiences and good practices, Monitoring & Risk Assessment. The presentation provided a CDEMA System snapshot focusing on tools & experiences. Ms Grosvenor represented CDEMA as a panelist in a Parallel Session on Sendai Framework Monitoring and Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change. She also presented a key note address on Re-examining the Road to Resilience through the Caribbean’s 2017 Hurricane experience at the Caribbean Special Session, ‘From Ravage to Recovery: Re-examining the Road to Resilience through the Caribbean’s 2017 Hurricane Experiences’.
Mr. Jackson delivered remarks at the opening session of the disaster preparedness workshop and presented on how disaster preparedness activities supported the implementation of the CDM Strategy, financed through the DIPECHO actions. Mr Jackson also participated on various panels including a side event hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Local Humanitarian actors on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas. He also participated as a panelist at the Strengthening Mechanisms of International Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response, a parallel session hosted by the White Helmets Commission of Argentina.
In delivering CDEMA’s declaration at the event, Mr Jackson highlighted the five critical areas that CDEMA will focus attention in driving the Regional Resilience Agenda in an effort to achieve the future desired of “Safer more Resilient and Sustainable Caribbean Communities”. These five areas include; Enhancing Social Protection for the most Vulnerable, Safeguarding Infrastructure, Economic Diversification, Environmental/Ecosystems Protection and Enhanced Operational Readiness. He further noted, “The CDEMA Mechanism exists to support the governments of the region in all facets of the delivery of a Comprehensive Disaster Management Agenda and is a pioneering and unique arrangement that does not exist in a similar way in any other part of the world. We are quite pleased with the joint efforts undertaken with UNISDR to better harmonize reporting within the Caribbean and we remain committed to reporting on progress in the implementation of the priorities of action. In this regard the Region has produced a Caribbean Assessment Report that captures the performance of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy over the period of implementation 2014-2016.”
The Sixth Session of the Regional Platform ended with the announcement that Jamaica would host the Seventh Session of the Regional Platform in 2020 making it the first Caribbean Island to host the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.