PRESS RELEASE: Castries, Saint Lucia, June 5, 2018– Caribbean countries are still recovering and rebuilding from the ravages of the 2017 hurricane season underscoring the urgent need for disaster resilience to be a top priority in the region. The building sector is of critical concern and this is being addressed in an upcoming Caribbean Building Standards Forum and Exhibition slated for Wednesday, June 13 to Friday, June 15 in Saint Lucia. Hosted at the Bay Gardens Hotel, the activity is a collaboration between the OECS Commission and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under the theme ‘(Re)building for a Resilient and Robust Response to Disasters’. It will bring together local and regional stakeholders in the construction and finance industries as well as development partners. The exhibition component will feature building products, technologies and services that enhance disaster resilience and preparedness. This should be of particular interest to the general public as they prepare for this year’s hurricane season which starts officially this month.
The aim of this regional building forum is two-fold. Firstly, the OECS Commission, under the EU-funded iLAND Resilience Project, is seeking to review and discuss the 2015/2016 OECS Building Code and Guidelines to update and improve their provisions and implementation. Secondly, the CDB is leading the effort to harmonize a regional approach to disaster resilience and regulation of the building sector. The CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is also a collaborating partner on this effort and will be participating in the forum. Member States of the OECS and the wider CARICOM region are expected to benefit from this joint appraisal and engagement of the construction sector in respect of resilience. Presentations will be delivered by regional and international technical experts from various fields in the industry to be followed by working groups and closed sessions. Members of the public are welcome to participate in the dialogue and the exhibition. Further information may be obtained on www.oecs.org.