The Pacific and Caribbean sharing experiences on natural disasters and climate change

Source(s)
United Nations Development Programme - Pacific Centre

Suva - A group of disaster risk management and climate change specialists from the Caribbean are in Fiji to share their experiences with their Pacific counterparts. The group of five will share its experiences at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network that will be held on from the 12 – 13 August at the Holiday Inn.

The group from the Caribbean is composed of : Dr Asha Kambon , the Caribbean regional adviser at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); Carlos Fuller, the Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, an intergovernmental organization established to coordinate CARICOM’s response to climate change; Nicole Williams, the Disaster Management Officer for the International Federation of the Red Cross, Caribbean Regional Representation Office in Port of Spain; Tomás Gutiérrez, the Director General of the Institute of Meteorology and Permanent Representative of Cuba with the World Meteorological Organization; and Jacinda Fairholm, a regional program manager for the UNDP Caribbean Risk Management Initiative (CRMI) based out of the UNDP-Cuba office.

Members of the group will be presenting on “Reflections from the Caribbean SIDS on Forging Regional Partnerships and Multi Stakeholder Involvement” on Friday at the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network meeting. The presentation will focus on disaster risk management and working with civil society, regional partnership in climate change modeling and Regional Community-based disaster risk management.

The Caribbean group’s visit has been facilitated through the “South-South Cooperation between Pacific and Caribbean Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management”. The project aims to achieve strengthened safety and resilience of Pacific and Caribbean SIDS communities to a range of natural hazards. This will be achieved by facilitating and supporting South-South cooperation targeted at strengthening climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction capacity in SIDS that is based on the transfer of appropriate ‘southern’ expertise and technologies. The project is funded by UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and by the UNDP-Japan Partnership Fund, with in-kind contributions from UNDP Pacific Centre from where it is coordinated.

The Caribbean group’s visit comes a month after the Pacific delegation’s visit to four Caribbean countries - Jamaica, Cuba, Barbados and St Lucia – to meet disaster risk management and climate changes specialists and visit projects. The group exchanged information on a range of issues including early warning systems for natural disasters; ways to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in key sectors such as tourism and agriculture; and measuring farmers and fishermen’s perceptions of climate change. The Pacific group also visited a number of sites including the Rio Cobre River in Jamaica to see disaster risk reduction in action, a volcano monitoring station in Saint Lucia, and disaster resistant bricks production in Cuba.

The Caribbean group will meet a number of their regional Pacific counterparts in a series of meetings. The group will also visit a village in the Yasawas to see disaster risk reduction and adaptation methods in action at the community level. The group leaves Fiji on August 17.

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