II Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Cooperation Authorities "Strengthening capacity for development cooperation and partnerships: Building resilience to disasters" to take place from September 20-21, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
The Executive Secretariat for Integral Development of the Organization of American States (OAS-SEDI), as technical secretariat for the ministerial process of cooperation in order to facilitate the logistical arrangements for the participation of ministers, high authorities, and special guests informs the Cooperation Authorities, through the Permanent Missions of the OAS Member States, that the second meeting of ministers and high-level cooperation authorities "Strengthening capacity for development cooperation and partnerships: Building resilience to disasters" will take place from September 20th to the 21st, 2018 in Washington D.C.
What happened this week?
OAS and Chile Announce First Call for Applications for the Scholarships on International Disaster Response for CARICOM Countries
The Organization of American States (OAS), in partnership with the Academy for International Disaster Preparedness of Florida International University (FIU), is offering a Disaster Field Operations Course on July 13 – 15, 2018. Citizens of CARICOM member states are encouraged to apply for scholarship consideration by June 27, 2018. The course is intended to provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to engage in an international disaster response, in true-to-life field settings. Working professionals with backgrounds or work-related duties in emergency management and disaster response, including first responders in firefighting, law enforcement and EMS, emergency management employees, policymakers and program directors, urban planners, NGOs, public health workers and private sector professionals will be considered. The project is being implemented with funding support from the Government of Chile through its policy of international cooperation for development. The aim of this project is to strengthen the capabilities of CARICOM member states in Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Climate Resilience through certified courses, training programs and diplomas.
The OAS recognizes that education is fundamental to the development of human capital, improvement in standards of living, and the promotion of social inclusion, social justice and prosperity. Accordingly, the OAS, through its Secretariat for Integral Development supports the efforts of OAS member states to expand access to inclusive and quality education...Details on scholarship Read press release
Lessons Learnt from 2017 Caribbean Hurricane Season
The outcomes of the review, “Lessons learnt on Early Warning Systems during the 2017 Caribbean Hurricane Season,” were presented during the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, taken place in Colombia from 20-22 June 2018. The session was named “Priority Investment Opportunities to strengthen Early Warning Systems in Small Island Developing States.” The World Meteorological Organization along with regional partners the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and a gender expert led the review as part of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative.
The review found that forecasts were generally accurate and timely. However, the rapid change in intensity, especially for Hurricane Maria in Dominica, posed a real challenge. Warnings of secondary hazards, including flooding and coastal inundation were insufficient and should be improved to include impact-based forecasting. “Key findings to date that need to be addressed with some urgency include greater investment in national meteorological services to strengthen their physical and communications infrastructure, data collection networks, human and technical capacity as well as interactions with the public. While the anticipated CREWS investment strategy will address these areas of investment, it remains important that national authorities sustain the benefits of this investment,” said Mr Farrell. In terms of dissemination and communication of warnings, it was found that the risk assessments and response plans were not sufficiently connected. Risk knowledge, including the risk of river flooding and storm surge, was limited. While a hurricane alert gives information about the intensity of wind, thresholds for secondary hazards still remain to be identified. The review recommended that there should be follow-up into whether the message is actually received and understood... Read more
Jamaica’s hosting of the next Americas disaster risk reduction conference is a “glorious opportunity” to raise awareness of the challenges facing the small island developing states of the Caribbean, said Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government and Community Development. The Vl Regional Platform on Disaster Reduction in the Americas, held in Cartagena, Colombia, June 20-22, decided to convene the next forum in Jamaica. It is the first time that a regional platform will be held in the Caribbean, one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to extreme weather events and seismic activity. “It is a glorious opportunity, not just for Jamaica, but for the region as a whole to have a real platform for expression of our positions on disaster risk and all the associated issues,” the minister said. McKenzie said the forum will raise awareness locally, regionally and internationally of the Caribbean’s position. “To be honest many of these platforms do not afford the Caribbean the kind of exposure that is required. So, I think the hosting of a conference within the Caribbean will give greater appreciation to its needs,” he said... Read more
Tourism industry in Americas, Caribbean prepares against tsunami risk
“The tourism sector is realizing how much they can lose when disasters happen. Some are also beginning to understand that resilience can be an additional competitive advantage as well,” added Charles. “Countries such as Anguilla and the four islands of British Virgin Islands are now Tsunami ready. St. Kitts and Nevis have annual drills, inundation and tsunami evacuation maps and Puerto Rico has developed a tsunami safety card for tourists which is accessible and distributed in hotels. “Those are considerable progresses even if we can still see some resistance from countries too cautious to scare tourists and with too many assets located in areas vulnerable to tsunamis,” Charles said.... Read more
Jamaica Charged to Adopt Gender-Sensitive Response to Climate Change
Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters, has called on countries of the region to adopt more gender-sensitive measures in reducing vulnerability and building resilience against climate change. She said that this can be done by integrating gender issues into policies, programmes and activities, with specific focus on empowering women and girls.
“Canada wants to see a climate smart region… that promotes environment and climate action by advancing women’s leadership and including women and girls in the planning and decision-making process,” she said. Ms. Peters was addressing a workshop dubbed ‘Conversations on Gender. The Role of Gender in Building Climate Resilience in Jamaica’, at the Waterloo Road location of the Canadian High Commission in Kingston on Tuesday (June 26). She noted that it is Canada’s hope that this inclusive approach will support initiatives that will both mitigate and adapt to climate change and also create economic opportunities for women... Read more