The objective of the Caribbean Risk Management Initiative (CRMI) newsletter is to share knowledge, create opportunities for cross-fertilization of ideas or activities, disseminate best practices and lessons learned and keep the diverse members of the community connected and informed.
Caribbean Regional Programme in Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS)
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), with the kind support of a number of key partners including UNDP/CRMI, convened a workshop in Barbados on the 2nd - 5th of November 2010 that initiated the roadmap for the design of a MHEWS regional program. Meteorologists from around the world as well as hydrologist and disaster management specialists from the Caribbean region were in attendance; UNDP, including the CRMI, facilitated the participation of six disaster management representatives (Dominica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago). The participants were able to discuss lessons learnt from countries with good practices in MHEWS and look at how existing regional initiatives could support disaster risk reduction and early warning. National capacities and gaps related to planning, legislative, institutional and operational aspects of EWS were assessed and prioritized concrete areas for development and cooperation at national and (sub) regional levels were identified.
Please contact Maryam Golnaraghi (MGolnaraghi@wmo.int) or Ian King (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Regional Climate Risk Management Training
Between November 29th and December 3rd, the UNDP-Cuba, BCPR-Geneva and CRMI offered a regional training course to over 70 participants from 16 nations and territories in the Caribbean region on integrating climatic factors into disaster and development planning in small island developing states. The course was facilitated by specialists from the Cuban Environmental Agency and the National Institute of Meteorology and included expert instructors from the University of Guyana, the Caribbean Community Centre on Climate Change and the Solomon Islands of the Pacific region. The course explored the concept of climate risk management and climate change in terms of the vulnerability of island states, incorporated a gender analysis, examined climate change scenarios for the region, and discussed risk management in key sectors as agriculture and tourism. The participants actively employed tools and methods to address national and community level climate-risk based issues through a series of participatory exercise. This course serves an entry point into the BCPR Climate Risk Management (CRM) activities to be rolled out in the region in coordination with the 2nd phase of CRMI.
Contact Howie Prince (email@example.com) for Caribbean follow-up or Alain Lambert (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on the global CRM program.
Transferring a Cuban Best Practice
One key aspect of CRMI II is replicating a Cuban risk management best practice which has garnered much interest in the region, the Risk Reduction Management Centre (RRMC). The RRMC model establishes the possibility of mitigating the impact of disaster through an informed local decision making based on coordinated and multi-disciplinary information management which focuses on identifying risk, vulnerability and hazards. Over the course of 2010, CRMI has worked with Cuban Civil Defense to document the practice, function and role of the Centres, through series of activities, including a publication, a national lessons learned workshop and the production of a Guide that serves to outline the criteria and essential components of the model. A call to participate in the replication pilot process was circulated; the four countries which indicated interest in principle– the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands –were invited to a two day study tour in Cuba on Dec 3rd and 4th.
The study tour included a full day visit to RRMC in Pinar del Rio to learn about the operationality of the Centres at a district and provincial level. Specialists from Civil Defense as well as the national GIS and Environmental agencies shared how the information managed by the Centres serves local decision-making. The participants then had the opportunity to discuss, exchange and analyze the applicability of the RRMC model to their own territory. In 2011, CRMI II aims to work with these pilot countries and Cuba to actively put knowledge transfer and south-south cooperation in practice through establishing a network of RRMC in the Caribbean.
For more information on the Cuban model, visit the website at www.undp.org.cu/crmi/cgrrcuba/ and contact Rosendo Mesias (email@example.com). For more information on the replication process, contact Howie Prince (firstname.lastname@example.org).
5th Comprehensive Disaster Management Conference, Montego Bay, Jamaica
CRMI continued its association and sponsorship of the annual Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Conference, held for the second year in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This sponsorship facilitated participation of national representatives; supported the general organization and also permitted the engagement of CRMI with key stakeholders through the Exhibition Booth including the distribution of materials; presentations by Howie Prince and Jacinda Fairholm on the CRMI Phase II and the Cuban RRMCs; convening of the Gender Advisory Committee; hosting the South-South meeting and facilitating one of the featured videos; and general discussions.
The GAC was able to outline specific recommendations and draft a preliminary action plan to facilitate the mainstreaming of Gender in DRR in the Caribbean in partnership with key stakeholders including CDEMA, UWI and UNIFEM.
The South-South session enabled a review of progress on that UNDP Pacific Centre led project and allowed discussions on how the project elements could be prioritized and supported.
The presentations on the CRMI and the Booth were well received and permitted promotion of the project and key materials to a critical set of stakeholders. This has positioned Phase II of CRMI for takeoff in 2011 and provided some understanding of the next steps in CRMI.
Looking South Across the Ocean: Pacific and Caribbean SIDS share experiences
A film produced by UNDP-Pacific Centre demonstrating South-South co-operation in action between the Caribbean and the Pacific was showcased at the CDM Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The film focuses on the vulnerability faced by island nations and tells the story of how SIDS in the Pacific and Caribbean have embarked on a journey to share knowledge and experiences to strengthen the resilience of their communities to natural disasters and climate change. It highlights that many adaptable solutions to the challenges posed by natural disasters can be found by looking South. The film focuses on the exchanges coordinated by the “South-South Cooperation between Pacific and Caribbean Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management” project, which is coordinated by UNDP Pacific Centre, with extensive support from CRMI and involves Caribbean agencies such as CDEMA, CCCCC, CIMH, and UWI.
To obtain a copy of the film, contact Shobhna Decloitre (email@example.com), Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Centre.
CRMI Phase II
The next phase of CRMI (2011 – 2012) will focus on a) strengthening capacity for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through the replication of the Risk Reduction Management Centres and the generation of climate scenarios at a scale relevant to the Caribbean b) improving knowledge management in these two field through establishing a community of practice, facilitating training and short courses and ensuring Caribbean visibility in the 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, and c) enhancing partnerships and resource mobilization for the region. CRMI II will continue to document best practices in the region and play a role in facilitating south-south cooperation.
CRMI II will be lead by the sub-regional office out of Trinidad and Tobago. Contact Mr. Howie Prince, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Two new publications
CRMI will shortly be releasing a 2005-2010 mid-term review study that evaluates the progress achieved and the challenges encountered in the Caribbean’s implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA). The study documents investment in DRR and mitigation, identifies the synergies between the Comprehensive Disaster Management approach and HFA, provides case studies on successful horizontal cooperation and identifies lessons learned, using Jamaica, Cuba, the British Virgin Islands and Dominica as selected countries. The study will be available by mid-January 2011. For more information, contact Ian King (email@example.com).
As part of the south-south project, a checklist tool for practitioners on integrating gender into disaster management for small Island developing states will be available by mid-January. This pocketbook outlines the disaster management cycle and concretely points out where and how the gender perspective can be taken into consideration. For more information, contact Karen Bernard (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CRMI bids a warm farewell to Jacinda Fairholm. Jacinda has worked out of the UNDP Cuba office as the program manager and has been an integral member of the CRMI team since 2008. She will continue to work in the field of knowledge management in the UN System. Best of luck to Jacinda in her future endeavours!
CRMI wishes happy holidays and a happy new year to all our friends and colleagues in the region. See you in 2011!