Federation’s Disaster Fraternity to Consult on Climate Change / CDM Integration

CDEMALogoABasseterre, St. Kitts — Identifying and responding to the impacts of natural and anthropogenic hazards on St. Kitts and Nevis via an all inclusive method, is at the core of an upcoming consultation, which seeks to incorporate climate change and enhancement, into Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM). The exercise is being offered under the auspices of the second phase of the Project to Mainstream Climate Change in Disaster Management and the Comprehensive Disaster Management Harmonisation Implementation Programme (CDM-HIP), which is being executed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The workshop is to take the form of presentations on relevant climate change and disaster risk management topics, involving break-out sessions between disaster managers and their stakeholders. Some thirty participants spanning various government and NGOs have been targeted for inclusion, with facilitation by a team from among CDEMA’s member states (Team: Lyndon Robertson, Sharman James, Gayle Drakes, Saudia Rahat and Sherrod James).

The workshop takes place from 21st to 25th October, 2013, at NEMA Headquarters, Lime Kiln, from 9am to 4pm daily, except on Wednesday, October 23rd, when participants will be hosted by the Nevis Disaster Management Department, in Charlestown from 9am until 3:30pm.

CDEMA Executive Director, Ronald Jackson, has said that the consultation will focus on the enhancement of the CDM Country Work Programme including mainstreaming climate change, as an element of disaster risk reduction. The CDM Country Work Programme is a disaster management manual that applies country outputs and activities to strengthen the capacity of the masses to protect personal, communal and national interests, from disasters.

In accordance with CDEMA’s classification for the exercise, National Disaster Coordinator (NDC), Carl Herbert notes that the gathering will likely inform the existing St. Kitts-Nevis Country Work Programme (SKN CWP) 2010-2015, by identifying and addressing gaps, before the programme’s final phase is implemented.

“The participation of key stakeholders is necessary and important,” he said, “as the goal of CDM is to address all hazards, before, during and after an impact and to merge disaster management across all sectors through cohesive consultation.”

The CDM-HIP has supported the activities of the SKN CWP by sourcing available funding from stakeholders and international agents, to host activities and events. To date, a comprehensive ongoing education and awareness programme, “From Danger to Safety”, has been airing twice weekly on ZIZ Radio as part of that arrangement. Public Service Announcements currently ongoing on the Nation’s radio stations, including the popular “Drop, Cover, Hold On campaign, as well as the multi-hazard, multi-media public education programme, incorporating locally produced items, with some adapted material, now form part of the organised undertaking to reduce risks through education, outputs that have been achieved since project implementation.

This approach encapsulates Comprehensive Disaster Management, which is mandated to manage disasters through: Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Reconstruction, in all sectors including: Tourism, Health, Agriculture and nutrition planning.

“To date we can say that not only has capacity for disaster mitigation and response been built at national and community levels”, according to NDC, Herbert, “but our National disaster plan has been reviewed and updated and is being finalised for submission to Cabinet, and our capacity to research and prioritise hazards has been enhanced by the inclusion and improved understanding gained, of local, community based knowledge sharing and documentation.” Mr. Herbert says that this can consequently protect the fragile Tourism Industry, through the capture and dissemination of vital damage and recovery information, in a timely and standardised fashion.

The Comprehensive Disaster Management Country Work Programme (CDM CWP) is to be under review during the workshop.

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