Disaster Management Task Force for the wider Caribbean established

FILE PHOTO {Rare Weather Phenomena} Waterspout (Click to Enlargen)

FILE PHOTO {Rare Weather Phenomena} Waterspout (Click to Enlargen)

The First meeting of the CARIFORUM/OCT/FCOR/EU Disaster Management Task Force was convened recently at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad and Tobago by CARIFORUM in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The Task Force discussed a number of priority areas for deepening collaboration on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction among the CARIFORUM States, French Caribbean Outermost Regions plus the British & Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories.

Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director of CDEMA, in giving his remarks at the Meeting said, “The Task Force presents a unique opportunity to facilitate discussions among CARIFORUM, FCOR and OCT countries, as well as the European Union (EU), notwithstanding the diverse political arrangements and languages, for the identification of common challenges and to facilitate the development and implementation of shared vision and standards for regional capacity building programmes in Disaster Management.”

He cautioned that, “The Task Force must be careful not to want to limit its engagement to cooperation on projects and programmes. The potency of this mechanism for informing and shaping the global agenda must not be undervalued.”

The meeting was attended by participants from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Saint Lucia, CDEMA’s Sub-Regional Focal Points {Incl. of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago}, the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, and the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies.

Also in attendance were representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the EU Delegation for Barbados and the OECS.

The second meeting of the Task Force has been tentatively scheduled for early December 2010. The Disaster Management Task Force has its genesis in the Intra-Regional Cooperation Seminar, held in Martinique on 17-18 November 2005.

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