ODPEM Meets with Representatives from the Pacific to Discuss Best Practices in Disaster Risk Management & Climate Change in Jamaica

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has begun the first of its two day discussions with representatives from the Pacific, Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and other local and international partner agencies to discuss Best Practices in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change in Jamaica. 

The meeting which began today, Monday, July 12, 2010, at the ODPEM headquarters will explore the similarities the Caribbean and the Pacific share with cyclonic activities, Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives, and Tsunami and Flood Early Warning Systems. Through these best practices the ODPEM, UNDP, and SOPAC are looking to increase in capacity building in disaster risk management to further develop resilience within the Caribbean and Pacific region. 

Programme Specialist of National Disaster Reduction and Transition from the UNDP Pacific Centre, Miss Karen Bernard noted that although the Caribbean and the Pacific share similarities in the configuration of risks there are a number of differences as well. She said that the profound difference in culture is one aspect and it is the UNDP’s responsibility to bridge the differences through facilitating the exchange in an effort to have a meaningful partnership. 

The ODPEM and SOPAC will be visiting the Rio Cobre River tomorrow, Tuesday, July 13, 2010, to look at the flood early warning system that is currently in place. The discussions currently being held in Jamaica with the representatives from the Pacific is the first of many visits to the Caribbean. The SOPAC team will be visiting Cuba, Barbados, and Saint Lucia over the next week.   

Contact: Kimberley Weller, Information Officer kweller@odpem.org.jm