A three-day meeting aimed at exploring and increasing the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) capacity for strategic planning in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) process begins in Port of Spain on Tuesday.
The Trinidad-based ACS said that the 20th meeting of the Special Committee on DRR will also focus on other regional issues such as the guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance (IDRL) and the Model Act for the IDRL Guidelines implementation, as well as the proposal for the Renewal of the 'Saint-Marc Plan of Action'.
The ACS, which groups countries in the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom), Central, South and Latin America, said the meeting will also receive the results of the Strengthening Hydrometeorological Operations and Services (SHOCS) in the Caribbean Small Island Developing States by Dr Martti Heikinheimo, of the Consulting Service Development Director of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
"The main objective of the SHOCS project is to explore and increase the ACS' capacity for strategic planning in the entire Disaster Risk Reduction process, thereby raising the quality and capacity not only of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) but also of Disaster Risk Reduction organisations, in order to provide services for safety and preparedness with respect to natural hazards."
It said the initiative, in the long term, would allow Caribbean societies to be better prepared to deal with the adverse effects of natural disasters and the harmful effects of climate change.
Executive director of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Stephen Ramroop, and Earl Hernandez from the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, are scheduled to make presentations on the 'Green response' project.
This project provides the governments and peoples of the Caribbean with ecologically-effective, environment-friendly tools and processes that they can use in response to disasters.
The November 20-23 meeting will be addressed by ACS Secretary General Alfonso Múnera. —CMC