Jul 15, 2023 | News & Advisories

Port of SpainRepresentatives of National Disaster Offices (NDOs) and Climate Change Focal Points from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries, as well as officials from related regional and international agencies, met in Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean Regional Workshop on Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Planning. The Workshop was held during the period July 11 and 12, 2023.

The Workshop was a collaborative initiative of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs).

Workshop sessions aimed to enhance the capacities of CDEMA Participating States in developing and implementing integrated plans in support of the global initiative to streamline Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) measures, leading to enhanced resilience and sustainable development.

Delivering the Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony held at Brix Autograph Hotel in Port of Spain, Minister of National Security, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P., indicated that the Workshop was strategic in nature, as it sought to strengthen the region’s capacities to develop and implement climate-risk informed, data driven national plans and integrated strategies, and advance efforts already undertaken in the Caribbean. He said “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to adopting a Comprehensive Risk Management Approach and to creating a culture of safety and resilience in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension, the Caribbean.”

Minister Hinds took the opportunity to thank the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) for their continued support to the work being done in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region, as it relates to disaster preparation and mitigation; climate change adaptation; and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. He also encouraged participants to let the workshop serve as a forum to integrate ideas, identify synergies and create new opportunities, in order to strengthen the resilience of individual countries, and that of the region. Minister Hinds reminded the participants that they serve a key role to ensure the implementation of strategies across multiple sectors, as countries address the very critical issues of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Also delivering remarks at the Opening Ceremony was Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Pennelope Beckles-Robinson M.P. The Minister said that Trinidad and Tobago is working towards climate-resilient national development, ensuring preparedness by all sectors and agencies against weather events, through enhancing early warning systems, assessing climate risks, and designing intervention options at all levels.  

Head of UNDRR Bonn Office, Germany, Dr. Animesh Kumar, in his remarks, indicated that addressing the climate emergency requires inclusive governance, and utilizing a diverse set of data, tools and finances. He emphasized that synergy is needed across all plans and policies related to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, in order to build resilience.  

Key representatives also delivering remarks at the Opening Ceremony were Deputy Executive Director of CDEMA, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig; Head of the Program Development and Management Unit of 5Cs, Mr. Keith Nichols; and United Nations Resident Coordinator for Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Joanna Kazana.  

Among the attendees were Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Major General (Ret’d) Rodney Smart; Head, Multilateral Environmental Agreements at the Ministry of Planning and Development Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh; Programme Management Officers (PMOs) at UNDRR Bonn, Germany, Mr. Carlos Uribe and Ms. Le-Ann Roper; and PMO at the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, in Barbados, Dr. Jair Torres.

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