Wednesday, February 27 – Director of Projects in the Ministry of Finance Dr. Drexel Glasgow and Chief Planner in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department, Mr. Gregory Adams represented the BVI at the Regional Seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Kingston, Jamaica from February 14 to 15.
The seminar was co-organised by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) as part of a trilateral initiative with the Governments of Chile, Japan and Jamaica and targeted representatives from Caribbean public institutions in CDEMA Participating States that are responsible for the designing and evaluating public infrastructure projects.
Dr. Glasgow who formed part of a panel to discuss how risk is managed within Public Infrastructure, said that the audience was well engaged and eager to learn about the BVI experiences and lessons.
He said, “My presentation focused on the institutional arrangements of the BVI’s Disaster Management Framework and included a number of initiatives that have started in the BVI as well as others that are being proposed as a result of the impacts of 2017. Of particular interest to the audience was BVI’s advancement in the inclusion of several hazard maps in the local Geographical Information System, and the methodology used to integrate this system in the development planning process.”
The Director of Projects further explained that the meeting sought to identify areas where cooperation with the Government of Chile and Japan can be further strengthened with the CDEMA Participating States and define concrete needs in order to create a cooperation work plan with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Chilean Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AGCID). He spoke about the need to further build on the work done locally through the Department of Disaster Management to quantify the risk posed by hazard impacts.
Dr. Glasgow further added, ‘The building layer that has been recently completed by the TCP department will form an integral part of the work that is needed to better define the risks posed to the Virgin Islands. Years ago, the Department of Disaster Management began working on a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) project to develop a methodology to identify risks from possible hazards and threats, analyses their causes and consequences, and describe the risk in terms of cost and numbers.”
As part of the QRA Project, over 100 buildings were surveyed at the time but with the new building layer from TCP, the Territory will be able to more accurately characterize the likely impacts and determine whether the risks are tolerable or acceptable, and the most effective and efficient risk policy to be implemented.
Photo 1: Left to Right – Mr. Gregory Adams, Chief Planner; Dr. Hitoshi Baba of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Dr. Drexel Glasgow, Director of Projects in the Ministry of Finance.