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INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN BVI

INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN BVI

April 28, 20151115Views

The
British Virgin Islands has become the first territory outside of the United
States and Canada to be granted international accreditation for its disaster
management programme.

The
accreditation is awarded by the Emergency Management Accreditation Programme
(EMAP), which is the only accreditation process that exists for emergency
management programmes worldwide.

Following
an initial assessment in December last year, the BVI achieved the requirements
for the 64 EMAP standards and subsequently presented its case for accreditation
to the Commission.  In a letter dated
April 27 to His Excellency, Governor John S. Duncan, the EMAP Commission
indicated that the BVI has been granted full accreditation.

Chair
of the EMAP Commission, Barb Graff stated, “The British Virgin Islands is
commended for the work accomplished to achieve compliance with industry
standards.  We applaud the British Virgin
Islands’ leadership and congratulate you and your commitment to achieve full
accreditation.  More importantly we
recognise the dedication to the safety and security of the residents that it
represents.”

In
a release announcing the award of accreditation to the BVI and 12 other U.S.
based disaster management programmes, the Commission stated, “EMAP revolutionises
emergency management programmes and recognises the ability of emergency
management programmes to bring together personnel, resources and communications
from a variety of agencies and organisations in preparation for and in response
to an emergency, in addition to obtaining the ability to measure those
capabilities.”

The
ability to gain international accreditation is a remarkable achievement for the
Government of the Virgin Islands and for the work it undertakes to ensure that
the BVI becomes an increasingly resilient society.          

Director
of the DDM, Ms. Sharleen DaBreo explained the significance of this
accreditation for the DDM and the wider Territory saying, “This accreditation
allows the BVI to position itself in a true leadership role in disaster management
in the region and reflects the quality of the programme and the manner in which
it is implemented, factors that allow it to be recognised among international
programmes. It speaks to a sense of public trust, as well as the professional
qualification of staff within the public service and the quality of work
produced by them.”

This
new accreditation comes less than a year after the BVI recorded another
significant milestone, TsunamiReady recognition which was awarded by the National
Weather Service in May 2014, through the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center.

EMAP
uses the accreditation to prove the capabilities of national programmes through
in 16 areas and documents compliance through a peer review process undertaken
by trained assessors. Accreditation is valid for five years and disaster
management programmes must maintain compliance with EMAP standards and are
reassessed to maintain their accredited status.

The
accreditation programme supports the vision of the Comprehensive Disaster
Management Strategy and Programming Framework which is designed to create A Smart Footprint, for achieving resiliency
and safeguarding lives, livelihoods and the sustainable development of the
Virgin Islands through a combination of safe, healthy and green initiatives.