October 29, 20131281Views

Monday, 29th October – The Department of
Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster
Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit, with financial support
from the Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability in the Caribbean Region
(ERC) Project is hosting a stakeholders meeting to discuss the data needs for
the DEWETRA Platform and how it can be used within the Caribbean context.

The DEWETRA Platform is a real-time integrated
system for risk forecasting, monitoring and prevention designed by an Italian
company – CIMA Research Foundation, on behalf of the National Civil Protection
Department.  The system offers a flexible
and robust tool to support the operational activities of Civil Protection in
Italy and is being replicated in countries within the CDEMA membership.  .

Mr. Davide Miozzo, Focal Point Representative for
the ERC – Output 2 and Ms. Laura Rossello, GIS Expert from CIMA is meeting for
one day with key stakeholders with interest in areas such as Physical Planning,
Lands and Survey, Disaster Management, Water Resources and Management,
Environmental Health and other national stakeholders who generate and use
spatial data.

This initiative takes an integrated approach to
vulnerability reduction and enhancing resilience to climate change, natural
hazards and poverty through enhanced capacity within civil protection agencies.
The ERC project focuses on knowledge sharing and building linkages across
Caribbean institutions, capacity development, and advancing the linkages between
climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Technical Coordinator, Ms. Evangeline Inniss said,
“As one of the pilot states, the Virgin Islands (VI) will benefit greatly in a
number of ways including the provision of support to develop a National Volunteer
System and an online database application that will allow for registration and
tracking of volunteers; enhance the Damage and Needs Assessments Standard
Operating Procedures (DANA SOPs); and execute a simulation exercise to test
newly developed procedures for managing cruise ship and large scale accidents
at sea.”

Ms. Inniss further said, “The VI has been afforded
the opportunity for three persons to receive training in areas such as
meteorological data collection and processing, Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) training and Volunteer Development at the Civil Protection Department
headquarters in Rome, Italy, with additional training in GIS becoming available

In total, five persons from the Virgin Islands have
been trained under this project, including two other persons who have completed
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Training in Grenada earlier this

Critical to the success of this project will be the
numerous linkages it will seek to forge with various other initiatives and
regional partners in sharing experience and achieving common objectives.
Partnerships have been established with the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology
and Hydrology (CIMH), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System, CIMA Research Foundation and
the UNDP Youth Innovation project. The VI is benefiting from this partnership
arrangement through the procurement of additional weather stations and
participation in a Tsunami Public Awareness and Educational Stakeholders
Consultation meeting which will be held in Dominican Republic next month. 

By the end of the project it is expected that there
will be a network of real-time decision support centres for early warning
systems through real-time sharing and use of hydro-meteorological data;
strengthened national disaster management mechanisms; and support for the
enhancement of the regional tsunami public awareness programme and the
establishment of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC).  The total value of the ERC project for which
the CIMH has overall oversight is 3.5 million Euros.