Thursday, November 10 – The Overseas Countries and Territories’ Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (OCT R3i) Project’s Board held its third meeting at the Commercial Court today.
The meeting was chaired by Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith. The Financial Secretary chairs the board in his role as Deputy Regional Authorising Officer for the Caribbean members of the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA).
In a statement, Mr. Smith said, “I am aware of the challenges that the Overseas Territories face in completing the project according to schedule, but I must remind us all of the tremendous benefits that this project can offer in the areas of capacity building, hazards mapping, modelling and vulnerability assessments and early warning systems – all of which are high priorities for disaster management systems within our countries.”
The OCT R3i initiative is a European Commission funded 4.9 million Euro project designed to be implemented over a 3-year project to achieve an increased and coordinated level of risk reduction in the English and Dutch OCTs, as well as an enhanced capacity to accurately model and assess the cost to these small islands from an expected or actual event. The main aim of this initiative is to address the risk and exposure of these OCTs by providing a network of regional infrastructure, programmes, policies and protocols aimed at reducing loss of human life and lessening the economic impact from disasters.
Those in attendance at the board meeting included the Director of the Department of Disaster Management, Ms. Sharleen Dabreo, along with representatives from the British and Dutch OCT Disaster Management Departments and Territorial Authorisation Offices.
Included in the functions of the Board are to offer overall policy and technical guidance towards the implementation of the specific project output, ensuring it remains within any specified constraints, to provide input into work plans, budget and implementation schedules to guide the achievement of project objectives, to approve project implementation schedule, annual work plan (AWP) and indicative project budget at the commencement of each project year within its remit, and to provide guidance and agree on possible countermeasures/measurement actions to address specific project risks.
An update on the R3i project outputs and indicators, progress, work plan, procurement plan, budget and the way forward was presented during the meeting. Discussions on hazard mapping, vulnerability assessments, early warning systems, response, rescue, recovery, support and coordination also took place. The project board gave recommendations in reference to the discussion topics.
The main aim of the OCT R3i is to address the risk and exposure of these OCTs by providing a network of regional infrastructure, programmes, policies, and protocols aimed at reducing loss of human life and reducing the economic impact from disasters.