CDEMA Executive Director Participates in St Vincent and the Grenadines Volcanic Risk Workshop

Bridgetown, Barbados, January 15, 2013 (CDEMA) - CDEMA’s Executive Director, Mr. Ronald Jackson is participating in a one week “Volcanic Risk Workshop” in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The ‘Forensic’ Workshop which began on Monday, January 13, seeks to examine experiences from the 1970’s volcanic eruption in St Vincent and the 1990’s eruption in Montserrat. The workshop will focus on how those lessons can improve monitoring capacity and promote DRM measures that reduce vulnerability to volcanic hazards. It also aims to explore the awareness and importance of volcanic risk from the perspective of decision-makers, government officials, emergency responders, monitoring agencies and the public of St. Vincent.

Mr Jackson, in his remarks at the Workshop’s Opening Ceremony on Monday, emphasized the importance of retaining the experience and knowledge of hazard events through generations and commended the efforts of National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in keeping awareness levels high.

He also said, “This workshop is a welcome initiative, especially since it is engaging a wider stakeholder group and is looking at risk communication. This is an area which does not receive the kind of focus it needs to highlight its importance as a driver for culture change and a driver for action before, during and after a hazard impact.”

Organised by the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in collaboration with the University of East Anglia (UK) and the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, the Volcanic Risk Workshop is being held while St Vincent and the Grenadines is still recovering from the devastating effects of the Christmas Rains which claimed the lives of nine persons.

Mr. Jackson observed, “This speaks to the vulnerabilities we face in the Caribbean. We cannot afford to be complacent and need to plan comprehensively and be as prepared as we can for all the various hazards that pose a threat to our communities, country and region. ”

CDEMA supported the coordination of regional response and early recovery efforts to St Vincent following the December 24 rains. Whilst in St Vincent this week, the CDEMA Executive Director will also use the opportunity to meet with the senior officials to discuss the key programmatic areas which St Vincent and the Grenadines would wish to prioritize for support within the context of the new Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy.

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