Jamaica hosted the 7th conference of the Caribbean Disaster Emergancy Management Agency (CDEMA) chaired by Hon Noel Arscott Minister of Local Government & Community Development, at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay from December 3-7, 2012.
This annual conference is used by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to facilitate discussions of ideas between disaster risk management professionals and policy makers on ways to “achieve sustainable loss reduction”.
The 7th annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) which focused on the theme “Building Disaster Resilience; a shared responsibility”, was facilitated by the Ministry through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. The forum sought to bring member states together to share success stories and highlight what needs to be done to achieve minimal risk in the midst of regional climate changes.During this three day event a number of disaster risk practitioners shared ideas and raised issues in various sessions on the Caribbean’s propensity to risk and resilience to disaster. Evolving from these discussions was the need for countries to promote a Disaster Resilience Agenda through increased collaboration among stakeholders, government and countries; increasing the utilization of Information and Communication Technology; monitoring and sharing best practices, addressing human and response deficits.
In his closing remarks Minister Noel Arscott commented that what he has learnt from the risk reduction practitioners will have’ far reaching impact’ on how he views this protion of the portfolio which he manages. He then aptly articulated the way forward with the statement; “We must engage in a meaningful way, international discourse on Risk Management, development and resilience and the impact that this could have on our Regional goals.”