“We must increase investment in resilient public infrastructure designed to last and shelters designed and planned to preserve life.”
This was one of the highlights of the Caribbean Community Secretary-General’s speech at the opening ceremony of the 12th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) held in Barbados last December 7.
The forum aimed to help decision-makers and leaders in the Caribbean on how to better approach a comprehensive disaster management system via a healthy exchange of information from experts and on-the-ground experiences.
This year is considered a “checkpoint,” according to Dr Carla Barnett, to ensure the successful and complete implementation of the strategy that will help the region “steady itself through each natural disaster and global economic shock.”
“The increasing frequency and ferocity of natural disasters mean that the costs of investment infrastructure–shelters, roads and bridges, housing–are also increasing,” said Barnett. “Building codes have to be constantly strengthened, and engineering designs for roads and bridges are taking into account increased provisions for both slow onset events and hurricanes,” she continued.
Barnett also emphasized the importance of “accurate regional models, forecasts and attribution of impacts” in indigenous climate science.
There must also be a strengthened early warning system “to the last mile to allow all people to make early and informed decisions for preservation of life and assets,” she said.
In Jamaica, Grenada, and the Dominican Republic, they have focused on nature-based project portfolios, such as planting mangroves to stabilize the fragile cays that protect communities and fishers from storm surges and growing coral and coastal vegetation nurseries to build shoreline resilience.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth of Dominica is on track to fulfil its goal of becoming the world’s first climate-resilient nation by building various resilient infrastructures through funding from its coveted Citizenship by Investment Program.
Climate-resilient projects ranging from residential, healthcare, and educational facilities are being developed throughout the country under the supervision of MMC Development Ltd.. The massive international airport project has also commenced.
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