Jamaica ready to host 2020 Regional Platform

 
By Saskia Carusi

PANAMA CITY, 8 July 2019 – Jamaica will host the region’s highest forum for reviewing progress on reducing disaster losses in Latin America and the Caribbean in July 2020 as the year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season gets underway.

The 7th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be the first in the series to be staged in the Caribbean and takes place as UN Member States strive to meet the 2020 deadline for having in place national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction.

This is target (e) of the seven targets in the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which was adopted by UN Member States in March 2015.

Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, said: “The Caribbean is advancing in many areas related to disaster management but our stories are often not told in the global space and we felt that the Caribbean deserved an opportunity not only to host but to showcase what's happening in the Caribbean on disaster risk reduction.”

The Regional Platform will be jointly organized by the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and take place from the 8th to the 10th of July, 2020 at the Convention Center of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The official website will be launched in two days.

The Americas - and the Caribbean in particular - has experienced three consecutive destructive and above-average Atlantic hurricane seasons resulting in thousands of deaths, population displacement, damage to critical infrastructure and significant economic losses especially for small island developing states.

In 2017, the region suffered the costliest hurricane season on record with estimated losses of US$300 billion.  Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey caused the worst damages and loss of life. The Americas and the Caribbean accounts for 53% of reported global economic losses in the last 20 years as a result of climate-related disasters.

The Regional Platform will call for greater ambition, commitment, and leadership by all governments and stakeholders to implement the Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in the Americas and the Caribbean.

Mr. Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government & Community Development and Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Risk Management Council (NDRMC) of Jamaica, said: “The forum will raise public awareness not just in Jamaica but in the region as a whole by providing space for expression of our positions on disaster risk and all the associated issues. The hosting of the 2020 regional platform is going to be a monumental occasion for the people of Jamaica and the region”.

This event will recognize and strengthen the role and leadership of community networks, the private sector, development banks, finance and planning institutions, civil society, volunteer groups, women, people with disabilities, indigenous populations, and groups living in conditions of high vulnerability as agents of change in disaster risk reduction and in strengthening resilience throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

Mr. Raúl Salazar, Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, said: “The Regional Platform is important for the continued promotion of action to ensure a safe and resilient future for the Americas and the Caribbean region as we review the progress on implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and highlight the importance of building resilient economies and increasing the vision of risk-informed development in the region.”

On July 10, Mr. Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government & Community Development will host the launch ceremony of the official website for the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean 2020 with the participation as guest speaker of the Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and Public Service.

VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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