Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 14, 2017 -Deputy Speaker, Senator the Hon. Akilah Byron-Nisbett, was among Parliamentarians from fifteen (15) Caribbean countries and a dozen development agencies, who recently participated in a two-day retreat in Trinidad and Tobago.
The two-day workshop which was held from November 8th to 9th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Trinidad and organized by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), addressed disaster risk reduction and the challenges posed by climate change.
The three main themes addressed in the closed retreat were: 1) Food and Nutrition Security and Resilience 2) Health and Security Resilience and 3) Resilience Budgeting.
The participants heard from experts from the United Nation and other development partners, which included the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).
Deputy Speaker Byron-Nisbett noted, “The sessions were informative and interactive and allowed for the presenters to share their expertise with the parliamentarians, on what they deemed to be ways of building resilience, as it pertains to disasters preparedness. The Parliamentarians were also allowed to exchange ideas and experiences and provide feedback to the panel.”
Apart from hurricanes, other disasters such as earthquakes, pests, drought, floods, fires and other hazards were addressed. The retreat also considered building resilience against man-made crises, which are also considered to be of paramount importance, in order for the region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These can include economic crises, crime, drugs, civil unrest and mass migration, which are increasingly interlinked. They also discussed more resilient food systems which include climate smart production, socially inclusive value chains, nutrition considerations, diversified production and diversified trade and preparedness for disaster events.
One of the main presentations put forward at the retreat, was that of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is aimed at “The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.” Attendees at the retreat have been asked to consider this Framework, for potential implementation within their respective countries.
The Deputy Speaker said that “The information garnered from the retreat would be helpful in ensuring that St. Kitts and Nevis is indeed building the resilience required.” She further highlighted that she intends to do her part in ensuring that St. Kitts and Nevis is not only able to build the required resilience, but that the country is also able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.