Tuesday, June 25, 2024

NEMO Belize hosts CDM Validation Workshop supported by the CDEMA CU


Belmopan, Belize May 15, 2024. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in Belize recently hosted its Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Validation Workshop supported by the CDEMA Coordinating Unit, to assess the country’s progress at each phase of the disaster management cycle, guided by the CDM Audit Tool. On May 8th, 2024, over 60 stakeholders came together for the workshop, which was one of four in-country audits being undertaken through CDEMA’s Building Resilience in the CARIFORUM States to Disaster Risks and Climate Change Impacts (BRICS) Programme funded by the European Union.
Speaking at the official opening of the workshop, Minister of the Blue Economy and Disaster Risk Management, the Hon. Andre Perez highlighted Belize’s unique vulnerability to hydrometeorological hazards, with Hurricane Lisa of 2022 causing significant destruction in Belize estimated at US$100 million.
“The CDM Audit has revealed that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve our disaster management architecture across all phases of the disaster management cycle. Belize has learnt to respond to emergencies while given our exposure to hydrometeorological hazards, but we cannot continue to remain in reactionary mode. We now have to shift, and our efforts need to be placed in improving our national preparedness and resilience,” Minister Perez explained. He underscored the value of the collaboration with CDEMA, naming teamwork as the basis on CDM.
Recovery Specialist at CDEMA, Dr. Deborah Brown, further set the context to enhance CDM in Belize and across the region at large saying, “This region of ours is one in which climate change is already wreaking havoc, it’s driving the temperatures fuelling record breaking warming the oceans, super charging droughts, fires and hurricanes,”
“The Audit is important because we can only go forward when we know where we are, what we are doing well, where we have gaps and what we must prioritize. Through the CDM Audit tool, countries assess the capacity of their states in the four phases of disaster management (Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery). The resulting gaps and main priorities are crucial to the development or updating of the CDM Country Work Programme and the related Performance Measurement Framework.” Dr. Brown said.
The CDM Audit Tool was created in 2011 and modified as a standards-setting tool in 2018. The recovery component of the tool was further revised in 2020 through a collaboration with the World Bank Group to ensure inclusiveness and gender-responsiveness and better alignment to resilient recovery, including via cross-sectoral level and sector-specific assessment questions. The workshop allowed for multi-sectoral participation, including agriculture and tourism, and shared unique challenges experienced with building resilience. Through discussion groups focused on each phase of the cycle, they were able to identify gaps, competencies and opportunities for improvement to strengthen CDM on the island.

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