The Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) are pleased to announce that the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean (RP21) will take place virtually during the week of 1 to 4 of November 2021. This will be the first time a regional platform will be hosted by a Caribbean nation, being one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to extreme weather events and seismic activity.
The Hon. Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government & Rural Development and Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Risk Management Council (NDRMC) said “The forum will raise awareness not just for Jamaica, but for the region on a whole to have a real platform for expression of our positions on disaster risk and all the associated issues”.
In 1998-2017 disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses valued at USD 2,908 billion. Reported losses from extreme weather events rose by 151% compared to the previous 20-year period. The Americas and the Caribbean accounts or 53% of reported global economic losses in the last 20 years as a result of climate-related disasters. The heaviest cost of storms relative to the size of their economies fell on small island states of the Caribbean. The United Nations lists Jamaica among the countries most exposed to natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides and flooding.
The unprecedented impact of the global pandemic has greatly accelerated the development of virtual event technology, its design and adoption. The event was postponed from its original date in July 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic and will be the first Regional Platform for disaster risk reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean to be implemented 100% online.
Source: CDEMA, 2o21 (www.cdema.org)