Region needs support to build disaster resilience– Bartlett

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addresses the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Tuesday (November 28) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James. (photo via JIS)
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addresses the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Tuesday (November 28) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James. (photo via JIS)

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says it is critical that the region get the necessary support to enable it to effectively prepare, manage and recover from natural disasters.

He noted that resilience against hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters is important in protecting the tourism product on which the people of the region are so heavily dependent.

He was speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Global Conference on Tuesday (November 28).

Minister Bartlett noted that the Caribbean is the most tourism-reliant region on earth, with one in five workers directly or indirectly employed by the sector while more than 40 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) is directly related to tourism activities.

In addition, he said, of the 79 countries of the world that have tourism-dependence of 10 per cent and more, the top 13 are within the Caribbean space.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service

Hurricane season officially ends, but impact lingers

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It is finally over.

According to the calendar of the National Hurricane Center, November 30 marks the official end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which spawned 17 named storm.

Here in the Caribbean, September was particularly brutal with the passage of two Category 5 monsters, Irma and Maria, which left an unprecedented path of death and destruction.

Countries such as Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Maarten/Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands all took direct hits and will take years to recover.

The World Bank said damages and losses, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, in Dominica amount to US$1.3-billion or 224 percent of GDP.

Read more at: Dominica News Online

Seize opportunity to help hurricane-hit countries build back better – CARICOM SG

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States must seize the opportunity to help the countries that were devastated by the recent hurricanes to build back better and become the first climate-resilient nations in the world.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, delivered this charge in remarks he made at the opening of the Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, Thursday morning.

The impact of the hurricanes wrought on some CARICOM Member States and Associate Members  have affected various sectors including agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, housing, infrastructure, energy, and communications. The impact has also caused ripple effects across the Region, given the level of integration, the Secretary-General pointed out.

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UN urged to help countries devastated by recent natural disasters to ‘build back better’

Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria may be over, but the devastating impact they had on the countries in their path continues, likewise the effects of successive earthquakes in Mexico, said senior United Nations officials Tuesday, calling for more action at all levels to manage disaster and climate risk and to prepare for future extreme weather events.

As the UN and the international community step up efforts to assist countries affected by hurricanes and earthquakes, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) organised on Tuesday a Special Meeting on the ‘Aftermath of recent hurricanes: Achieving a risk-informed and resilient 2030 Agenda,’ to discuss the current situation along with the economic, social and environmental impacts on those affected.

“These disasters led to tragic loss of lives, displaced people, damaged infrastructure and homes, and disrupted livelihoods in both developed and developing countries,” said Marie Chatardová, ECOSOC President in her opening remarks.

“We have seen how inequalities exacerbated people’s exposure to the impact of disaster,” she continued, noting how easily development gains can be erased if a risk-informed, resilient 2030 Agenda is not pursued.

Saying that the impending cost of recovery and reconstruction in affected communities raises concerns over long-term sustainable development, Ms. Chatardová underscored, “We must help affected States get back on the path towards sustainable development.”

Read more at: United Nations