Tourism Congress to address theme of building resilience in tourism sector

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (March 12, 2018) – When the XXIV Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism opens on Wednesday, March 21 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, one of the key areas for presentations and discussions will be the matter of building resilience in the Tourism sector in the Americas.

In the latter months of 2017, the hemisphere of the Americas received a painful reminder of the relevance and significance of this theme after several countries felt the devastating impacts of hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. In fact, 2017 is regarded as a record-setting year for natural disasters in terms of the number, severity and financial costs of the disasters that occurred.


Hurricanes Irma and Maria that lashed the region last year prompted both emergency and strategic responses as property was destroyed almost overnight and economic livelihoods compromised. While in no way minimising the need for resilience due to storms and natural disasters, the Congress is taking a wider view of the concept of resilience, preferring to see it as a concept that embraces a more comprehensive range of strategies and measures that governments need to adopt in order to ensure the survivability of the sector.      (more…)

CDEMA to recommend ways to expedite implementation of building codes

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government have asked the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with recommending how the Community could expedite the implementation of building codes.

This discussion took place at the just concluded Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which prioritised discussions on building a climate-resilient Community on its packed agenda. The decisions of the Conference were recorded in the Communique that was issued following the Meeting at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Jovenel Moise, President of Haiti.

Heads of Government recognised the implementation of building codes as a key mechanism to safeguard critical infrastructure, and as an important component of the Community’s resilience agenda.

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CARICOM needs very concessional financing for climate resilience – Secretary-General LaRocque

The Caribbean Community’s goal of creating a climate resilient Region requires significant grant funding and very concessional financing, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said Monday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti, he said “without access to such financing, already high debt levels across the Region would be exacerbated.”

He explained that most CARICOM countries were categorised as middle or high-income and were largely ineligible for concessional development financing and Official Development Assistance (ODA), due to the use of GDP per capita as the principal criterion.

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Confront climate change challenges from position of strength, together – CARICOM Chairman

With climate change at the centre of discussions among Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government, President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise wants the Region to confront the challenges together, from a position of strength.

He also wants a new mechanism for disaster risk funding that would assist affected Member States to quickly recover and reconstruct. The thinking behind the call for a new mechanism is to ensure that funds for reconstruction are chanelled through “affordable and effective procedures, rather than be paralysed by the expectation of unlikely assistance which, in most cases, is too little, comes too late and, sometimes, never happens”, he said.

The President of Haiti who is the current Chairman of CARICOM, addressed the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, in Port-au-Prince on Monday and placed much emphasis on climate change, natural disasters and funding for recovery. He said that he was organising an international conference aimed at strengthening the mechanisms of resilience to the effects of climate change and the management of natural disasters in the Caribbean.

“This will be an opportunity for the States, partners and international development actors to exchange ideas and make proposals on the best features of prevention and responses to natural disasters. Without your full participation, this conference will not be successful. You are, already, invited,” he said.

A section of the audience at the opening ceremony
A section of the audience at the opening ceremony

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PM Skerrit calls for “collaborative approach” for first climate resilience nation

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has said a collaborative approach is needed to realize the government’s idea of making Dominica the first climate resilient country in the world.

“The world has bought… to the concept of a climate resilient nation and is looking to Dominica to make this a reality. In the Caribbean, we are particularly vulnerable as small island and low lying states to the ill effects of climate change.” – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Speaking at a government-organized National Rebuilding and Economic Partnership Consultation on Monday, Skerrit said the government cannot do it alone.

“Maria has placed even sharper focus, not only on the need to build back better but also the need to build resilience in all our sectors of our country, in tourism, agriculture, housing, our utilities and public infrastructure,” he said. “So when I speak of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world these are the areas that we seek to target.”

He said building a climate resilient nation is not a task this government can do on its own “given our limitation of resources and expertise.”

Read more at: Dominica News Online