What should I know about the ERC Project?
The "Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability in the Caribbean" (ERC) Project being implemented by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology (CIMH) in partnership with the Executing Agency, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the OECS, focuses on enhancing regional and national capacities for disaster risk reduction.
Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) territories are small islands, highly vulnerable to a range of hazards including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. With the onset of climate change it is anticipated that the effects of these hazards will worsen. In light of this, it has been recognized that there is a need for support in building capacity for information and diagnostic systems and; response mechanisms to facilitate decision making for enhanced disaster risk reduction. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) is therefore, currently implementing the "Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability in the Caribbean" (ERC) Project in partnership with the Executing Agency the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the OECS; through the financial support of the Government of Italy.
The main objective of this initiative is to strengthen national and regional disaster risk reduction mechanisms associated with natural, environmental and technological hazards, within the broader context of hydrometeorology and climate change; and for effective disaster recovery through capacity building for early warning systems and institutional collaboration for disaster management and response.
- Sustainable network for real time decision support centers to facilitate early warning and post disaster recovery established and fully integrated into national; and regional; planning.
- Strengthened national; disaster mechanisms to incorporate best practices in volunteerism; enhanced institutional capacities and; support to tsunami public education programmes.
- Support to enhancing regional tsunami public awareness programme in support of the EWS through the establishment of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC).
The key beneficiaries are Barbados and the OECS (Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Virgin Islands UK, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis)
Initial emphasis will be on comprehensive data collection and storage. Lack of current and accurate data has been a significant challenge in the region for planning, decision making and response. There will also be activities surrounding the acquisition and application of ICT tools for rapid acquisition and dissemination of information through the disaster management system and to the community. The Italian civil protection model will be a vital source of learning and adapting best practices, being one of the best civil protection systems in the world. The importance of volunteerism in disaster management will also be highlighted, with capacities being built to enhance this aspect of community involvement.
- Implementation of a network for real-time sharing of hydro-meteorological data through the sub-region.
- Capacity building for use of the real-time hydro-meteorological data as a decision system for early warning systems and policies.
- Creation of a plan for the acquisition of new hydro-meteorological data.
- Building capacity for volunteerism based on the best practice of the Italian Civil Protection Agency.
- Developing the capacities of the National Emergency Management Organizations.
- Establishment of a Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC).
Critical to the success of this project will be the numerous linkages it will seek to forge with various other initiatives and regional partners in sharing experience and achieving common objectives. These may include the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), UNESCO/IOC Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System, CIMA Research Foundation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the UNDP Youth Innovation project.