Private sector of Barbados, British Virgin Islands and Dominica commit to Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean

Marianela Guzman Consultant UNDRR, Dav-Ernan Kowlessar Secretary and Head CAIC, Andria Grosvenor Alliance and Cooperation Services Manager CDEMA, Lizra Fabien Executive Director DAIC, Nahuel Arenas Deputy Chief UNDRR ROAM and Kira Thompson Aird President of DAIC

By: Guadalupe Natareno


Panamá, August 9, 2018- During the first semester of 2018, different members of the private sector of Barbados, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Dominica have become part of the  UNDRR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (Arise), by signing the declaration of cooperation and launching the Arise National Network in each country. The Sendai Framework recognizes that the private sector is an important stakeholder to promote disaster risk reduction (DRR) and to establish, disseminate and share good practices internationally.  

In February 21-22, 2018, the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) signed the declaration of cooperation and launched the Arise National Network during the DAIC Business Recovery Expo in Dominica.

On May 15th, CDEMA, the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVI CCHA) and the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) launched the Arise National Network during the Business Continuity and Disaster Symposium. Sheniah Armstrong, Planning and preparedness manager of DDM of BVI stated that one of the objectives of the symposium was to increase awareness and understanding of disaster risk reduction and stresses the importance of having a business continuity recovery plan, especially after the devastating effects and economic losses caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 in the Caribbean.

Some attendants to the symposium where representatives from María's by the Sea, K-Mark's Food, Tortola Concrete Ltd, The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, S&D Security Systems and the Caribbean Broadcasting Network, representing the tourism, retailer, security and service business sector among others.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Barbados (BCCI) launched the Arise National Network on July 13th during the Hurricane Preparedness and Building Resilience event, where the importance of the private sector in minimizing the negative impact and increasing its preparedness when facing disasters was at the center of the event.

Carlos Wharton, President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlighted that the ARISE National Network will complement this year's work by increasing awareness to have adequate business continuity plans and other risk reduction measures in place that enhance their ability to recover in the days after a disaster has struck, as well supporting private-public partnerships to build resilience.

ARISE is an initiative of UNDRR that seeks to raise awareness and increase understanding of collaborative opportunities for the public and private sector. It focuses on disaster risk reduction and how business can become more resilient by incorporating DRR practices. Its overall goal is to create risk-resilient societies by energizing the private sector in collaboration with the public sector and other stakeholders to deliver on the targets of the Sendai Framework.

The launch of the ARISE Networks in Barbados, British Virgin Islands and Dominica were possible thanks to the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

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