Starret Dickson Greene
OAS Representative, St. Kitts and Nevis
Economic Impact Assessment Workshop
Disaster Management and Mitigation Project
July 19, 2010
Protocol and Acknowledgements
It is always good to be in Nevis and to absorb the quality of the surroundings that speak to the natural beauty of this paradise island.
At the outset, I wish to express my appreciation to Mr. Lester Blackett, the OAS Project Coordinator and to the organizers of this event as well, for
inviting me to be part of this opening ceremony for a Workshop that is one of many approved activities in the OAS sponsored project entitled
“Disaster Management and Mitigation Project for Nevis”.
It is right that I should also join in welcoming all of you to this Economic Impact Assessment Workshop. I wish to specially recognize all participants to
include the facilitators and contributors, particularly those who came from overseas. I am glad that we have found willing and qualified persons to take
part in this important activity that is being implemented during this critical time of the year in the Caribbean region. On behalf of the OAS, I wish to
thank you very much for your presence and interest.
The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Special Multilateral Fund of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (FEMCIDI),
is pleased to be the sponsor of this project. FEMCID remains the leading agency with the Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) that provides
technical cooperation to OAS member countries with a high level of consistency.
The OAS is also proud to be partnering with the Federation and the Nevis Island Administration on the execution of this technical cooperation activity
that was initiated by the Office of Disaster Management on the island of Nevis.
The organization is gratified by the involvement of our development partners from United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean UN/ECLAC, and experts of established consulting Caribbean based firms, in this exercise.
In the context of this twin-island country, the collaboration of our partners will not only give added importance to the project, but it will also provide
substantial expert input that is so invaluable in helping to strengthen institutional capacity and in building our human resource capability. The OAS is
optimistic that this collaborative effort will undoubtedly help to prepare the Federation to effectively deal with the range of issues associated with
In the Caribbean, it is no secret that the risk of natural disasters is relatively high. While it is the case that natural disaster can be in the form of
floods, fire, and earthquakes, hurricanes and tropical storms have emerged as natural disaster events that deserve our undivided attention. Given
this reality, we are obliged to emphasize preparedness to effectively mitigate the negative impacts of these storms and the fallout on our economies
and the livelihoods of our peoples.
The OAS’s funding of the Natural Disaster Management and Mitigation project for Nevis confirms the organization’s commitment to helping the
Federation as a whole improve its capacity for managing risk. The organization is also eager to help bring up to speed the various agencies and
entities which have an indispensable role to play in times of disaster. It is the OAS’s hope that through this technical cooperation exercise, both St.
Kitts and Nevis would succeed in establishing a homegrown disaster risk managing structure that would allow for an effective and credible response in
the face of any eventuality.
A homegrown disaster risk managing structure that builds upon best practices methods and harness the inputs of experts in and outside of the region
will help save lives. It will also help to lessen the impact of a disaster on the country’s physical infrastructure, its economic and social assets and on
the day to day activities of the population as well. I am convinced that this project has all the potential to improve on the existing disaster plans, and
thereby position this country to ultimately put in place a first - rated disaster risk management - risk prevention system.
If carefully conceived, such a system will help reduce the vulnerability of St. Kitts and Nevis through improvements in building codes; make provisions
for the installation of an early warning system; strengthen public awareness through increased education and training; provide for the renovation of
drainage systems to reduce flooding; and help in improving urban planning. I also wish to suggest that a fully operational disaster risk management –
risk prevention system could be used to explore how the application of innovative technologies may help to better mitigate and prepare for the
catastrophic effects of disasters in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
In closing, there is every indication that this workshop will accomplish the purpose for which it is being held. I wish each participant a productive week
of learning and sharing, and I trust as well that each facilitator and contributor would be inspired to impart their wisdom and experience and would be
motivated by the strength of the interaction that will characterize each of the sessions.
May God Bless the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis – And may God bless all of us as well.
Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen.