National Disaster Managers, Regional organizations, development partners and space agencies advance in the development of user-defined satellite products for disaster management in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Satellite Disaster Pilot (CSDP) Partners Review meeting was hosted by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Friday April 29, 2011 in collaboration with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Participants included representatives of the European Commission, University of the West Indies, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd - Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, Canadian International Development Agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and National Disaster Offices of the Virgin Islands and Grenada.
During its first phase, the Pilot was advanced through the volunteer contributions of satellite data and value-added services from participating space agencies. One of the main outcomes of phase 1 was the establishment of regional and national partner collaboration mechanisms as well as capacity building. Under an initiative of the Canadian Space Agency, capacity building activities in phase 1 focused on satellite information for disaster management in each of the five National Partner States, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands. This followed the delivery of near-real time RADARSAT image map products during the 2010 Hurricane Season as part of the Earth Observation for Coastal Decision Support project of the Pilot. Additionally through the Pilot, NASA has established a Caribbean-wide initiative with a satellite-based Sensor Web for flood prediction and warning at its core.
As the CSDP advances in the definition of components of phase 2, institutionalisation and integration of the pilot’s outputs into existing disaster management programmes, plans and operations of key organisations in the region will be addressed. This will also be important to ensure the sustainability of the pilot’s outputs. The new work plan for phase 2 will address additional capacity building which would be tied to service lines, as well as further risk reduction activities aimed at mitigating natural hazards and catastrophic events. User-friendly access and sharing of the CSDP products remains a priority. The presentations at the meeting offered opportunities for advancement, identification of potential linkages and partnerships, as well as promising resources. These opportunities will be reflected in the work plan for phase 2 which is targeted for June 2011.