(CNS) The region’s disaster management chief, Ronald Jackson, has highlighted five critical areas of focus as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) seeks to develop “safer, more resilient and sustainable Caribbean communities”.

These include Enhancing Social Protection for the Most Vulnerable; Safeguarding Infrastructure; Economic Diversification; Environmental/Ecosystems Protection and Enhanced Operational Readiness.

Addressing the sixth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Cartagena, Colombia last week.

the CDEMA executive director also noted that “the region has produced a Caribbean Assessment Report that captures the performance of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy over the period of implementation 2014-2016”.

He also said CDEMA was “quite pleased” with the efforts undertaken within the context of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, UNISDR, to better harmonize reporting within the Caribbean, adding that “we remain committed to reporting on progress in the implementation of the priorities of action”.

This year’s three-day seminar, under the theme “Towards a Less Vulnerable Region with more Resilient Communities”,  allowed participants to share experiences and lessons learned in the 2017 hurricane season, transfer knowledge and show successes related to disaster risk reduction at the regional and national levels.

In addition to Jackson, other CDEMA officials, including Deputy Executive Director Elizabeth Riley and Planning & Business Development Manager Andria Grosvenor, participated in various panel discussions and delivered presentations which emphasized the need for countries, especially Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean to accelerate efforts at building resilience.

It was announced that Jamaica will be the first Caribbean country to host the Seventh Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2020.