THE ORGANISATION of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) presented the READY Together programme’s contribution to COP26 goals to the participating countries in a side event ahead of the November 12 conclusion of the international conference.
According to a release from the programme’s communication officer, the READY Together programme was presented via video on November 11.
The programme is implemented by the Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) of the French Red Cross, in collaboration with the OECS and the Council of Guadeloupe Region. It covers eight territories – Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. The aims are to strengthen regional co-ordination mechanisms for efficient disaster management; support Caribbean National Red Cross in emergency preparedness; to improve economic actors’ resilience; raise public awareness on disaster risk reduction & climate change adaptation; and to lead research and innovation on climate and health crises issues.
Speaking on behalf of the OECS delegation at COP26,OECS Climate change and disaster risk management Co-ordinator, Crispin d’Auvergne highlighted that “The small Caribbean islands are particularly exposed to natural hazards and face increasing risks resulting from climate change, it is therefore vital that the region get ready to better respond to these impacts. The READY Together Programme, through the partnership between the OECS and French Red Cross PIRAC, is geared towards a united Caribbean prepared to face disaster and climate change effects.” Head of the regional delegation of the French Red Cross for the Caribbean Sendy Veerabadren, mentioned that, ” in front of such significant climate impacts for small island territories, regional co-operation and co-ordination are essential to build resilience.”
The programme contributes to the achievement of COP26 goals through actions such as: the dissemination of multi-risk awareness messages, and good practices of adaptation to climate change; building resilience of vulnerable business owners through business preparedness and sensitisation; implementation of innovative technologies such as water desalinization in emergency; advocacy for disaster risk reduction (DRR), international disaster response law (IDRL) and climate change adaptation (CCA) mainstreaming; forecasting of hydro-meteorological impacts and development of early action systems; and capacity building on emergency response at national and regional levels.
The strengthening of regional co-operation is the keystone of the programme. OECS and PIRAC work together to improve co-ordination between territories and partners acting on risk management and adaptation to climate change and to spread the culture of risk in the region.
The READY Together programme is funded by INTERREG Caribbean, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the Guadeloupe Region and is scheduled to end in December 2022.
The global conference on climate change brought together world leaders to discuss and agree on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and actions to lessen the impact of climate change, a major challenge for the Caribbean.
The OECS video can be viewed on Youtube : https:// youtu.be/LnrHzPQaJiU