The Senior Management Officials from the National Disaster Management Agencies (NDMA) within the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) countries, including the Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD) partook in a technical visit Barbados from 3rd June to 7th June 2024 for the “Resilience Building and Disaster Response Management in the Indian Ocean (RDRM-IO)”. The technical visit was organised by the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in collaboration with the Government of Barbados, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), funded by the European Union.

As members of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the Indian Ocean islands and Caribbean islands are vulnerable to disasters due to their size, geographic remoteness, limited resources and dependency on importation of resources. Therefore, SIDS face various natural and human induced hazard and disasters like Hurricanes, Cyclones, Earthquakes and Tsunamis which are often amplified by climate change and anthropogenic activities.

The objective of this technical visit was to enhance the cooperation between the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean region, and for the national NDMAs of the Indian Ocean Islands to share their work in Disaster Risk Reduction. The participants visited key institution for Disaster Risk Reduction at a regional, national and community levels. The technical visit included various activities such as the Barbados situation room visits, panel discussions, expert briefings and workshops to identify and exchange the best practices in prevention and mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery efforts.

During the study tour, emphasis was made to enhance and strengthen the current Early Warning System within the CDEMA and IOC countries by integrating a multi-hazard Early Warning System that will provide timely and accurate information to communities at risk. The Multi-hazard Early warning system will permit NDMAs and first responders to act in a timely manner to reduce the effects of the hazards.

Through the RDRM-IO program, the NDMAs of Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros and Madagascar in support of IOC, aims to establish a Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Indian Ocean. This is to improve the coordination of national initiatives between the Indian Ocean islands to facilitate knowledge exchanges of the best practices, lessons learned and innovative approaches for strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) between the Caribbean region and the Indian Ocean.