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Guyana: CARICOM Secretariat urges closer links between disaster management agencies

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By Caribbean Net News

Georgetown, Guyana, December 3, 2008 (Caribbean Net News) - Dr Edward Greene, Assistant Secretary-General of the CARICOM Secretariat told the opening ceremony of the 48th Session of the Caribbean Meteorological Council on Monday that it was necessary to re-position the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO) to address developmental concerns in the international environment.

He argued that for this to be done effectively, there should be close linkages with local and regional disaster management agencies and constant collaboration with other sectors of society in seeking innovative ways to overcome shortfalls in the resources and capacity of the CMO and other disaster management agencies.

Greene who was representing the CARICOM Secretary-General at the Meeting also called for increased public education and information dissemination on disaster mitigation and management in an effort to create greater awareness among stakeholders and "address the current attitudes of our people towards natural disasters particularly towards tropical storms and hurricanes."

The CMO has also announced its near completion of its Radar Project which has resulted in the construction and installation of four new digital weather radars, three of which were already installed in Barbados, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and the other, to be installed in Guyana by February 2009.

According to Greene, the radars will link existing systems to create a modern network for establishment of a Caribbean Early Warning System for Severe Weather Conditions.

Coordinating Director of the CMO, Tyrone Sutherland added that those radars would enable greater predictability of weather patterns and events especially at a time when there were blurred lines between the signatures of climate change and other variables.