Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Boosting region’s chemical response capacity important

The regional meeting for National Emergency Coordinators under the Assistance and Protection, Caribbean Regional Project for Creation of a Regional Chemical Response Capacity got under way at the Radisson Aquatica, in Barbados recently.

For Barbados, it is anticipated that the outcome of the two-day meeting will contribute to the attainment of the goal outlined in the National Sustainable Development Policy regarding the environmentally sound management of hazardous substances.

This is according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Drainage, Edison Alleyne.

Addressing the opening ceremony, he also said that he hopes that the discussion will provide further information to advance the development of the National Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) Plan which is being prepared by the DEM with the support of several other government departments.

“This meeting underscores the point that it is equally important to have a coordinated effort in
responding to incidents involving chemical weapons and chemicals at all levels.”

As a signatory State to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Alleyne stated that Barbados has enjoyed a very productive relationship that has resulted in its increased capacities in emergency response.

The Permanant Secretary recalled that since 2009, Barbados benefited from targeted training for local responders in emergency response protocols. He noted that to date, a total of 17 persons from various agencies across Barbados including the Barbados Fire Service, Customs and Excise Department, University of the West Indies and the EPD have received training in various aspects of chemicals management and emergency response to chemical weapons incidents.

“Despite the capacity development received from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the key national emergency response agencies, we recognise that “no man is an island” and the need for a regional approach to emergency response is paramount in that regard.”

“As we chart the way forward in the planning of a regional emergency response mechanism, it is important that we give careful consideration to issues such as: our individual capacity to address chemical emergencies; the existing mechanisms for regional response to emergencies that can be the basis for a regional chemical response mechanism; and how the mechanism would be operationalised amongst others,” Alleyne highlighted. (TL)

No comments:

Post a Comment