April 9, 2008
A workshop designed to equip participants with the tools necessary to complete a Business Continuity Plan and improve the resilience of the economy to the impact of disasters took place last Thursday April 3rd, 2008 at the Nevis Disaster Management office at Long Point, Nevis.
The workshop was hosted by the Nevis Disaster Management office and sponsored by the Caribbean Open Trade Support (COTS) Program funded by United States Agency for International development (USAID) Barbados based office. The one day training programme was facilitated by Mr. Frank Michael who said that the workshop came under the risk component of the COTS program.
“Over the last four years COTS have been working with governments, the private sector, non-government and community based organizations to do four things. First to enhance private sector growth, second to improve the business and investment climate, third to increase resilience to disasters and four to protect the biodiversity of the sub-region.
“The round of workshops has taken place throughout the OECS [Organization of Eastern Caribbean States] with the exception of Dominica. Nevis will be the last of the round of workshops, and I can assure you that you will perhaps be in a better position because everything that could have gone wrong before, we would have looked at and hoped to improve by the time we got to the last workshop, so in looking at what we are hope to achieve,” he said.
He said the workshop looked at some basic procedures for preparing contingency plans and promoted a common understanding of some concepts that were relevant to contingency planning so that all sectors would have a similar exposure. He also said the participants were provided with templates that assisted them in future contingency planning.
He also said the workshop presented the opportunity to discuss and clarify the interrelationship among the sectors with regards to contingency planning.
The workshop allowed for the provision of advice and feed back from those who already had contingency plans in place.
“We are hoping to promote a commitment to inter-sectoral action once this workshop is over and how you can work together to improve contingency planning on Nevis.
“We also hope that there will be identification of the mechanism that would allow for collaboration in the recovery planning among all sectors, and also the recognition of the need to integrate contingency planning into normal organizational developmental arrangements. And if we are able to achieve those objectives we believe that what we will have, will be a higher level of awareness of the importance of contingency planning, he said.
Assistant Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Ministry, Mrs. Mariney Newton spoke on behalf of the Premier’s Ministry and encouraged participants to take advantage of the information the workshop disseminated.
The over 30 participants were drawn from key government ministries in the Nevis Island Administration, non-government organizations as well as business sector representatives.