Above: Shiva Bissessar of Pinaka Consulting with Mark Arruda, Vice President of Solutions of Cloud Carib at the Barbados conference.
In June, organizations from across the globe, including 20 Caribbean countries gathered in Bridgetown, Barbados to discuss disaster resilience, priorities and solutions to tackle climate change and disaster risks at the Understanding Risk (UR) Caribbean conference.
Hosted by the World Bank in partnership with the Government of Barbados, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the European Union (EU), the week-long conference brought together leaders in risk and disaster management as well as private and public sector organizations to collectively discuss and formulate an action plan to address and take steps to reduce disaster risk within the Caribbean.
The event featured demonstrations hosted by the University of the West Indies, Harvard University, NASA, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Nassau-based Cloud Carib and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, to name a few. All this in time to kick start efforts for improved hurricane preparedness.
Barbados Prime Minister, the Honorable Mia Amor Mottley offered these thoughts in a keynote address at the opening ceremony, “Failure to act is largely because we do not believe that the problem is important enough to require such action. That’s the hardest thing for us as Caribbean people to accept. It is our contention that it is only when moral and ethical leadership is given both at the national level and the international level that we must summon the courage to fight down these battles.”
“Until such time, it is a form of idle entertainment for those who choose to watch,” Mottley continued, “I pray that those of you gathered here will help us as policymakers understand the art of the possible. For you, as technicians more than anything else, will frame what is technically possible, whether at the level of infrastructure, science and technology, capacity to finance or general policy making.”
Mottley’s comments struck a chord for the importance of disaster recovery specialists like Cloud Carib who came on as a partnering sponsor for the conference.
The Bahamian company held a panel discussion on ‘Strategic Approaches to Infrastructure Sustainability’. On the panel was Cloud Carib’s Mark Arruda, Vice President of Solutions, Shiva Bissessar, Managing Director of Pinaka Consulting, Ann Wyganowski, Vice President, of HZX Business Continuity Planning and Yohannes Kesete the Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank.
The panel focused on the critical issues influencing infrastructure sustainability from physical to digital infrastructure and addressed strategies on how to approach maintaining sustainability and resilience in a region where natural disasters are common, and resources limited.
To take a deeper dive into these complex issues Cloud Carib also hosted a half day workshop and training session led by Stelios Xeroudakis, Cloud Carib Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Mark Arruda, Eamon Sheehy, Cloud Carib, Director of Public Sector and Ann Wyganowski.
“This event is timely, the region is looking for a path to better resiliency, the last few hurricane seasons have devastated the region and with the current trends and impacts of climate change, we expect the devastation to only increase.
It is important the private sector and organizations like Cloud Carib be involved in this discussion. Our services offer entities, both public and private, the opportunity to improve their resiliency and reduce their risk profile,” said Xeroudakis.