Joseph Isaac

Minister for the Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal, Joseph Isaac, has said that the task of making Dominica a climate resilient country is not the responsibility of one Ministry only. He said various ministries have important roles to play in climate resilience and it is important that all work together to ensure a safer environment for Dominican people.

Isaac spoke at a conference organized by his ministry for the institutionalising and advancing of multi-hazard Early Warning Systems (EWS) in the Caribbean region.

He said if ministries work with the same objective work will be done more effectively.

“We are a cross-cutting ministry and not necessarily a ministry responsible to do everything in those areas. Yes, we are the ministry of climate resilience but CREAD is not within that ministry and yes, we have to focus on climate resilience but if you are the ministry of tourism, you supposed to ensure and encourage that all tourism plants and projects should include the components of resilience. Also, if you are in the ministry of agriculture you have to ensure that this is included in your strategy,” he stated

The Minister said a similar approach should obtain in the the Small Business Department and Ministry of Enterprise Development.

“Having faced Hurricane Maria, you have to ensure that any small business that is calling for support as far as possible, you should ensure that they have systems in place that they can bounce back quickly or withstand a storm,” he stated.

Isaac says disaster management legislation will be presented to the Cabinet of Dominica within the following weeks.

“We have identified and accepted some major gaps like the absence of the enactment and enforcement of legislation but have articulated in many policy views in our work through National Emergency Planning Organisation (NEPO). We have a lot of processes that we use that have over the years have allowed NEPO to be effective, but we are almost ready to present disaster management legislation to the cabinet of Dominica within the next weeks.”

Isaac thanked everyone who has been involved in this programme for their support and on-going effort.

“European Commission Humanitarian Aid Disaster Preparedness Programme, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), CDEMA, Cuban environmental agency. The ODM, Met Office, Physical Planning Division, local government, telecom, various ministries such as Health and Education who have been merging their expertise and working together in a seamless way to ensure that we strengthen our effort in creating an integrated Early Warning System and that will create a more effective disaster risk reduction in Dominica,” the minster stated.

He added, “We look forward to the establishment of strong leader ship and structure in all the sectors to support the effective of implementation of EWS. We are committed to fortifying the legislation and the policy frame work with key operating procedures.”

Isaac encourages all organisations to continue working together with a common goal and vision.