St.Maarten represented at R3IGIS & Remote Sensing for Disaster Risk Reduction & Development Workshop

 Sint Maarten is represented by Marvin Dollison from the Fire Department and Edelmiro Jansen from the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure Maintenance Department at a three-day capacity building workshop to train participants in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) for disaster management, land use planning and development. The workshop commenced on Monday, 21 May in the Cayman Islands.

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The organizations behind the workshop are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Barbados, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), through its Regional Risk Reductive Initiative (R3I).
Head of the Section Office of Disaster Management Paul Martens told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Tuesday that building local capacity in the area of GIS technology is very important for the country with respect to being able to develop interventions with respect to early warning and disaster management.
This fourth regional workshop is focusing on introducing officials from Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Montserrat, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos Islands to the field of remote sensing and digital image processing and its importance to disaster risk management, and to demonstrate approaches, tools and methodologies for extracting and analyzing remotely sense data.
It is envisaged that by the end of the training, these countries will have better national capacity to:
• Understand electromagnetic spectrum, and how it applies to remote sensing;
• Interpret the basic features and characteristics of earth surfaces on satellite imagery; and
• Know how to extract and interpret information from remotely sensed data.
Participants will also benefit from shared experiences on the initiatives undertaken to improve their disaster preparedness and response, through a knowledge sharing event which takes place on Thursday, 24 May at the Grand Cayman Marriot Beach Resort.
The presentations will focus on results achieved so far through the UNDP R3I project and good practices that can be built on. International development partner organizations and experts will also participate, bringing together their knowledge and expertise on disaster management issues.
UNDP Barbados and the OECS has been working with the 11 British and Dutch overseas countries/territories since 2009, to reduce the risk and exposure of these small islands through intra-regional learning and sharing of tools, knowledge and best practices to enhance their individual and collective capacities to predict and prepare for natural hazards, with the financial support of the European Union. The European Union is providing €4.932 million over four years to achieve project objectives.
For more information on the project, please visit