Jamaica News: Commissioner of Mines, Leighton Williams, says resilience planning and integration are critical components to reducing the impact of hazardous events on the society and the economy.
Speaking at a workshop on hazard resilience at the Mines and Geology Department, Hope Gardens, St. Andrew, on July 23, Mr. Williams said these approaches should be undertaken proactively.
“Our challenge is to clearly mark the path that leads to the goal of reducing the impacts of hazardous events on our society and economy by enhancing the resilience of buildings and infrastructure systems in our communities. To do this, it is necessary to shift our thinking from the old way – designing and operating buildings and infrastructure as independent systems – to a new way as an integrated system,” he said.
He added that resilience planning should be interwoven in a community’s social and economic systems, since they are supported by the physical infrastructure and the vital services it enables.
“Providing communities with guidance to avoid disastrous consequences can make a tremendously positive difference. Helping communities to make hazard resilience an integral part of their long-term planning and development is an incredible two-for-one deal,” he said.
Mr. Williams said these will not only increase resilience to disruptive events and reduce their enormous toll on people and the economy [but] it will also make communities better places to live and more desirable locations for business and industry.
He pointed out that communities need actionable information and guidance to support their decision-making and their investments in resilience.
“With reliable information, methods and tools, communities can assess their strengths and their vulnerabilities. They can identify their blind spots and they can develop an integrated view of what resilience looks like, so that all the key players will be involved in helping to make it a reality,” he said.
In his remarks, Programme Leader, Natural Hazard Management, University of Chester, Dr. Servel Miller, said resilience to natural disasters refers to the ability to protect and save lives while reducing vulnerabilities to changes, particularly as it relates to climate change.
The workshop was organised in partnership with the University of Chester and sought to bring together decision makers, community planners, policymakers and experts in making communities more hazard-resilient.
Source: JIS News