OCTs Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3I)

The OCTs R3I covers the English and Dutch overseas countries and territories in the region, a total of 7 territories (Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, and the Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curaçao, St Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius)). They are highly vulnerable to various natural hazards and climate change impacts, also having fragile ecosystems and concentrations of settlements and major functions in low lying coastal areas and other hazard prone locations. This project seeks to address the risk and exposure of these small islands by providing a network of regional infrastructure, programmes, policies and protocols to strengthen their capacity to predict and prepare for natural hazards, thus improve resilience and reduce risk and subsequent loss.

R3I is funded by the European Commission to the tune of €4.932m covering a period of 3 years (2009-2011). By the end of the project it is expected that there will be:

  • Increased capacity in hazard mapping and associated vulnerability assessments, to further be incorporated into spatial information systems to inform planning and development processes
  • A regional early warning systems (EWS) pilot for the OCTs, based on the ITU automated alert protocol for warnings
  • Capacity built in response, rescue and recovery, in order to shorten recovery periods through the use risk assessment and mitigation practices for development planning
  • Strengthened local disaster management structures and capacities in terms of tools and best practices to support comprehensive disaster risk management
  • Greater cooperation and coordination between the OCTs, with documentation and dissemination of best practices

The R3I emphasises intra-regional learning and sharing of tools, knowledge and best practices to enhance the territories’ individual and collective capacities. It will, among other activities, support OCT disaster management and GIS departments with modelling, simulation and planning; and build on the related experience and knowledge in the Cayman Islands. Further plans are to integrate results of modelling into quantitative multi-hazard vulnerability maps to support investment in hazard mitigation strategies; and complete and/or initiate building vulnerability studies and improve quantitative risk assessment of critical infrastructure to support the investment in hazard mitigation strategies.