Posted: Monday, September 25, 2023. 6:35 pm CST.
By Horace Palacio: In a collaborative effort to better prepare Belize for the challenges posed by climate change, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, in conjunction with the TaiwanICDF, celebrated the completion of the Belize Interdepartmental Rapid Response Team Training Program today. The ceremony also showcased the culmination of a rigorous three-week disaster management training held in Taipei, Taiwan.
This initiative, part of the TaiwanICDF Flood Warning Capacity Improvement for the Belize River Basin Project, was strategically designed to elevate Belize’s flood warning capabilities.
With the changing global climate, Belize and the wider Atlantic region are grappling with increasingly intense storm and flood events. Recognizing the need for specialized intervention, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management has instituted the Belize Interdepartmental Rapid Response Team. This diverse team brings together experts from various governmental sectors, including the National Meteorological Service, Hydrology Unit, National Fire Service, Department of the Environment, and the National Emergency Management Organization. Their unified goal: to streamline national responses to flood-related natural disasters.
The comprehensive training program in Taipei delved into critical areas such as flood disaster prevention and rescue, the establishment of hydrological data, and advanced disaster management. Furthermore, attendees had the opportunity to visit several disaster management facilities and national institutions in Taiwan. This provided them with a practical understanding of Taiwan’s advanced disaster management protocols, equipping them to better predict, respond, and mitigate potential flood catastrophes in Belize.
Prominent figures at the ceremony included Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management; H.E. Lily Li-Wen Hsu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize; Judene Tingling-Linares, Director for the Policy, Project and Planning Unit in the ministry; and Chief Robert Pan and Project Manager Jason Tuan of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize.
Reflecting on the program’s achievements, both the Ministry of Sustainable Development and the Taiwan Embassy expressed satisfaction and optimism. They eagerly anticipate strengthened bilateral ties, working in tandem to fortify Belize against the growing threats of climate change and natural disasters.
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