First ECLAC disaster training for Cuba targets environment experts

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HAVANA, Cuba — Environment experts in Cuba are now better equipped to evaluate the impact of disasters using damage and loss assessment (DaLA) methodology developed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). This follows a DaLA training workshop conducted by a team from ECLAC’s subregional headquarters for the Caribbean from October 11 to 13, 2018, in Havana.

The training targeted representatives from Cuba’s ministry of science, technology and the environment, as well as other professionals working in disaster analysis and planning units in correlated areas such as water, sanitation and agriculture. The course introduced the multi-sector approach of the DaLA methodology to evaluate the impact of disaster using economic estimates of the damages, losses and additional costs and with a strong focus on the environmental effects of disasters.

The environmental focus of the workshop provided a valuable opportunity for ECLAC to share experiences in assessing the impacts of disasters on ecosystems and environmental services. It also offered an excellent opportunity to discuss how environmental issues can be included in other sectors, and how disaster assessments can be used to guide a more environmentally sustainable development planning.

The training was facilitated by Dr Omar Bello, coordinator of ECLAC Caribbean’s Sustainable Development Unit, with support from associate environmental affairs officer, Luciana Meira; ECLAC Mexico’s economic affairs officer, Leda Peralta; and an expert on risk management in water, sanitation and infrastructure, José Balliesteros.

The event follows similar training in several Caribbean and Latin America countries, including The Bahamas, Belize and, more recently, Guatemala.

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