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Montserrat’s GIS team at R3i disaster workshop in Cayman

BRADES, Montserrat – Head of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) department Laverne Rogers and assistant Rondell Meade are participating this week in a United Nations-sponsored project for disaster management, land use planning and development.

The three-day capacity building workshop to train participants in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) for disaster management, land use planning and development began today, May 21 in the Cayman Islands. The workshop is part of the United Nations Development Programme for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), through its Regional Risk Reductive Initiative (R3I).

According to a UN release, this is the fourth regional workshop and it will focus 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 demonstrate approaches, tools and methodologies for extracting and analysing 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 organisations and experts will also participate, bringing together their knowledge and expertise on disaster management issues,” the release stated.

Montserrat has already benefitted from other elements of the R3i project, including hazard mapping. The Disaster Management Coordination Agency and GIS are to receive equipment, software and training to support the development of data on the island’s hazard mapping and vulnerability assessments.

UNDP Barbados and the OECS has been working with the 11 British and Dutch overseas 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