BASSETERRE St. Kitts, July 19th 2011 - St. Kitts and Nevis will join the ranks of some 140 countries worldwide in signalling that it intends to become a member of the UNESCO-led Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
The Federation’s participation in this climate-change-relevant institution will enable the Government to greatly boost its capacity-building for the improvement, management and protection of the marine environment, and to be involved in the all-important Early Tsunami Warning Systems in the Caribbean region.
In submitting the official notification signed by Hon. Nigel Carty, Minister of Education, to UNESCO’s director-General, Irina Bokova, and the assistant director general responsible for the IOC, Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, on 27th June last at the UNESCO HQ in Paris, the Federation’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr David P. Doyle, note that “by integrating St. Kitts-Nevis into the IOC framework we gain aid and advice from leading policy experts in the reduction of risks from tsunamis, storm surges, and other coastal hazards through the development and implementation of adaptation measures to strengthen the robustness of the highly vulnerable coastal communities, the associated infrastructure and the ecosystems”.
Added Mr Antonio Maynard, secretary-general of the St. Kitts-Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, “the decision to join the IOC - coming on the heals of a successful ministerial conference in St. Kitts-Nevis last March on climate-change policy which recommended intensified IOC coverage of the Caribbean region - will enable us to engage in Sea Level Monitoring and early-warning systems of impending storms, Tsunami and hurricanes”.
IOC has pioneered high-tech systems to detect changes on climate patterns through Tide Gauges, which confirm tsunami heights, arrival times at coastal locations, and validate tsunami inundation models. Additional techniques are also available such as DART Buoys that confirm tsunamis and real time forecasting of tsunamis, as well as access to geophysical instrumentation, GPS, hydroacoustic sensors.
Over time, St. Kitts-Nevis will become a member of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Group for the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG CARIBE EWS)
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