CARICOM Stresses Climate Change and Disaster Management Cooperation with Japan

25 May 2012: As Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque accepted the credentials of Yoshimasa Tezuka, new Plenipotentiary Representative of Japan to CARICOM, he stressed the importance of climate change and disaster management cooperation with Japan.

LaRocque qualified cooperation on climate change as "fundamental," stressing that to the small island States and low-lying coastal countries of CARICOM, climate change is not an abstract concept, but rather "a very real and increasingly threatening reality" and "a question of survival."

LaRocque expressed special appreciation for Japanese financial, technical and other support on disaster management, particularly flood hazard mapping and community-level disaster planning. He indicated that CARICOM looked forward to expanding cooperation on that front. He suggested that Japan's experiences with the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 “underscore the importance of like-minded States collaborating in disaster mitigation and preparedness.” He also thanked Japan for its continued aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake in that CARICOM member State. [CARICOM Press Release]