ISDR Informs - The Americas


The Center for Environmental Services in Matanzas (CSAM)

The Center for Environmental Services in Matanzas (CSAM) is a Cuban institution founded in the year 2000, and is ascribed to the Land Office of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment in the Province of Matanzas. Its mission is to develop Scientific Research and Technological Development and Innovation (R&D&I)-related projects, and provide technical and scientific services and consultancies in the field of environmental management. CSAM has a team of highly skilled professionals focusing on specific actions that contribute to further the commitment of different organizations and the population at large to the goal of attaining sustainable development.

CSAM is composed of three divisions: Integrated Coastal Management, Environmental Management, and Protected Area Management. Each division has its own unique mission and teams that respond to specific lines of action, guaranteeing in this manner a high level of executive autonomy. Such a structure also allows CSAM to maintain the flexibility needed to organize teams and implement projects related to scientific and technological research, development and innovation, in response to the main environmental priorities in the region and, by extension, to the environmental needs of other areas, under a work structure that also encompasses international cooperation.

Its main areas of expertise include environmental management systems, waste management (solid, liquid and hazardous), disaster risk assessments, integrated coastal area management, and protected area management.

In 2003, the Center took its initial steps in the field of disaster risk reduction, especially in relation to the area where it is located: Varadero, which is also the main tourist destination in Cuba. In this way, and using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools, a flood hazard analysis was undertaken in the peninsula where the main resort area is located. The next step was the implementation of a research project titled “GIS-based Disaster Risk Assessment for the Municipality of Varadero,” which is currently underway. Likewise, CSAM has a group of disaster risk analyzers who perform assessments in the Matanzas Province.

The Center is currently working with the local government, Civil Defense and key stakeholders in the Varadero area. The work includes the design and implementation of a Disaster Risk Reduction Management Program supported by GIS tools. The knowledge acquired through Mr. Maykel Gonzalez’ attendance in DELNET’s Specialization Course on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Context of Sustainable Development, is also being applied through the program.

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