International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001



Disaster Information Management Meeting
23 al 24 de abril 2001
Grupos de Trabajo y Áreas Especializadas
Reunión de Gestión de Información sobre Desastres
24 de abril del 2001. La Habana, Cuba

The Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID) organized the Meeting of Disaster Information Management in La Havana, Cuba on April 24, 2001. This Meeting was developed as part of the II Regional Coordination Meeting of the Disaster Virtual Library (BVS) and was attended by representatives from Peru, Brazil, United States of America, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica and Nicaragua. Also, in this Coordination Meeting participated members of the cooperating centers of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME).

The BVS initiative is coordinated by BIREME and it is proposed as a space for productors, intermediate and final users to interchange health information through Internet.The general objective was to promote disaster information transference through technologies that would contribute to reducing risks in Latin American and the Caribbean countries. CRID presented a proposal to develop the Health Virtual Library in the field of disasters including the following strategies: Implementation of the Disasters BVS using information resources existing in 2001 and incorporating additional services and information products in 2002.

Presentations, focusing national and regional experiences with disasters information and the BVS, represented the following institutions: United States National Library of Medicine, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Comisión Nacional de Prevención del Riesgo y Atención de Emergencias (Costa Rica), Centro Latinoamericano de Información en Medicina de Desastres de Cuba (CLAMED), Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences (CEPIS) and the Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN).

Advances on the Project “Improving the access to health and disaster information in Nicaragua and Honduras”, coordinated by CRID and funded by the NLM, were also mentioned.

Recommendations from this meeting were oriented toward the necessary actions for the development of the Disasters BVS and the achievement of the authorities involved.

The participants of the Coordination Meeting of the Virtual Health Library, representing for 19 information units from the following countries: Jamaica; Costa Rica; Venezuela; Brasil; Perú; Honduras; El Salvador; Nicaragua; Cuba; Panamá; Estados Unidos; Guatemala y St. Kitts, resolved to submit the following recommendations to the plenary session of the II Regional Meeting of the Virtual Health Library,

1. Considering:
the progress and achievements fulfilled by the Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID) and its partners in Latin America and the Caribbean in disseminating technical disaster information, as well as the initiative of the Virtual Health Library (BVS) coordinated by the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME),

that CRID and BIREME carry out the necessary technical adjustments and modifications to the BVS for it to be standardized for the elaboration and availability of information products and services. Suggest to design tools and a training program for a better development.

2. Considering:
that Internet access is limited in the Region and that its function as a tool for a democratic access to technical and scientific information is essential,

that national authorities, international agencies and NGOs technically and politically contribute to improve and extend Internet’s use and connectivity.

3. Considering:
the high level of vulnerability to different threatens in many countries of the Region and the important contribution of technical information in the decision taking, and so, in reducing this vulnerability,

request the National Coordinating Centers of the Regional System of Health Sciences Information and to the PAHO/WHO to promote and include the component of disasters in the BVS´ projects at regional and national levels.

4. Considering:
that the implementation of the DISASTERS BVS should be a product developed in cooperation with and supported by different institutions and organizations working on the field of disasters,

urge national authorities and entities involved in the field of disasters to develop and support the DISASTERS BVS by following the work model of CRID and BIREME.

5. Considering:
that the topic of disaster is interdisciplinary and as a result, different fields should be considered,

the creation of an Interdisciplinary Regional Committee that impulse the promotion and development of the DISASTERS BVS and the incorporation of disciplines into the DISASTERS BVS

6. Considering:
Internet as an easy tool in communications and the need of a virtual space that allow a fluid communications among the interested parties,

that CRID manage a discussion list for the interchange of information and experiences for the development of the DISASTERS BVS

7. Considering:
CARDIN´s activities (Caribbean Disaster Information Network) on disaster information management in the Caribbean,

to recognize these activities as a key input for developing the DISASTERS BVS and to recommend its constant coordination with CRID.

For more information contact:
Regional Disaster Information Center, CRID
Latin America and the Caribbean