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Aug 29, 2012

Mesoamerican Territorial Information System handed over to Belize

Noreen Fairweather

Since 2010, government leaders of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic have been meeting and working on the Mesoamerican Territorial Information System (SMIT). It’s a tool that was created to allow countries in the region to share territorial information on risks, preparation and response to natural disasters. Today, the SMIT system was officially handed over to Belize during a brief ceremony at the NEMO headquarters in Belmopan. It is added to the many technological advances that have improved the country’s disaster preparedness over the years.

 

Noreen Fairweather, NEMO Coordinator

“The Mesoamerican Territorial Information System (SMIT) is one such tool. It aims to establish a regional platform which provides information on threats, vulnerabilities and risk. It is a tool that can help us as a country and a region to reduce our vulnerability from natural disasters through risk analysis that strengthen decision making and policy formulation. My brief on the system indicates that it was designed to use geographic data and information to help us to better prepare and respond to hazards that threaten us. It will also enable exchange of this type of information available in the region. With the rise in economic losses and unfortunately, sometimes human life due to disasters, we must focus on ensuring that disaster risk management is part of development policies.”

 

Alfredo Nolasco Meza

Alfredo Nolasco Meza, Director, Mesoamerican Integration/Development Project

“This is the inheritance of the ancient Puebla Panama Plan that was restructured at the beginning of President Calderon’s administration and we came out with the Mesoamerican Project that basically we are working on two big branches; it’s the economic branch on one side and we are working on the social branch on the other side and the SMIT system is fully encompassed in the social area. We respond, at the same time to the mandates given by the heads of state and heads of government. That is why I salute the presence of the highest authority of the Mesoamerican project at this table and we have been working with them on many issues. Today, the SMIT and the reason of our presence here is a very happy one because we have the opportunity to actually integrating or giving the tools to integrate at the end of this first phase of the project, Belize.”

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