On September 28, the Peruvian Army Center for Strategic Studies (CEEEP), the Graduate School for Superior Strategic Studies (EGAEE) of the Dominican Republic and the Perry Center joined together to address the role of the armed forces in Disaster Risk Management in Latin America and the Caribbean in a webinar moderated by WJPC Professor, Dr. Bill Godnick.
BG (ret) Jorge Chavez Cresta, former Minister of Defense of Peru, described the strategic role of the Peruvian Armed Forces in disaster risk management in cooperation with Latin America. He highlighted scientific knowledge of the regional risk scenario, legal regulations, capabilities of the Armed Forces, and the background of the Armed Forces participation in the civilian Defense system as several critical aspects to consider to understand the challenging scenario of emergencies due to natural phenomena and human action. BG Cresta explained how the National Civil Defense Committee was created to that effect and was the predecessor of the National Disaster Risk Management system which has provided Peru with the capacity to support and be a humanitarian assistance hub in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Carlos Paulino Cardenas, Assistant Planning Director, Center for Emergency Operations in the Dominican Republic provided an overview along with recommendations and challenges of the role of the Armed Forces within the national and international emergency plan. He explained how the Emergency Operations Center directs all coordination actions and joint operations between the institutions that make up the Dominican Republic’s National Emergency System. Mr. Paulino elaborated on several questions from the audience, such as how to achieve greater commitment from the private sector and what his views were on the issue of forest fires in risk management. He included an analysis of the complicated process of legitimacy and trust generated by civil protection organizations in public-private partnerships, and how the platform could be adapted to a sectorized model. Over 800 participants from 25 countries joined in on the discussion which was recorded and streamed live on Facebook.