PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On June 26th, 27th and 28th Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) Miklos Giterson attended the Resilient Infrastructure Forum (RIF) for Latin America, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The three-day forum, held in Punta Cana Dominican Republic, aimed at bringing together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors of the region in the hopes of creating a synchronized long-term strategy to combat challenges caused by natural disasters.
Over the two days plans, projects and investment opportunities were presented to the attendees with an overall objective of strengthening capacity to plan, design and implement investment in disaster resilient infrastructure. The forum also served as a platform for specialists to assist governments and regional agencies to integrate resilient strategies in urban planning, projects and designs.
Key sectors targeted at the forum were housing, electricity & energy, water supply & waste treatment, telecommunications, transport, education and health. Involved industries specialized in developing or maintaining infrastructure with resistance to geographical hazards and of long-term quality. Construction, storm proofing, coastal treatment and barriers, irrigation, locks and dams, dredging for waterway navigation, early warning systems, geological surveying, weather predictions and sensors, ecological monitoring and many more specialized industries in disaster resilient infrastructure were also present.
The forum featured plenary sessions to address major issues and opportunities. Public sector leaders presented needs from the private sector, they also proposed plans and projects for the development of resilient infrastructure. Some notable sessions included Renewable Energy & Sustainable Development for Long Term Climatic Resilience; Utilities: Water, Power & Infrastructure Interdependencies and Resilient Solutions in an Urbanizing Environment.
Bilateral meetings between the public and private sector were also available where roundtable one-on-one meetings between government officials and the private sector, financial institutions, development partners and international organizations were organized.
The Minister was also able to visit exhibitions where developers in the fields of technology showcased their equipment, materials and services. The exhibition enriched the discussions by helping to inform policy makers and developers of the various solutions and potential investment opportunities through a tangible and visible element.
Minister Giterson looks forward to utilizing and applying the information, ideas and inspiration gathered at the Resilient Infrastructure Forum with the relevant VROMI departments as the Ministry continues to diligently work in every area related to the recovery and rebuilding efforts of Sint Maarten.