A safer and more resilient nation and communities
Building resiliency through disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
Geographically remote, the Marshall Islands is particularly vulnerable to both natural and technological hazards. The Marshall Islands spread across 29 low-lying atolls and 5 islands covering a total land area of 70 square miles is set in 700,000 square miles of ocean. The distance between the capitol Majuro and furthest outlying atoll
is approximately 700 miles. It has a population of approximately 53,000 with over two thirds located in the main centers of Majuro and Kwajalein. The atolls and islands that make up the group lie in two parallel chains of atolls; Ratak, or Sunrise to the East; and Ralik or Sunset to the West.
The two atoll chains are approximately 129 miles apart and are aligned diagonally northwest to southwest. This isolation combined with fragile ecosystems, and an economy reliant upon agriculture and fisheries, potentially increases the consequences of emergency/disaster events.
The government is a major employer, followed by the commercial and retail sectors. The construction industry is expanding, but fisheries, copra, handicrafts and subsistence agriculture form the larger part of the remaining limited domestic production. However the remoteness of the islands and the limited resources available to address the existing and emerging risks presents significant challenges.
Risks to development in the Republic of the Marshall Islands emanate from both natural and man-made hazards.The Republic of the Marshall Islands is exposed to a number of natural hazards including tropical storm, typhoon and drought. The remoteness of the islands and the limited resources available to address long established and emerging risks presents significant challenges to the Government
in continuing to reduce the vulnerability of the communities throughout the Islands, including exposure to emerging global issues, in particular changing weather patterns.
The ability to measure this vulnerability is increasingly seen as a key step towards effective risk reduction and the promotion of a culture of disaster resilience. The identification of hazards is an established ‘starting point’ in identifying underlying vulnerabilities and reducing disaster risk, with the degree of risk being determined in the knowledge of the physical, social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities to which communities are exposed. Further contributing towards community vulnerability is the negative impacts of events on development, and conversely, inappropriate development that creates vulnerabilities. It is within this complex environment which includes climate change, social disparity,
struggling economies and the many other influences that determine vulnerability, the hazard profile plays a lead role in identifying causal factors.
NDMO Core Functions
The NDMO is responsible for disaster risk management activities in line with government policy, legislative requirements and the strategic priorities of the NDC. The NDMO in partnership with the OEPPC play a pivotal role in ensuring the aims and objectives of National DRM strategy are achieved.
The NDMO is responsible for:
- Representing RMI at regional and international disaster related forums
- Coordinating the implementation of the National Disaster Risk Management Arrangements (NDRMA)
- Monitoring subsequent changes and updates of NDRMA through version control procedures
- Functioning as the liaison point for all disaster related activities with regional and international agencies
- Providing administrative and secretariat support to the National Disaster Committee (NDC)
- Developing and maintaining effective relationships with relevant regional bodies to ensure synergies between national, regional and international Disaster Risk Management (DRM) programmes
- In partnership with the Office of Economic Policy, Planning, & Coordination (OEPPC) coordinating Disaster Risk Management/Climate Change Disaster Risk Reduction strategies in line with the national risk profile.
- Conduct annual audit and report to the NDC on the testing and reviewing of plans supporting the NDRMA
- Provide technical support for all DRM related training design and development
- Provide technical assistance in developing and conducting exercise management programs
- Conducting annual audit on ministry, department and agency DRM resources, developing an annual report for submission to the NDC
- Provide technical assistance to all ministries, local governments, departments, and agencies, in the development and maintenance of plans supporting the NDRMA
- Provide technical support in the development of public awareness information and programmes
- Maintaining the National Emergency Operations Centre in a state of operational readiness, including the facilitation of training and exercises, post-disaster and post-exercise debriefs and preparing reports for the NDC highlighting critical areas for improvement.