Parallel Session A9: Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience-Building and DRR for Ports (continued)

23 May 2024 11:30h - 12:30h

Table of contents

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Full session report

Panel Discussion Highlights the Urgency of Disaster Preparedness in Caribbean and Latin American Ports

The extended summary provided offers a comprehensive overview of the panel discussion, which centred on disaster risk reduction, response, and recovery, with a special focus on the critical role of ports in the Caribbean and Latin America. The summary encapsulates the essence of the discussions, highlighting the significance of resilience building, partnerships, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The panelists underscored the Caribbean as the second-most disaster-prone region globally, with an increasing occurrence of concurrent and cascading disaster events. They stressed the importance of understanding the multi-hazard environment, which includes not just climatic events but also geological, biological, and technological hazards. The discussions highlighted the integration of disaster risk management into all aspects of the disaster risk management cycle, including preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.

Darwin Telemaque shared practical lessons from dealing with hurricanes in Antigua and Barbuda, illustrating the importance of pre-disaster planning and post-disaster coordination. He discussed innovative solutions such as the rapid construction of facilities from containers and the creation of a port auxiliary force. These initiatives demonstrated the necessity of adaptability and creativity in disaster response and the value of engaging local resources and expertise.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was presented as a pathway to building resilient societies. Jair Torres from UNDRR highlighted the need to create more resilient individuals, communities, business sectors, and institutions through collaboration with other sectors. He emphasized the importance of understanding risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, ensuring disaster risk reduction financing, and building back better with preparedness for effective response.

The insights gained from the discussion emphasised the importance of understanding risks, fostering partnerships, and integrating disaster risk reduction into broader policy frameworks to mitigate the impacts of disasters and ensure sustainable development. The panelists called for action to prioritize disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to avoid the unfathomable social, economic, and developmental costs of inaction. They advocated for well-funded regional entities like CDEMA and the importance of collective efforts among island nations to support each other in times of crisis.

In conclusion, the panel discussion served as a call to action for all stakeholders to recognize the urgency of disaster preparedness and to work collaboratively towards a more resilient future.

Session transcript

Regina Asariotis:
because eventually everybody will want to have lunch as well. So, if I could invite the speakers for this next, this third session to please join me here on the podium. Thank you very much. Have a seat. And if I could just ask the team over there to put up the session cards. Ladies and gentlemen, and thank you very much for staying with us throughout these sessions. It's my great pleasure to introduce to you our panel. While we wanted to have this as a coherent set of sessions, so it's not something entirely different, but the focus now is a little bit more specifically on the disaster risk reduction response and recovery side of things, where of course ports and their resilience play an enormous role. And we have with us, I'm very pleased to say, the Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, responsible for disaster risk management in the entire region, of course in collaboration with the, not alone, but in collaboration with the national agencies. And we have with us alsoDarwin Telemaque is on the end there on the slide, but important to know he's a chairman of the Port Management Association of the Caribbean, and it so happens he's been, he's a port manager of course of Antigua as well, and it so happens this project of ours which we had mentioned, we made reference to earlier in the Caribbean, it so happens when we held this workshop in Barbados in December 2017, Mr. Telemach was there among the port authorities, and I remember very vividly his concerns about the, obviously the impacts of the hurricane, so it's a perfect opportunity to now check back and see what has been happening and what are the insights and lessons learned, and we have with us Sean Rafter, Managing Director of the HELP Logistics AG. Very interesting to hear from you, sir, about your work on emergency management response on the supply chain side, on the transport side, and we have with us Ger Torres, who is with UNDRR here in Barbados and is going to set the scene or put this whole thing in context with the policy framework, and particularly under the SENDAI framework. So I think if I could hand over to Ms. Riley first, please, you have the floor.

Elizabeth Riley:
Thank you very much, Regina, and good morning to everyone. Thanks for being here. So I think this is a really important conversation for the conference, and if I could get the presentation cued, please. Thank you. So I am the Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, as you have heard. And the agency is about resilience building. And you can see the diversity of our mandate on the slide. But you can also recognize that we have quite a significant geographical remit in the Caribbean addressing resilience issues in 19 of our participating states. So the reason why this conversation is so important is that Latin America and the Caribbean is, in fact, the second most disaster-prone region in the world. And between 1997 and 2017, one in four disasters at a global scale occurred in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, accounting for 53% of global economic losses due to climatic events. And this is in a region which holds just 8% of the global population. So if we zero in on the Caribbean, we have a very complex multi-hazard environment. And whilst I have presented the hazards on the slide in a discrete way, what is important to know is that the occurrences of hazards in the Caribbean are increasingly becoming complex. So we don't see discrete occurrences, but we're seeing occurrences which are happening concurrently. We are seeing cascading-type effects. And it is posing a significant challenge for us as the disaster risk management community, which includes all of you, including those within the port management fraternity, et cetera. A good example of this was in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2021 April. And I know a lot of the focus has been on the volcanic eruption, as it should be. But what many persons did not recognize is that at the same time, we were having the worst dengue outbreak that St. Vincent and the Grenadines experienced. We also had the delta wave of COVID coming through at that time. And on the immediate heels of the last explosive eruption from Soufrière, there was also a severe weather event. And you can understand with the change, geographical landscape, because of the volcano, that the impact of the rains was even more severe with respect to landslides, flooding, and also lahars, which was now a new hazard introduced as a result of the volcano. So these are the kinds of complexities that we are facing. In addition, we have the amplifier of climate change. And I won't go into the details of what is happening with respect to the changing climate. I think that has been covered well by our colleagues. But to put it from a disaster management context, between 2000 and 2022, in Latin America and the Caribbean, we had over 1,500 disasters. 78% of those were hydrometeorological in nature. So when we consider what is happening with the amplification by climate change, you can understand why this conversation is so important for today's forum. In addition, these are the recent headlines coming through in the regional newspapers. Heat waves, record high temperatures, and the World Meteorological Organization has spoken to this on a global scale, with 2023 being the hottest year on record since recording began. And we also have our Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum indicating that the Caribbean is facing climate extremes in 2024. And you will be well aware of the conversations happening around. exacerbated water scarcity as a result of ongoing drought. And this is happening as we speak. So when we talk about the ports, a lot of the focus tends to be on logistics, the supply chain. But the role of ports is important for every aspect of the disaster risk management cycle. So we talk about preparedness. We've covered some of that in the discussions here on the importance of business continuity planning for ports, the training of staff, basic things like evacuation procedures, et cetera, for hazards, actions ports will take with respect to early warning. On the response side, ports are absolutely critical because in a small island state context, they are the main gateway for facilitating response in the aftermath of events. When we talk about mitigation, ports are also important because in small states, most of our materials that we use are imported and they come through the ports or they come through the airports as well. And in collaboration then with standards bureaus as well as customs, these are important things for maintaining that the types of imports that are coming into country are in alignment with the resilience that we're trying to build. And then finally, we don't think about it a lot on the recovery side, but recovery is an important conversation and this is why we need our ports to be resilient because to recover, we have to be able to access the goods, services that are required for recovery and the ports are a very important part of that. So you want to have your port infrastructure being resilient, being robust so that in the aftermath of the inevitable hazard impacts that we face in the region, that your ports are operational as quickly as possible. So I did pull some information from Dominica just to say a little bit about what took place as a result of Hurricane Maria and port infrastructure. And this was in 2017 as a result of Hurricane Maria. And as you know, Hurricane Maria was a catastrophic type event in the Caribbean where Dominica suffered 226% damage and losses of the relative to their GDP. And you may also be aware that if we look at the statistics across the post-disaster needs assessment that losses with respect to critical infrastructure tends to be the largest percentage of damage and losses when you analyze losses across all types of sectors in the aftermath of events in the Caribbean region. So this was a similar case in Dominica. And one-third of the damage that was recorded in the PDNA from Dominica was actually associated with the infrastructure sector of which the ports are just apart. So we saw at Woodbridge Bay, which is one of the main ports, shed roofs being lost and damaged, security fencing compromised. And you know this is critical for ports. Maintenance sheds destroyed, electrical as well as electronic equipment destroyed as well. The ferry terminal was severely damaged. And you know this is an important connector between Dominica and surrounding states. And that damage was principally by the heavy seeds caused by storm surge. You heard a bit about storm surge this morning. But combined with riverine flooding, there was significant debris which was deposited in the area of the port as well, which had to be removed. And from an economic perspective, the Roseau cruise ship berth was rendered inoperable in the aftermath of Maria. So, specific on the shipping sector losses within the PDNA, there's also a description about the loss of the traffic in terms of the shipping because of the infrastructure damage. So, of course, ships had to bypass the port. And not only that, the ports were also principally very much concerned then with receipt of relief items. So, the regular commercial traffic was not taking place. We had a moratorium on charges for non-commercial activity and, therefore, significant 75% revenue loss since post-port shipments related to focus on the relief and rebuilding efforts. And, of course, with respect to cruise ships from a tourism perspective, there was no income because there was no infrastructure to receive them. On the following slide, I also pull some statistics for you in terms of specific dollar figures both in U.S. and Eastern Caribbean currency on damage. And this is combined information related to the seaports as well as the airports. And as you can see, the losses were, the damage was significant to both airport as well as seaport facilities. So, in closing, I really wanted to just say three things. One is that understanding the risk that we face from the hazards that impact us in the Caribbean is the first very critical step for resilience building for ports. And you've heard that earlier. But it's not just about understanding that risk, but it's also how we're utilizing that understanding to inform the decision-making. One of the panelists in the previous segment talked about the issue of leadership, and I smiled because making the changes is about making changes to the thinking at the top. And leadership embracing the importance of taking disaster risk considerations. and placing it as a priority is absolutely critical for making the types of changes that we're talking about. But equally important is the concept of the strategic foresight and how we're integrating the future scenarios that potentially can play out and how we are utilizing the understanding of those future scenarios with respect to what's happening with climate change, the amplification with respect to the other types of hazards that are taking place and how we are applying this to our long-term planning. And I was really happy to hear those issues coming forward in one of the previous presentations as well. So that's the presentation in a nutshell and I'm available to take any questions in the Q&A. Thank you.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm sure everybody agrees that was a very interesting snapshot, it's just 10 minutes of key points and key experiences and key issues looking forward. One thing in the preparation when we discussed this, what struck me was obviously Ms. Riley has a number of ideas about what is necessary. Some of these have come through and I very much hope that we can build on what we've come to meet here about to enhance the transport resilience for disaster risk response and recovery particularly because that is going to be critical going forward. So thank you very much indeed. And I hope we have a little bit of time for questions and answers. I would now like to go over to Mr. Telemaque,Darwin Telemaque As I say, you're at the end of the list but it seems opportune for the simple reason because it seems opportune. to start with the experiences and the perspectives on what the lessons are learned and then bring in the two gentlemen who are here on our panel who are trying to, one way or the other, help offer solutions. So if I could invite you to come to the podium and if I could ask the colleagues to put up the presentation. Thank you very much.

Darwin Telemaque:
Thank you. I'm following Liz Riley, who is the head of CDEMA, and I'm staring at an image that I'm sure still leaves some very difficult memories for her and for people in our islands. We are in a very highly challenged space and I like to always say that if you live on a continent you can start driving. There's a tornado coming and they say jump in the car and you can drive and go. If you're on an island, yeah, you're stuck, there's nowhere to go. And the resilience means a whole different thing, because it means staying alive. It means reconfiguring your entire existence before the problem, because sometimes you don't know how massive the problem will be. And in my case, I am Dominican, which is the story that she just told. In my case, in Dominica, we were not expecting a storm of that magnitude up until noon. or a little afternoon, and I see my high school mate here. He's now a minister in the government in Dominica. But we all remember that it was supposed to be bad weather and maybe a little bit of wind, and then it became at 4 o'clock, no, it's going to be a Category 2, maybe a, then it's a Category 3, and by 7 o'clock, it's past 5, and it's destroying the whole island, and the question now becomes, how do you build resilience in getting the right information, though, and being more predictable? Because you would have probably done things differently had they told you early in the morning you're going to have a Category 5. And so part of getting us ready is getting right information, and I am also taking the opportunity to say that when the storm is heading towards Florida and the United States, every minute, it tells you where it's going and how strong it is. It says what move it makes. It's almost as if it's more closely watched after it passes us. We like it to start a little lower down, you know, and have a little bit more interest placed on our side, but we had a significant impact on this, from this hurricane, and am I moving the slides, or is it? Yeah, so we basically have listed here some roles of the port. I won't get into too many of them with too much details, because there's some, one or two things, one or two slides I'd just like to touch on, but you can read how we provide port services to all of our islands. In most cases, there's only one port on the island, and we are responsible for everything that comes in. And when we say everything, sometimes it's things that we've never seen, never touched, but it has to come off that ship safely, and that too is a challenge. So a lot of creativity at our ports there. We also take very seriously at our port in Antigua something that we built into our plan, and that's a pre-disaster plan here. If you notice, there's nothing in the water. So with the U.S. Coast Guard, there is a status that the Coast Guard moves to, where they call it Operation Zero. That means no vessels allowed in the harbor. So if you are in the harbor prior to a storm, you're given 24 hours to move, and then 12 hours later, if you're there, you're removed. I remember in Antigua when I implemented this for the first time in 2017, everyone thought I was crazy. How are you gonna get those little fishing boats out of the water? Do you see them out of the water there? They were. I took the port's crane, I went along the dock, and I took them all out and numbered them and tied them to the ground. And I'll tell you why we did that in a minute. But this became standard, and I can say here that even from CDEMA's perspective, when we saw disasters in other islands the next day, their harbors were unaccessible. There were too many vessels left, and therefore no ships could come in. So one of the best practices we implemented was, let's remove the vessels, tie them alongside, and in the morning after the storm, we took two small boats, we did our hydrographic survey with ropes alongside the two boats, which is the way you do it traditionally, we don't have the right equipment to do it, swept the channel clean, we counted every vessel that we put on the side, nothing was in the water. And we had our busiest cruise year that year because the cruise ships had one place to come. Thereafter, it's the place where the port was cleaned. So that was also something that the fishermen were so excited about because none of their boats were lost and they could go fishing the next day. So that too helped in allowing us to come back. And there was a role that the fishermen played as well. In two days later, if I can just get to there, two days later, we had, I'm not too keen on, I'm sorry, let me go back. Two days later, after Irma came to Antigua, we had a situation where another hurricane was coming towards Antigua, Barbuda was already destroyed, and I mean really destroyed, completely destroyed. And that hurricane, Jose, was now at a category five. It was taking a turn that looked like it was going straight to Barbuda. Now imagine an island completely destroyed, all the homes are destroyed. Two days later, we're trying to figure out how to get them help, and there's a storm going right over that island again. And so our Prime Minister said, you have to evacuate the island. And let me tell you, this is not a joke, folks. The port had been compromised because the silt from the storm had built up so heavily that we couldn't get a big ship in. So what did we do? We took those fishing boats and we said to them, let's go start evacuating people. So we had the fishing boats, and the long story short was, we ended up, you'll see a picture in a little bit, where we had to end up. using one of the Venezuelan C-130 bomber to go to Barbuda. There's no place for it to land, land in a patch of dirt, slide down the runway, get it no stuck in the dirt and the people standing there dug it out, jumped in and flew to safety because you get away from a hurricane and, I mean, if you watch the plane do that, you probably wouldn't get in, but they had no choice, they had to get off. And so that's how we evacuated that island. Which also says you're never prepared for something like that. But here you are being tasked with something and we did it. So there's some things that we learned in that. And one of them was when disaster happens, so many people come to your rescue that if it's not properly coordinated, that becomes a disaster itself. And if too many things go into the place too quickly, it doesn't really get done well. So we quickly engaged with SEDEMA and our local Department of Disaster Management and we said to them, let's help you at the port. So point number one, the port has the most skilled cargo handling people on the island. That's what we do every day. So why not engage the port to help in receiving and building out the type of loads that you need, parceling it the way you want, palletizing it the way you want. You want it brick bulk, we can do it. You want it containerized, we can do it. So the role of the port emerged in a way that had never been used. Prior to that, we were ignored completely and they did the things they want. But leadership again, coming from SEDEMA and Miss Raleigh, recognized the capacity of the port and we started what became an amazing moment where the port entered into a new space and we've been there since, thanks to her. She continues to engage us. and we now have a whole different role for ports in the region. And so we began to look at ways that we could advance some of these ideas. One of them was we decided that we would prepare at PMAC a group of port workers throughout the region that if an island got impacted, and my dear friend from Dominica here can remember the impact in Dominica. If you are the port in Dominica and your home is destroyed you're not going to work. But we need the port to work. We need, so at PMAC we decided we will pool together groups of similarly skilled port professionals and we created what we call a port auxiliary force. And that team would be ready to go to any impacted port and help the port so that the port is never down. So the crane operators and the forklift operators can stay home while we bring the skill sets that are necessary to operate there. And guess what stood in the way? The unions. So there had to be legislation and discussions made to advance even such a brilliant idea. And sometimes you wonder how do things get stemming? But sometimes they do. And we overcame that nonetheless. We've not had to execute on that since, but that is in place and PMAC is ready to continue to support Sidi Medouin where we can. So we have here a role that we played. We went from Panama, sent in dozens and dozens of 747s of food because there is the depot in Panama where our food is stored to come in. It comes in to a warehouse at the airport. Airport doesn't have enough skill sets to do it. We bring it to the port. We execute it well. The other thing we were able to do is we said. Rather than have Shelterbox, UNESCO, WFP and each individual entity act independently going into the market, we consolidated everything in one place at the port and the brands got in in a much more controllable manner. And the shipping lines who were prepared to assist didn't have to deal with three and four different people. So we made the lives of Tropical Shipping who is the entity that was engaged at the time to support that effort. We made their lives much easier. We also had our Minister of the Port, Minister of Customs get involved and he streamlined that process very nicely. Sometimes the customs part of it can be a little tedious. It became so easy after the Minister of the Port, my Prime Minister and my boss got involved and sometimes you need some heavy lifting to move things. And after he got involved, everything ran smoothly. So leadership again is a critical piece there. This is a model of emergency relief and supply chain that we believe in. You can have a look at that later. Here are some skill sets we believe are necessary as you analyze various supply chain leading up to eventually an effective human relief supply chain. We believe that this is always present at emergencies. But here are some of the challenges that we found that we were able to overcome, lack of the recognition of logistics at ports. I think we have fixed that. I must commend Liz and her team for spending significant times in solving this problem. CDEMA is now not what it was five years ago in terms of logistics. It has advanced itself significantly and the leadership there has seen that. There is a higher level of employees involved in supporting logistics, which means that our islands will receive better support. There's great involvement of stakeholders. The local disaster offices are more engaging than they were, which is also something that we need. And there's something also that we learned in that disaster. One of them was, how do you respond and where do you respond from? I coined a term. It's called natural connectivity. What is natural connectivity? It means don't create something from someplace else when a market is connected to another market that can support it. In other words, if Dominica and Antigua are connected naturally because business to business goes on there, don't move the supply and the relief to another island because you have to recreate everything. Not just the transport, the business relationships, the knowledge of what that person needs is better acquainted to the market that it's attached to. So natural connectivity, we thought, was something that's helped. There's a few other things that you can go for, lessons learned, and a few more here as well. I won't get into too much of them except that one. There's an example of something that we did really quickly. I'll tell you about this. This is an office that we built from two containers. We split the side out and we built that in 24 hours. Why? Because we need place for people to stay, people to eat. We also built bathrooms, kitchens from 40-foot containers inside of 24 hours. We had stalls. We had for showers. We had stalls for restrooms. And we started a whole new industry in Antigua as a consequence of this because we're just thinking outside the box and how we can use what is in the port to help support the relief effort. This is what it's about. Thank you very much.

Regina Asariotis:
Well, what can I say? Excellent. It was absolutely... the point, exactly at the point where we're now in our discussion, you know, drawing on everything from the morning, but this was super interesting, just the specific experience. I knew your experience at the time when you were saying, how can we build the port again, make it resilient, because you were going to get funding, but you said, yeah, but how can we make sure it's not, you know, it's going to be as best equipped as it can be to withstand problems. But this was super interesting to see the lessons that you actually drew from your experience and how you've gotten together, and I mean, there's plenty of best practices and recommendations in there, and things to build on, and I hope we can integrate that, we will integrate that into our outcome documents, but I'd also, I had asked all speakers to put forward recommendations, key messages, and I reiterate that, again, we can, in various ways, we can make use of this, and I invite everybody again to let us have these. So with that, because time is an issue, and, you know, it's a shame that we don't have more time, I would like to give the floor to Sean Rafter, who is Executive Director or Managing Director of Help AG in Germany, and he's going to tell us about what their organisation is involved in, and so we're a little bit more on the problem-solving side now. Thank you.

Sean Rafter:
Thank you very much, and thank you, UNCTAD, for the invitation. Always when you come to these forums and you're on a panel, you're never quite sure you're going to fit in, but after listening to the two previous speakers, I'm glad to say I'm in the right place, and delighted to be able to speak about the work we do. Just a little bit of background, I work for the CUNA Foundation, I'm here with other colleagues from the KUNA Logistic University and from Climate Action. My focus is on humanitarian. logistics and supply chain. I was a humanitarian myself for about a decade before joining the Foundation, working in Africa, Middle East and Asia, unfortunately or fortunately didn't come to South America, so it's first time for me in the Caribbean and to learn about the issues and challenges here. But what I'm hearing is that there are very common challenges that we've experienced and I've experienced in other emergencies. I would say with the time, I've been to Bubba's Sports Bar here, so I know you all watch the Premier League and you will know that I'm, as a Liverpool supporter, still thinking about Jurgen Klopp's departure, so being in Barbados at this time has been rejuvenating to give me some time to reflect also on the next steps for my football club. So I'm very happy to be here. Also the way our philosophy in the Kuna Foundation, we're a very active organisation. We contribute directly with our resources and funding into emergencies. We put people on the ground and therefore we're very decentralised. We have offices in Jordan, in Singapore, Kenya and Senegal and we operate out of those to understand the local context and I think this comes back to both Darwin's point and Liz's point. What I'd like to start with is, or what I'm going to talk a little bit about is some of the experiences we had and how we're tackling some of these problems. Liz talked about strategic foresight and Darwin talked about preparedness activities. So I'd like to explain a little bit about our approach to this. The first thing, to give you an example, is this is a project from the Philippines which is a large country but it's an archipelago with over 3,000 islands. and suffers up to 30 disasters a year, some very catastrophic, like Typhoon Haiyan back in 2015, I think it was, and disasters all through the year. And they suffer the same problems. They have funding shortfalls, procurement costs, delivery delays, capacity building gaps and coordination. The approach we wanted to take when we worked with the Red Cross is a holistic perspective. And what we found over time is that donors put a lot of emphasis either on training, capacity building or IT systems, but not in an interconnected way. And this holistic approach, which you see in this model here, is really important to understand that the benefits can be leveraged when you do things across the supply chain, across the organization. By investing, for example, in prepositioning and supplier frameworks, we reduced from 28 days the delivery time down to seven days in future operations. That's a significant change in delivery time by investing across the spectrum of personnel, IT processes, prepositioning and supplier management. The other thing to mention is that there's a well-known paradigm, which we were able to prove, and we've done this over several emergencies with several organizations, that if you invest $1 in preparedness, you can save $7 in costs and efficiency in the emergency response. And we were able to measure that. So there is a report and it's proven that that is the case. So preparedness makes sense. Ultimately, what we recognize is that supply chain is the backbone of humanitarian operations and needs investing. A lot of the results of this study have now found their way in to the logistics policy of the European Commission. We're also applying the same modelling framework and a holistic approach to a project in Madagascar and looking at other island countries where this approach could be applied. The second slide I wanted to talk about is a little bit on the systems thinking side. So again it's taking a broader view and this was a study that we did with Malawi Ministry of Health and WFP looking at the health system in Malawi particularly looking at potential measles epidemic. We deployed system dynamics which is a way of looking at complex systems and we've heard from our two speakers already how complex some of the logistics and supply chain is and system dynamics allows us to look at the different elements and how they interact with each other and how they affect each other. So the interactions between the different elements and how they influence. We are able to model healthcare facilities, supply chains, looking at community clinics and how they interplay and this is really important for doing strategic foresight thinking. It allows you to model potential scenarios, look at vulnerabilities and bottlenecks and try to plan interventions. So it can narrow down your focus from trying to plan for everything to trying to plan for a few likely scenarios. The importance of system thinking allows you to plan for immediate response but also to think about long-term resilience. The other one that we come across quite a lot is infrastructure and of course The physical and digital infrastructure in humanitarian operations is often very poor. We have just completed a study on an important humanitarian corridor between Douala and Abechi, that's between Cameroon and Chad. That corridor is a critical corridor. It serves 1.4 million refugees currently in Chad, but it's also a commercial corridor. The port of Douala, which is critical in that network, had invested a lot in capacity and efficiency, but there were still some downstream challenges. And these were the problems, actually, that were causing late delivery. So you have unpaved roads. You have over 60 checkpoints with customs clearance at each one along that road. That causes shipping delivery delays. It causes impassable roads during seasonal impacts, and therefore you get high truck costs due to wear and tear. So this has become one of the most expensive transport routes in sub-Saharan Africa. Through the study we were able to demonstrate, again taking a holistic perspective of not only focusing on the port but the whole distribution network, that we needed to have a focus also on other multimodal operations. For example, an unused rail system could be reactivated. Customs procedures needed to be standardized, they needed to be simplified, and they needed to be digitized, and seasonal effects needed to be taken into account. What this allowed us to do with this study is allow people to plan and do strategic foresight again. and thinking about how to use this corridor and where to invest specifically to get the maximum and optimal improvements. Everybody's talked about capacity, and it is critical, and I'd like to re-emphasize that the international community, of course, is always there to step in when nation states are overwhelmed and can't respond. But we don't want to be there all the time, and we need to come out. We don't know the context. We have to learn that, and also economically, it's not allowing countries to get back to economic strength quickly if we're staying in. So training empowers. We need to teach more on technical ways of doing things, and developing independent management at a local level on emergencies. This has resulted in faster decision making and agility in responses, and cascading down. I think someone said earlier that innovation comes from regional and global partnerships. I would suggest the innovation is at the local level. Innovation is from people who have the skills, the tools, and the techniques, and know the context, and can work with the resources that they have. I would add onto this that training is one aspect of it, but what we really need is a strong education system. We've seen time and again supply chain logistics is not taught at all universities. It's not got the strongest curricula. It's not linked to industry. Often a lot of the opportunities in industry are not connected to what the universities are putting out in curriculum. We'd really like to emphasize that. The next generation of talent needs to have access to supply chain logistics education. And then the last point I would make, which everybody says, this mind shift. And I'll be rather specific on this one, that collaborative leadership is definitely needed to bring all stakeholders together, but specifically what we see when we want to implement projects, we don't want to do this in isolation, we don't want to do this from a remote position, therefore government coordination has been essential to maintain the connection with all stakeholders and to make sure that they can remove as much bureaucracy as possible and that we are aligned with national policies when we're implementing solutions. The other aspect is leadership in removing the barriers between humanitarian action and commercial organisations. We want the commercial sector to be able to step back in, as Darwin was saying. The more international involvement, it's great at the start, but I think we've seen that we're there too long, that we need to have an ability to switch back and forward so that cash delivery from humanitarian organisations can switch back to the private sector and local logistic freight forwarders can step in and continue. The other aspect is on digital sharing, which I think everybody has spoken about, but this interoperability and data sharing is certainly an issue and needs some leadership to make it happen. There's a great forum, the World Economic Forum, which has a global supply chain resilience initiative and has started, but again we're seeing competitiveness in not wanting to share data, so there's some obstacles still. to overcome in allowing pre-competitive data to be shared, aggregated and anonymized data to be shared. And I would say the last point is that, at least in humanitarian operations, maybe not so much more in the private sector, supply chain logistics is not yet at the decision-making in the boardroom. It's still lagging behind. And until we get enough people, supply chain logistics, coming into those decisions, it is proving problematic to make them aware of how supply chain and logistics can be leveraged to improve humanitarian operations and response. That's where I would conclude and just say that this holistic view of preparedness will lead to a better leverage of every dollar invested, strengthening through systems thinking and forward strategic planning allows for these model outcomes, planning interventions and mitigating unintended consequences. Addressing infrastructure needs is great, but we should also look at the whole supply chain, not just the port, but also downstream, and making sure that we have good collaborative leadership on data coordination on the ground. If some of the reports I've referred to or some of the information we've put on publications, if you scan the code quickly, you can go to the link and get the source material for the studies that I've been talking about. Thank you very much, and take your questions later.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you very much for this presentation. Let me also just, towards the end, what you said, when we mentioned we will put the presentations that we have, we will put them all on the website,the forum website in due course, and as appropriate, speakers can, of course, include a link for further information where this is available, so you can follow up if and when you want. I thought that was very, very interesting to hear your experiences. Many of your key messages seem to be reverberating. This is what really does speak from everybody's perspectives, the points that you just mentioned towards the end. So we very much hope, I know also you're doing some executive training courses, online training, I don't know those in detail, but I encourage people to have a look out for that as well. Maybe that is useful and interesting in this context, and maybe to build on this. And again, because time is so much of an issue, may I invite, please, our final speaker for this session, Mr Jair Torres from UNDRR here in Barbados, to share some of his experiences, of course, work in this space, but also setting this a little bit in the policy context and looking forward to what's next, again, with SIDS 4 in mind as well. And I'm sorry if I was in the way there. I'm going to sit on your seat for a second here.

Jair Torres:
Please. Okay, good morning, good afternoon, everybody. It's a pleasure to be here, and thank you from UNTAC to really invite us to be part of this very important panel, and to share some of the ideas that we have concerning disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and resilience, notably in the context of poors and global supply chains. And it's an honor to share the panel with Ms Riley, Mr Rafter, and Mr Telemaque, who has really provided a lot of elements and is going to be the last of today's session, and I have here a lot of good things. that most of the panelists have shared, and I'm just going to try to put all of these things together in the context of the Sendai Framework of Disaster Risk Reduction that can be a good path to really ensure that resilience and climate change adaptation. So I'm going to start saying something that most of the panelists before has mentioned. You know, the impacts of climate-related hazards on ports and supply chain. We have two main examples that has been really shocking our eyes. That was the Hurricane Katrina, but also the Hurricane Maria, who produced a lot of impacts, notably in the United States, Katrina and Maria in the whole Caribbean region, notably Dominica, Antigua Barbuda, Puerto Rico, et cetera, but that really produced a lot of economic losses. So we think that in the case of Hurricane Katrina, we have more than $125 billion in losses, and in the case of the Hurricane Maria, we have more than $90 billion in losses, plus other specific effects that we have on the latest shipping, affecting industries, oil and gas, agricultural manufacturing, but also shortage of essential supplies, such as food, water, and medical supplies. Many people has already mentioned we expect that due to the negative effects of climate change, we're going to have more frequency, more intensity, different locations, and different temporality of climate-related hazards affecting the Caribbean region, the Pacific regions, but all of the world in terms of these specific hazards. Nevertheless, one of the things that I would like to highlight and goes in line with the presentation of Ms. Riley is that we are not only impacted by climate-related hazards. In the last years, there is this prominent political and societal move to really try to fight with climate change and the impacts that climate change is bringing. But, we are leaving behind the understanding that we are being affected by other important hazards that can come from geological, that can come from biological, that can come from technological, that can come from societal hazards that are also affecting our societies and are affecting the sector that we are really trying to protect today, that is the commerce sector and also the ports and the supply chain. And this is something that we saw, for instance, with the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2001, where we really have really skyrocketed the economic losses for more than 200 billion. And all of the supply chain was really, and the production was really delayed because of that effect and with the industries of automobiles, electronics, and impacting not only the national industry of Japan, but impacting most of the industries in Asia and also in other countries. Similar, we have, and I was very happy to understand, for instance, the examples of Mr. Telemac concerning the impacts, the negative impact of Hurricane Maria in Barbuda. Now we see a lot of seismicity, for instance, in Antigua and Barbuda, seismicity that we were not observing before, and we are increasing the seismicity activity in islands like Antigua and Barbuda that can generate also a big earthquake and also a tsunami. So we are not except to other specific hazards. The other hazard that affected a lot the ports and supply chains was really the COVID-19, something that came from a biological hazards. Really the lockdowns, the travel restrictions, and the change on the consumer demand really create a lot of losses. We have not yet managed to estimate all of the economic losses that were produced by COVID-19, but most of the economies in the World Bank on IDB really expect that we are surprising trillions of dollars in the negative impacts that we have. So if, for instance, when we talk about the frequency of climate-related hazards, just to give you an example, in the Caribbean. We talk notably about the hurricanes, the hurricane season, hurricane is called the star. But the most deadly impact in the Caribbean region in terms of people that were dead was the earthquake in Haiti, was a geological hazard. And the most economic impact that we have in the Caribbean region was all of the negative impacts of COVID-19. So even if we have a preeminence to talk about the climate-related hazards, we have to deal with other hazards that are also affecting populations, our industries, our commerce, our ports. So we, on this multi-hazard perspective, already the Coalition for Disaster Resilience Infrastructure has been making some estimations about how we're going to have really absolute and relative expected average annual losses by regions and sectors. And if you see in purple, here in this graphic that was prepared by the colleagues of the coalition, we see that there is a lot of expectations in all of the regions of having billions of dollars on losses if we really do not invest on really more mitigation, adaptation, preparedness, and on disaster risk reduction in all of the regions. In purple, you have what is going to be for ports and the industry of the supply chain. But then we have a lot of estimated in terms of infrastructure, in terms of other specific elements that will be very important like water and sanitation. So we also have the cascading impacts. So when we are talking about the impacts of disasters in ports or in the supply chain, and I was very happy to see the presentation of Dr. Baker from the university, we have other specific elements that are cascading and producing more impacts on the way how these disasters are impacted. Mr. Telemaque mentioned and Mr. Rafters were about the shortage of essential workers. So normally then we have a specific impact, you know, truck drivers that are important for supply chains, local debris removal contractors, factory workers, logistics personnel, utility workers. people that are in charge of development contracts are lacking. Why? Because we don't have or we haven't been prepared for contingency planning that would allow that in the case of an event we can understand what will be our plan B, C, D and E in case that we will not have the specific people that we will have there. In the Caribbean region and text to CDEMA as Mr. Telemaque has mentioned, this is something that based on the terrible experience that we have in the past, we have been working with the leader of CDEMA in order to do that. Similarly, we have the disruption of medical supply chain, and this is something that affects everybody's people, everybody's in all of the world, how they can access to medical supplies, to the different components to produce the different elements of the medicine that they will need, and of course a lack of food. So there are cascading impacts of things that happen when disasters impact ports and supply chains. Not only for instance in the case of the Caribbean where we are heavily dependent on food importations, if we have an issue on the related to the ports we can be affected, not only the port itself, but as well the food security of our countries. So what is what we have been trying to do collectively all around the world since the 2015 agenda? One of the things is really on the main 2030 agendas where we have the sustainable development goals, the climate agreement of the Paris Agreement, we have also the same day framework for disaster risk reduction. And this same day framework is kind of a pathway on which when we can start working together in order to build these resilience communities, resilient societies, the resilience business that we would like to have. And here we have different targets that are very inspirational, like reducing damage, debt, economic losses, and other ones that are more really pragmatical, like really ensure that cooperation. We were mentioned today about the need for partnership. But also, for instance, increase the ability to access to early warning systems. That this is something that in a way will be effective for building the resilience, of course. And also we have four priorities of actions that make a lot of sense in the way forward. And I hear today also in the presentation of Dr. Baker, you know, this important idea that people do not take decisions because they don't understand the risks that they are affecting. And that was very interesting to see, you know, why in the priorities of the Sendai framework, one of the first priorities that we have is really understanding disaster risk. Trying to understand what are the level of exposure that we have for different hazards. We have already assessed more than 302 hazards present in the world. So what are the level of our exposure to those particular hazards? And what are the level of vulnerability that we can have in the case that we will have a specific hazards impacting us? So vulnerability in terms of the physical vulnerability on ports, on supply chain. But also on social vulnerability on the people that depend of ports and change. The second priority is really more about organizing ourselves. Is really to strengthen disaster risk governance. So it's about really how we can work all together in order to ensure that when we understand that we are exposed to a specific risk, how we govern ourselves in order to ensure that the mitigation, prevention, adaptation measures are taken into place at a really mainstream in all of the sectors with a specific roles and responsibilities. And not only thinking on how we're going to react when something happens. Important but it's not only about that. The priority three is really talk about financing. How we're going to ensure financing all of these specific plans and strategies that we have managed to collectively organize in order to really reduce substantial risk. And the fourth priority is more about how we can really build back better. How we can really ensure disaster preparedness for effective response. How we can use early warning systems and how we know that there are part of the risk that we will be able to reduce. That is called the residual risk. So how we organize in the case of an event that impact us in order to really go back to our normal stage and really bounce back in a better stage than the stage that we were before. So I would like to give you some of the examples in terms of what we are trying to promote based on these priorities. On the first priority, really a better understanding of disaster and risk and really try to make clear that risk by definition really comprise of uncertainties. That we really need to understand that there is no zero risk is a concept that does not understand, that does not exist, sorry. That there are different attitudes toward risk and that risk as well as they were mentioned today is really always associated to decision-making processes. So if we improve our understanding in risk, we for sure will have more efficient and optimal decisions that we can make in a way not only to reduce the exposure to those specific hazards but I will to avoid creating new risk because sometimes the lack of decision or the lack of understanding makes that we don't do the necessary decisions that will be important. Last night by casualty I was watching a report on the TV concerning the negative effects, for instance, that crews are having on the health of population due to the specific combustible, the kerosene that they are using in some of the areas, for instance, in which there is no legislation about the kerosene that they need to use in the ports. So we see how the lack of information on the risk that they can produce on the specific health of people can produce another hazard that go more on the sector hazards. It is important also really to understand when we have this analysis of risk, what are the possible impacts, how often they occur and what actions can be taken in order to reduce and manage these specific actions. And also one of the things that we are promoting from UNDR is this understanding of the systemic risk. Mr. Rafter was mentioning already the example of Malawi where they were talking about really strengthening resilience through a systemic Thinking and I think that this is very important. We can not see hazards in an isolated manner We cannot see exposure in an isolated manner. We cannot see vulnerabilities in an isolated matter. The global connectivity that we have today is really Encouraged that we really understand all of the interconnections that we have between sectors, between hazards, between vulnerabilities, between exposures that we have. We are living in a world that really has a lot of interdependencies and creates more complexity. So we are passing from a world that was complicated to a world that is most complex and with all of these elements needs to be taken into consideration on decision-making process. In terms of the priority two and other things that we are doing is really strengthening and supporting regional entities like CDIMA, but other ones all around the world and nations in order to ensure that they have the necessary frameworks for planning for disaster risk reductions and for planning for national adaptation plans. We see this morning the colleague from IDB was mentioned the importance of national adaptation plans and the importance to have a strategy and the importance is to have a policy. Because at the end if we collectively as nations or as a region we don't identify what are our priorities and what are the areas that we need to work. It's very difficult to bring funding. That is the elements that we would like after that and to coordinate the actions that we would like to implement in order to reduce disaster risk and be adapt to the climate change. And we have good cases. For instance this is the case of Jamaica and St. Lucia on which one vote the development of national adaptation plans countryward programs that are national strategies for disaster reduction. I really integrated the elements of resilience of force within the plans as a good element of adaptations. The issue that those elements are included in the National Adaptation Plans make it easier that they could access to green climate funding and that they can start developing these actions in order to strengthen their ports and the supply chain in their countries. Consider to the priority trees that is on disaster financing, disaster reduction financing, it is important that we not only work from the perspective of the managers of ports or of the different sectors that you are dealing on the job acception. Normally when we talk about financing networks most of the people think about the insurance that they will need to recover my sector, to ensure that I will be protected but after the job. But we sometimes tend to forget on the decision making process about the need for financing for really implement activities that will be substantial and reduce the risk, that will prevent the disasters that will happen, that will limit the damage. So we need to have a combination of risk reduction financing and job acceptance products and not only those job acceptance products that comes with insurance, etc. And just to give you a figure, in the case of disaster risk reduction and based on the official development assistance, we see that the priorities sometimes try to be the same like we have at the national level. So for instance, if we see the official development assistance for disaster risk reduction, we don't get at least, we don't get not even the 1% on investments that goes there. If we combine this with the funding that goes for adaptation to climate change, we really are talking about kind of 6%, 6% and a half, sorry, like 6% and a half percent of the investments that we are doing for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptations. Because we have this bad attitude to provide the funding or to really organize ourselves in terms of funding when the disaster has already happened. And we really need, as many people have mentioned today, to really ensure that we invest today on reducing disaster risk in order to avoid to pay 7, 14, up to 21 times more on the reconstruction and recovery aspects of disaster. So this is something that we would like to bring to your attention. And last but not least, concerning the four priorities, another element that we are working together and that we are working in every single country and with the regions, for instance, we see the implementation of the Early Warnings for All initiative. And why is this important, the Early Warnings for All initiative? Because early warnings are tangible elements of adaptation and disaster risk reduction. They have different components, like the understanding of risk that I already mentioned. If you are exposed to that risk, you need to have a system that helps you to observe, monitor, and forecast the possibility that a hazard triggers a disaster, that you have the possibility also to disseminate the warning, to ensure redundancy, and to ensure that people, communities, business, different sectors, and notably institutions, take action. And for that, we can really be prepared and have the capacities to respond. And the early warning systems will bring some applications for ports and supply chains. For instance, they can provide personal safety to the people that are working on the ports, to the people that work on the supply chain elements. Also situation awareness, we can start initiating responses before the impact. We don't need to weigh the impact in order to start implementing contingency planning to try to see where we need to isolate specific products, specific elements. And also they provide the possibility to have automated control, notably in the case of airquakes, in order to slow, stop, and isolate elements that can create more disaster and can trigger other disasters like fires, et cetera. So I think that the early warning for all is an initiative that on which one we will need to be all together behind in order to ensure the resilience, of course, of the supply chain. So I just would like to finish with a with a final reflection that I would like to bring for you. Notably, one of the big issues that we have from the disaster risk reduction community and the climate change adaptation is that sometimes in some countries these two elements that should be transversal and thinking as a sectorial. So we think disaster risk reduction at the guy of the National Disaster Risk Management organization that is there, only that I need to call him before the hurricane season starts or before or when a disaster is to happen. And we need to try to give more political and financial power to these entities, to the National Disaster Risk Management organizations in each of the countries to mainstream disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation within all of the sectors, but also at the level to become a priority. The second reflection is to take the advantage, for instance, of the Antigua and Barbuda action for SEADS. On which one the issue of resilience prosperity that the colleague from UNOPS was mentioned this morning is at the core of the SEADS. And what is the resilience prosperity? It's really bringing together climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and economic prosperity in a single element of resilient prosperity. To try to understand that there is no development if we don't ensure the substantial reduction of risk. We saw that, for instance, with the earthquake of Haiti. 25 years. We estimate that 25 years of investments of development came down because of the earthquake. Same with climate change adaptation. There is not sustainable development. There is not resilience prosperity if we don't adapt our societies to the major crisis that is coming. And I'm waiting for your attentions and thank you for listening to me.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you very much for this rounding off, if you will, the session. We've been here now, please, this is your seat. We have been here together and I thank you very much for your interest and for your stamina because you did stay. That is very much appreciated, but we've been here together for three hours now, basically, and we have only touched upon things, as you can see. I mean, we've covered a lot of ground, but we've really only touched upon it. I'm not going to say stay longer in the room, but it just gives you an inkling of how much work there is to do to actually get prepared. And you know, in terms of the key messages that I have been drawing as I'm listening along, as I say, there's some things that are, we sort of reiterate them, but at the same time, one message that comes to me, at least, is, because you mentioned also COVID, yes, it's true there are multi-hazards and that's important, extremely important to bear in mind. The framework here is the supply chain disruption, but what we also collectively have to bear in mind, the cautionary tale that COVID gave us, because if you remember, it was a pandemic, but one vast, I mean, how I'm going to put it, we were all in it. Everybody remembers this. One reason we were really in deep trouble was because there was no protective equipment. We had no masks anywhere in the world. We had no whatever protective equipment for the nurses, for the medics, et cetera. And the Swiss have a pandemics plan, a flu pandemics plan, which was entitled preceding. the pandemic, the COVID pandemic, which was entitled A Failure to Prepare is Preparing for Failure, which is very, very pertinent, is very pertinent to the context that we're discussing here as well. So we do know ports and the whole supply chain is absolutely critical for, you put it very well, sustainable development, all of it, for economic activity, for medical supplies, for everything. In the disaster context, you cannot do anything without, and you made the point as well, for example, to partner, to make sure that you maximize the efficiency of supply chains by making this port network to respond. There are many, many approaches to pursue. If we fail to do that, longer term, collectively, then the cost of inaction, both in economic terms, in developmental terms, in human terms, in social costs, is actually unfathomable. And I think this is a very important lesson and an important message that we somehow need to convey, to project out there. Because what we have observed is that these types of topics, yes, here in the region they're more appreciated as important because you are in a zone here where disasters, natural disasters, shall we say, are, you're in a disaster-prone area. But it is not given the attention it deserves. So if we wait for all these impacts of climate change, of increasing intensity, frequency, we've heard this, you know, there's unprecedented developments in some of the trends that are being, in the projections. So the question is, what are we going to do about it? If we don't address it in time. We're going to have, I mean, unfathomable consequences. I mentioned earlier it's not even insurable, it's not even a matter of who pays. It's not insurable at all by anybody. So with that, from my side, I would just like to say as a call for action, really, for everybody to go back into the areas of activity and to take this with you and see where this matters and what can be done to help along. And as for this particular group, I mean, I thought we had fantastic panels and I hope you agree with that. I would very much like to keep up the dialogue. We hope maybe we can put something together that we actually get together in, I don't know, a month or something like that and see if there are any things we do wish to follow up on. And from my side, I would be happy to leave it here. It's not that I don't want to open the floor for questions, answers, but you all know the time it is. So I would be very happy if there is somebody who would like to ask something, make a comment, don't want to prevent this. And similarly, if I may, maybe to give the panelists the possibility just sort of in a final word, if you will, these last panelists who are here, if that's all right with you, I think that would be a good ending. So shall we start with you, Jair?

Jair Torres:
Thank you, Regina. I think that you have already summarized most of the elements that are here. I believe that it is important to work collectively on really ensure that we are creating a more resilient individuals, communities, business sectors, and institutions, and this can be done if we really collaborate with other sectors and have the prominent. give, as I mentioned, the political power to these national disaster risk management coordinators to ensure that collectively with all of the sectors we reduce disaster risk and really ensure climate change adaptation.

Elizabeth Riley:
Thank you, Regina. So just two things from me. I think the first point is on partnerships, because the partnerships are absolutely key to delivering resilience, and not just with the ports themselves, but also with the private sector partners. I see my colleague Jennifer from Tropical Shipping is here, and they have been really critical in really demonstrating on how the private sector can support the efforts as well, and it's really a collaborative effort. And then the second point I want to close on is about just creating the spaces for the engagement. And I was really struck with a point that Darwin made about how 2017 really transformed the perspective of the importance of the ports on the national mechanisms.

Sean Rafter:
I think I'll just put out there that as a foundation we're willing to be that first partner. We want to engage on looking at specific problems, and we're more than happy to engage both on an academic level, on a technical assistance and capacity training. So we're more than happy to be first partner for you to engage with.

Darwin Telemaque:
Thank you. I'll just say that we are all exposed as islands. We all have to work together. We must care for each other. I live on an island that rescued me in 1979. So Antigua. When Dominica was destroyed by Hurricane David in 1979, Antigua, where I now work, I don't work there, I'm paying back for what they did for me in 79. They rescued me then. And in 2017, I rescued my daughter from Dominica in Antigua. Islands should love each other, care for each other, and we are grateful for the support that we each give. One last point. We should also ensure that CDEMA is well-funded and that we don't expose CDEMA only when the trouble comes, but that it has what it needs to build the resilience and the capacity to respond to our needs when the time comes.

DT

Darwin Telemaque

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165 words per minute

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2740 words

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999 secs

ER

Elizabeth Riley

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153 words per minute

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1894 words

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743 secs

JT

Jair Torres

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178 words per minute

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1314 secs

RA

Regina Asariotis

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152 words per minute

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2075 words

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819 secs

SR

Sean Rafter

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2130 words

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893 secs