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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Wednesday announced it had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US-based Esri, which describes itself as the global leader in location intelligence.

A statement by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said that under the agreement, Esri software will help CARICOM develop a foundational geospatial information platform so it can better understand and solve societal problems related to the region’s economy, sustainability, and quality of life, as well as manage and respond to disasters.

“The overarching theme of the RSDS is to build resilience in CARICOM, which requires the strengthening of statistical systems to enable the production of geographic-based data that can ensure that development reaches all CARICOM peoples,” said Dr. Philomen Harrison, the director of Regional Statistics at the Secretariat.

“CARICOM is highly appreciative of this support that is being provided and assures Esri of its commitment to achieving results,” she added.

CARICOM that the region is particularly susceptible to natural disasters, and many of the member states have been severely impacted by hurricanes in the last two years. It said some of the countries have suffered major socio-economic impacts, and also face challenges related to understanding where services need to be established to aid citizens.

“CARICOM is dedicated to understanding how to best grapple with sustainability and resilience, specifically as it pertains to the economy and disaster response,” said Linda Peters, Esri global business development manager.

“The complex challenges faced by the Caribbean region require deep geographic insight, and we are happy to assist by providing the tools necessary to address these issues.”

Chairman and chief executive officer of Spatial Innoivision Limited, ESRI’s Caribbean distributor, Dr. Silburn St. Aubyn Clarke said “this agreement presents a novel partnership framework for ESRI and Spatial to collaborate with CARICOM to develop the region’s human talent to be world-class innovators in one of the foundational sciences of the fourth industrial revolution; geospatial technologies.

“We are extremely happy to co-create these various future opportunities for the ultimate benefit of our CARICOM citizenry,” said Clarke.

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