About Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI)
The Cook Islands is highly vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards that can lead to disasters. Disasters can result in short and long term devastating social, economic and environmental consequences which can set back the country’s hard won development progress.
We are of course no strangers to this having over the years experience the impacts of cyclones. Coupled with this is the ever present threat of the adverse impacts of climate change. As a small island nation, climate change has the potential to significantly undermine our future as Cook Islanders living fulfilling lives in our islands and even the very survival of our islands. Furthermore, it is now recognized that development processes themselves can lead to the creation of new hazards if these of technological and health disasters such as oil spills, aircraft accidents, pandemics etc.
Therefore, for the Cook Islands, disaster risk reduction and management and climate change are development issues which cannot be viewed independently of the economic, social, environmental and cultural components of development. Our approach therefore, combines a high state of preparedness from our emergency services to respond to disasters (disaster management) with an on-going investment in activities that reduce the risk and vulnerability of our economy and our communities (disaster reduction) by learning to adapt to the changing climate and building our resilience to natural and man-made hazards.
This approach seeks to integrate Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) with Disaster Risk Management (DRM) so as to maximize synergies and avoid overlaps. To achieve this we will implement an ‘all hazards’, ‘whole of government’, ‘no regrets’ approach with key agencies coordinating closely with relevant stakeholders and our communities.
The role of EMCI is to strengthen Cook Islands resilience to the threats of disasters and climate change to achieve sustainable livelihoods.
- Build resilience through effective disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
- Facilitate and coordinate response and recovery from natural disasters.