MGI partners with Dutch firm to strengthen coastal resilience

Jamaica’s Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI) has partnered with Dutch research firm, Deltares to strengthen coastal resilience in the Caribbean Region.

The Deltares-MGI partnership is expected to add to the economic investment potential of the region through research that enhances tourism, shipping, fisheries, and deep-sea exploration.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation was officially entered into on last week during Deltares 10-year anniversary celebration in Delft, Netherlands.

Deltares, an independent institute for applied research in the field of water and subsurface with their main focus being on deltas, coastal regions and river basins. They bring the latest in applied research to the Caribbean, aiming to improve the resilience of livelihoods, industries, and populations that rely on our coastal areas.

Given the increasing impacts of global warming – 2017 being one of the worst years in the region’s history with much loss of life and property from natural disasters – such a partnership is much-needed to facilitate long-term development and management of our coastal zone and resources.

Commenting on the recent partnership, Director of MGI, Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, Jr said “with most populations of Caribbean countries located in coastal areas (70 per cent of Jamaica’s population, for example, work or live in coastal communities), our resources remain exposed to direct threats from adverse effects of storm surge, tsunami, sea-level rise, beach erosion, and poor water quality. Deltares has proven its success in being a tremendous resource to the Governments of the Netherlands, other European countries and many others worldwide for coastal solutions.”

After 10 years in existence, the firm continues to expand its partnerships around the world by entering into this MoU such as this one with the MGI to foster common goals of developing scientific and technological cooperation, building human and technological capacity, and strengthening national and regional development.

“MGI is considered the ideal launch pad for Deltares in the Caribbean, given the Institute’s extensive practical experience in geospatial applications in many Caribbean countries, as well as the backing of the University of the West Indies as its parent, we stand to gain in translating climate change and related research into practical applications building on the collective work of the regional institution, Dr. Lyew-Ayee, Jr said.

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