DUSHANBE, May 31, 2011, Asia-Plus -- On May 30, a delegation of Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CES) of Tajikistan completed its official exchange visit hosted by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and British Columbia Emergency Management Authorities (EMA), Oxfam in Tajikistan reports.

The delegation headed by the CES head Latipov was warmly welcomed by the President of the JIBC Mr. Jack McGee and its executive team.

Widely accredited, the Justice Institute of British Columbia is Canada’s leading public safety educator – a dynamic, post-secondary institution recognized nationally and internationally for continuous improvement and innovative education in the areas of justice and public safety.  For more than 20 years, the JIBC Emergency Management Division has been training Canada’s public safety and emergency management leaders.

During this visit the Tajikistan delegation was introduced to Canadian Emergency management systems and legislations, as well as to various models and innovative approaches in disaster prevention, response and recovery practiced by emergency management educators and authorities in Canada.  The delegates received a theoretical introduction to the principles and practices of the Incident Management Systems and explored standard practices of the Emergency Operation Centers at various levels.

Addressing his Canadian colleagues, Latipov commented “JIBC is a model for multi-agency and cross-sector public safety training. The institution uses models that provide strategic, tactical and practical elements, which are highly important for all emergency response professionals. We hope to adapt and replicate some of the JIBC models we’ve seen in training of our responders and emergency management staff in Tajikistan.  This is a great opportunity for both sides to build strong and lasting linkages and collaborative networks”.

The delegation visited Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for the city of Vancouver, as well as the Emergency Management Office for the province of British Columbia, where the delegates observed live emergency operations center’s capabilities during planning and response phases. The delegates were also invited to look at the operations of the BC Emergency dispatch system which combines fire, police and ambulance services and operated by E-Comm.  Both Vancouver EOC and E-Comm located in the City of Vancouver Emergency management building, which boasts its resistance to earthquakes, that measure 7.0 on the Richter scale, constructed for uninterrupted operations during a major earthquake.

Latipov and the delegates were also interested to know how the Canadian Emergency Authorities engaged with the civil society organizations on the issues of public outreach, disaster preparedness and response. Meetings were held with local non-government organizations such as Salvation Army and learned about the work of the local emergency volunteers of Port Coquitlam.

This 4-day visit the CES delegation to Canada facilitated by Oxfam in Tajikistan.  A senior official from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan was also part of this official delegation as one of Oxfam partners in a disaster risk reduction project in the Caucasus region.

The exchange visit was part of the planned activity of Oxfam’s DIPECHO 6 project.  In 2010 Oxfam launched a 15 months project (ECHO/DIP/BUD/2010/02005) “Strengthening participatory multi-hazard preparedness in East Khatlon and nationally in Tajikistan” financed by the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid.  The project has a number of components that aim to build the CES capacities at regional and national levels.