OTTAWA, Ontario – September 26, 2017.  The 2017 hurricane season continues to profoundly impact millions of lives in the Caribbean. The region has experienced the tragic loss of life, as well as damage to settlements, infrastructure, local economies, and ecosystems. Recovery will be difficult, expensive, and take years in a vulnerable region with limited resources. Rebuilding homes, buildings, and communities will require the collective dedication of professionals with a wide range of skills and experience, as well as direct funding support from many parts of the world.
Canada has a deep friendship with the nations of the Caribbean. We share bonds through culture, family, trade, and travel. CIP has a long-standing relationship with the Caribbean Planners Association, with whom we have shared knowledge and worked together to advance the practice of planning in the Caribbean for many years through professional work on a voluntary or contractual basis, as well as through internships.  
CIP values its role in advancing the practice of planning in Canada and globally and is actively identifying how our organization can assist with the current crisis. We recognize that our members feel a tremendous sense of duty to offer support and assist in rebuilding communities impacted by disaster. CIP is also working collaboratively with our international networks, including the Commonwealth Association of Planners, which share our concerns and motivations to help.
CIP would like to recognize and applaud the federal government’s contribution to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and Red Cross to support the immediate humanitarian crisis. We further encourage the Government of Canada to assume a leadership role in international efforts to support reconstruction over the coming months and years. 
Climate change and extreme weather events are increasingly placing acute stress on communities, which necessitates the need to plan smarter. In this context, planners have an essential role to contribute to development and redevelopment efforts, with expertise in evaluating and planning for mitigation of future risks and adaptation strategies. Looking forward, Canadian planners welcome collaboration with our Caribbean colleagues to foster and build resilience from future disasters.
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