A SHIFT from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention is what is required to effectively address disasters.
Provincial Development and Disaster Management permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu made the comment as he officially opened a training on disaster recovery planning.
"There are hazards in Pacific Island countries that pose risks, but risks can be managed and we can learn to live with them," said Lt-Col Seruiratu in his address to about 40 professionals working in disaster recovery in Fiji and Samoa.
The participants come from a large cross section of government ministries and civil society organisations involved in disaster recovery.
Some participants have worked in the aftermath of the tsunami in Samoa and floods and cyclones in Fiji.
According to a statement, the training aims to build the skills of professionals oriented towards resilient recovery and enhance their capacity to minimise the impact of disasters.
It also aims to strengthen partnerships and improve knowledge in managing recovery programs, and share lessons learned from prior global/regional and national experiences.
"This workshop is an opportunity for us to have an account of the best practices from around the world based on lessons learnt from the wealth of experiences for successful nations," Lt-Col Seruiratu said.
"Through them we can be able to formulate good recovery plans that meet the requirement and conditions needed by donors to finance them."
The training has been organised by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the lnternational Recovery Platform (lRP) and supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It is part of the European Union-funded project "Strengthening Region-based Capacities in Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning".