PRiMO (Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana) is a consortium of local, national, and
regional agencies, institutions, and organizations committed to enhancing the resilience of Pacific communities to hazards. Through PRiMO our partners are working together to increase collaboration on development, delivery, and application of risk management information, products, and services for Pacific communities while cultivating an appreciation for the unique physical and cultural characteristics of the region.
PRiMO is based on a mutual recognition of the benefits of collective action. Activities are characterized by shared leadership and shared resources. PRiMO partnerships have improved product development and service delivery, strengthened the regional capacity to manage hazard risks, and resulted in significant cost savings by minimizing duplication of effort and improving efficiency. PRiMO began in 2003 as an effort to simply explore opportunities to enhance communication and collaboration among the ‘ohana, or family, of local, national, and regional agencies, institutions, and organizations involved in risk management in the Pacific. PRiMO has since transformed into a true collaborative effort governed by a coordinating council of Navigators. These key representatives from the region provide leadership, resources, and policy guidance to PRiMO as well as seek institutional support for PRiMO from within their respective organizations.
PRiMO is comprised of working groups (huis) that bridge the information gap between service providers, decision makers, and other stakeholders. Current focus areas include; Risk Assessment and Planning, Communications, Education and Training, Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment (IKE), and Information Access and Geospatial Technology.
In 2003, the first Federal Hazard Mitigation Partners in the Pacific Islands (FHMPPI) Roundtable I, was held in Honolulu, HI, March 11-12, 2003. This meeting brought federal risk management stakeholders together to explore opportunities to enhance partnerships.
Due to the resounding success a second FHMPPI Roundtable was held again in Honolulu, HI on March 16-18, 2004. This meeting lead to specific and concrete actions to sustain the emergence of comprehensive risk management for the region. These actions included:
- Creation of an organizational framework based hazard themes:
1) Seismic, Volcanic, & Tsunami;
2) Climate & Weather; and
3) Human Induced Risks
- Creation of the huis (working groups)
- Identification of hui priority actions
- Activation of the Navigators Council to develop a regional action plan and provide policy guidance
From this framework the Pacific Risk Management 'Ohana (PRiMO) was born and in 2005 the first Annual Meeting was held in Kailua-Kona on March 15-17, 2005. This meeting confirmed the need for a more formal partnership in the region and set future priorities for the huis.
The second Annual Meeting was held in 2006 on Kaua'i on March 15-17, 2006. As a result of recent catastrophes such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, PRiMO chose to focus their risk management initiatives on building resilience at the community level and huis identified opportunities to work more closely together to this end.
In 2007, the Annual Meeting was held in Kihei, Maui on March 14-16, at the Pacific Disaster Center. Over 50 participants shared ways to improve the development and delivery of risk-management information products and services in the Pacific.
The 2008 PRiMO Annual Meeting was back in Honolulu, held in March 11-14. The 2008 Annual Meeting provided an opportunity to renew commitment to PRiMO's mission: Building Partnerships for Resilient Communities in the Pacific. The 2008 meeting also brought a significant increase in participation with the inclusion of representatives from other jurisdictions around the Pacific.
In 2009, PRiMO transitioned its Annual Meeting from every March to every other March. In the interim years PRiMO partners will be supporting more issue and outcome focused meetings in jurisdictions across the region.
The first of these interim meetings was held in Tumon, Guam on March 18-19, 2009. This focused meeting brought in many new members to discuss coastal inundation hazards and what information needs, gaps and actions were needed to create more resilient communities.
In 2010, PRiMO was back in Honolulu, held in March 16 to 19, 2010 and include a professional development workshop and introduced the NOAA Coastal Storms Program into the Pacific Region.
The 2011 Partners Meeting held in Pago Pago, American Samoa brought together 130 participants from 65 agencies across 7 Pacific Islands to discuss "Recovery on the Path to Resilience". This event featured workshops provided by the National Disaster Preapredness Training Center (NDPTC) and the NOAA Office for Coastal Management.
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