Speaker Profile

Gerardo Huertas
Costa Rica
Animal Disaster Risk Reduction Consultant
LinkedIn
Haiti 2010-Post Earthquake Operation for Animals | PREPVET, Disaster Risk Management for Animals - an online course.

Mr. Huertas presents two informative sessions at GADMC2021: *** Haiti 2010-Post Earthquake Operation for Animals *** In 2010 and after a few confusing moments, the capital of Haiti woke up to a dust cloud and nearly a quart of a million dead. Dead and injured animals were plenty, but the earthquake brought with it a cascade of further misfortunes in the farm animal sector, which coupled with a crippled government, rushed the country even further into poverty and despair. A coalition of 20 odd NGOs was formed to better represent the animals in the aftermath, to work in coordination with the local government and the UN, and a team formed to implement rescue, relief, rehabilitation and risk with action measures worth well over $1 million and for well over a year in the field. Conditions were challenging, so much so that project managers came and went, suffering the strains of the challenge, but at the end several unique strands of work were put together to help champion advance animal health, Animal Welfare, Disaster preparedness and risk reduction, and in general, bring hope for the future. Over 70,000 animals were treated directly during this operation. *** PREPVET, Disaster Risk Management for Animals - an online course *** This online course, available in three languages and endorsed by the UN GETI, is the only one of its kind, and a product of decades of experience teaching veterinary students disaster risk management for animals in three continents. Born originally in an alma mater in Costa Rica, it was soon spread to Mexico and South America, and shortly followed to SE Asia and northern Africa. Eventually, and to reach more animals and their owners and caretakers, the course was turned into an online resource, calculate to last a couple of months, and now tailored for the Academia, Ministries of Agriculture, Civil Defence Dptms, INGOS such as the Federation of the Red Cross Societies, and finally the private sector (farm animal industry). One of the the private sector examples is currently PORKCOLOMBIA (Federation of pig producers in Colombia) 🇨🇴 PrepVet stands over three main pillars: I.- Disaster management and risk reduction tools for animals II.- Adaptation to climate change for animals III.- Disaster response (fundamentals of technical rescue and relief) for animals. The wealth of information accumulated over more than half a century was included in the form of a myriad of case studies from around the world, ranging from alpaca at 5000 m of altitude in Bolivia, down to the Sahara camels in Africa, with a focus on farm and companion animals everywhere else in the world.

Gerardo has master’s degrees in Biology, Human Resources, and higher studies in Law, Project Management, Coaching & Mentoring. He has published on different topics and genres. An
avid sportsman, Gerardo lives in Costa Rica with his family and his dog Frankie.

He led eight of the best veterinary rescue teams in eight offices in three continents around the world, championing animals and World Animal Protection at numerous Global Conferences for Disaster Risk Reduction.

In 2015, the organisation he worked for achieved helped achieve the historic decision to include farm & working animals as essential assets for the protection of livelihoods at the UN Sendai Framework for DRR, and in 2020, it reached the 8 million mark of animals rescued or provided relief in the wake of disasters, plus hundreds of millions influenced by the lobbying and advocacy efforts of his teams.

Gerardo’s experienced teams developed best practices for technical rescue and coordination,
including during COVID-19. He led relief operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan for war-affected
animals; in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami; in the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and others, as well as
volcanic eruptions in the island of Montserrat, Chaiten in Chile, Merapi in Indonesia, and Fogo Island
in Cape Verde, Africa. The work of his program in droughts and floods was features in several
publications; In 2020, he was in charge of the emergency response in the Brazilian Amazon wildfires and traveled to the Australian bushfires to assist in the rehabilitation operation.

He led research and risk reduction processes for animals in three continents for nearly four decades,
and created the one of a kind PrepVet online training course, aimed at veterinarians and animal
science professionals for management, risk reduction, and adaptation to climate change.

Gerardo has several publications on the subject matter, is the co-author of the acclaimed book Animal Welfare and Management in Natural Disasters, writes periodically on LinkedIn, and is currently
working on the second edition of his Sci Fi novel “Final Judgment.”