Island Vulnerability explores the challenges which isolated geographies face when dealing with risk and disasters by examining the processes which create, maintain, and could be used to reduce their vulnerability. This page provides information on the Caribbean:
This page provides information specifically related to vulnerability (including risk, disasters, and sustainability), rather than general information such as travel details, country profiles, government websites, or history. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive, but is indicative of the vulnerabilities which islands experience and how sustainable solutions might be developed and implemented. The publications listed reflect those in the library of Island Vulnerability.
Some Caribbean Region Websites
The old headquarters of the Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA), the predecessor of Caribbean Conservation.
Some Caribbean Region References
Antigua and Barbuda
"Like all who live on small islands,
Southwest Coast of Barbados
Historic Hazard Events for Barbados, compiled by Bryan J. Boruff as of 2006.
Commentary by Ilan Kelman on 3 January 2003:
The Perry paper is interesting in its thorough treatment of the impacts of storms on coral reefs in Barbados. I have not yet found a similar paper examining the impacts of storms, or lack thereof, on the people of Barbados.
When I was Barbados in the late 1990s, mentioning hurricanes frequently produced the refrain "God is Bajan", i.e. God is from Barbados and protects the island from hurricanes. Yet many Trinidadians suggested "God is Trini" which is why Trinidad is immune to hurricanes. Aside from the deity's obvious nationality crisis, storms which had hit only two generations previously had been completely forgotten.
Barbados was tested in 2002 by Tropical Storm / Depression Lili. Reports from Bajans were consistent about zero fatalities and widespread but not devastating damage. Nevertheless, they gave mixed reviews regarding the people's and authorities' reactions. Criticisms did not clearly indicate a different behaviour or attitude than witnessed in other Caribbean islands which are more frequently visited by storms. As well, perhaps the people had been lulled into complacency by Chantal the year before, even though the authorities did not seem to be.
To comment credibly on Barbados' vulnerability, more formal investigations would have to have been completed at the time. Or we might gain such studies retrospectively after the next big hurricane passes over the island. Which asks the question again: does a study exist on the vulnerability of Bajans to hurricanes or are we left reading about coral reefs?
Overlooking Port Maria and the north coast of Jamaica, taken from Firefly Hill.
St. Kitts and NevisSome Resources:
This project examines how disaster management policies are conceived and articulated through international, regional and national institutions. By researching the personalities, power relationships, networks and institutional cultures, we can understand how disaster policies are formulated and transformed as they filter down the institutional hierarchy. One such approach to reducing the impact of disasters is 'disaster mainstreaming', a suite of measures that encourages the marriage of disaster and sustainable development planning within organisations, whether governmental or non-governmental. This concept and its application through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency's (CDERA) Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) project, provides the case study for my research. By working three internship periods to obtain a perspective from within institutions (national scale: Montserrat / St. Kitts & Nevis, regional scale: CDERA, Barbados) and by interviewing key actors in international donor organisations and academic departments, I can discover how the idea of 'disaster mainstreaming' has been translated from academic discourse into policy in Caribbean islands. Questions include:
To monitor how successfully Caribbean islands are internalising disaster mainstreaming, I have developed an analytical framework using twenty subjective indicators with associated grading criteria. This allows progress, or lack of it, to be measured and may help to identify which islands need the most assistance. The initial development of this framework was a product of my first phase of fieldwork in Montserrat and St. Kitts, which allowed the indicators to be tested and modified. Consulting CDERA, national policy officers, practitioners and community groups on the respective Caribbean islands during my second phase of fieldwork will help to develop the indicators further. These indicators will provide a tool for researchers, project officers, politicians and community activists, who need to understand and monitor how advanced disaster management policies are in specific localities.
Simpson, K. and J.B. Shepherd. 2001 (July). Volcanic-hazard assessment for St. Kitts, Lesser Antilles. Seismic Research Unit, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
Nevis until it goes into the darkness, 11 November 1991 (Copyright James Lewis).
Risk education in St. Lucia
Les Pitons, St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grendadines
Trinidad and TobagoSome Resources:
The material on the Island Vulnerability website is provided as only an information source. Neither definitive advice nor recommendations are implied. Each person or organisation accessing the website is responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed and are strongly advised to verify all information. No liability will be accepted for loss or damage incurred as a result of using the material on this website. The appearance of external links on this website does not constitute endorsement of the organisations, information, products, or services contained on that external website.