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Island Vulnerability


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

    Caribbean Disaster Information Network at UWI Mona
    "CARDIN, in collaboration with its partners, seeks to provide a new and dynamic approach to accessing and disseminating disaster related information in a manner that adequately prepares and minimizes the effect of disasters in the Caribbean Region. This will be achieved through the collection, indexing and dissemination of disaster information to produce a comprehensive database which encompasses the English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking Caribbean."

  • Caribbean Conservation
    "Caribbean conservation is a movement powered by many organizations, who focus on the natural resources that exist within the ring of islands that make up the Caribbean community. It strives to protect the coral reefs, the wildlife, the islands themselves and works to change the dependency on fossil fuels so that the communities can begin to use more renewable energy."

  • CCA's old headquarters.

    The old headquarters of the Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA), the predecessor of Caribbean Conservation.
    (Copyright Ilan Kelman 1999)

    Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
    "The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change in the Caribbean. It is the official repository and clearing house for regional climate change data, providing climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean."

    Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
    "Facilitator, driver, coordinator and motivating force for the promotion and engineering of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in all Participating States. CDEMA's functions are as follows:
    (a) mobilising and coordinating disaster relief;
    (b) mitigating or eliminating, as far as practicable, the immediate consequences of disasters in Participating States;
    (c) providing immediate and coordinated response by means of emergency disaster relief to any affected Participating State;
    (d) securing, coordinating and providing to interested inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations reliable and comprehensive information on disasters affecting any Participating State;
    (e) encouraging - (i) the adoption of disaster loss reduction and mitigation policies and practices at the national and regional level; (ii) cooperative arrangements and mechanisms to facilitate the development of a culture of disaster loss reduction; and
    (f) coordinating the establishment, enhancement and maintenance of adequate emergency disaster response capabilities among the Participating States.

  • CEHI
    Caribbean Environmental Health Institute
    "The Institute exists for the purpose of ensuring that the Caribbean citizenry, both present and future are able to experience a long and healthy life."

  • CEIS
    Caribbean Energy Information System
    "A regional network among a group of Caribbean countries, committed to the pooling and exchange of energy information. Its databases of information provides support for energy sector use and development, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the national development objectives of participating countries."

    Caribbean Hazard Mitigation Capacity Building Programme
    "The project is seeking to enhance regional capacity to reduce vulnerability to the effects of natural hazards. This will be done through the development of national hazard mitigation policies and implementation programmes, the promotion of the wider use of hazard information in development decisions and the strengthening of safe building practices building training and certification. CHAMP activities will be carried out in the four pilot states of Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada and St. Lucia."

  • CRMI
    Caribbean Risk Management Initiative
    "An umbrella programme designed to build capacity across the Caribbean region for the management of climate-related risk."

    Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean / Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee
    A list of links with a Caribbean focus on "Natural and Environmental Disasters".

  • IDSD
    Information for Decision-Making for Sustainable Development for Caribbean Small Island Developing States
    "As a step towards addressing gaps in access to information for decision-making for sustainable development in the Caribbean, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) are collaborating on a one-year effort to be implemented in the Caribbean entitled 'Information for Decision-Making for Sustainable Development (IDSD) Project'. This website provides access to outputs from the IDSD Project. This includes the results gathered from assessment missions to the region, materials for a training course on information management, thought pieces and essays on approaches to information management, and a collection of best practices."

  • stormCARIB
    Caribbean Hurricane Network
    "find information, weather discussions and local reports regarding tropical systems threatening the Caribbean islands. A central part of this website is the network of special local hurricane correspondents, living on the islands, who will report, when need be, on how it looks and feels like around them."

Some Caribbean Region References

  • Anderson, M.G. and E. Holcombe. 2013. Managing Risk in Small Steps: Achieving Landslide Risk Reduction by Strategic Incrementalism in the Eastern Caribbean. Journal of International Development, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 147-159.

  • Cambers, G. 1997. "Beach Changes in the Eastern Caribbean Islands: Hurricane Impacts and Implications for Climate Change". Journal Of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 24 (Fall), pp. 29-47.

  • CARICOM. 1989. The Port of Spain Accord on the Management and Conservation of the Caribbean Environment. Issued by The First CARICOM Ministerial Conference on the Environment, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 31 May - 2 June 1989, full text (215 kb in PDF).

  • Caviedes, C.N. 1991. "Five Hundred Years of Hurricanes in the Caribbean: Their Relationship with Global Climatic Variabilities". GeoJournal, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 301-310.

  • CDERA. 2002. "Issues Paper: Climate Change and Disaster Management" prepared for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Brainstorming Workshop, 6-7 June 2002, Pommarine Hotel, Barbados. Prepared by CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) for the Organization of American States.

  • CDERA. 2002. Report of the Brainstorming Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change in Caribbean Disaster Risk Management, 6-7 June 2002, Pommarine Hotel, Barbados. Prepared by CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) for the Organization of American States.

  • CDERA. 2003. Adaptation to Climate Change and Managing Disaster Risk in the Caribbean and South-East Asia, Report of a Seminar, Barbados, 24-25 July 2003. Prepared by CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) for the Inter-American Development Bank.

  • Chin, M.W. 1997. "Possible Mitigation Strategies for Hurricanes and Earthquakes in the Caribbean". Pp. 88-95 in R. Ahmad (ed.) Natural Hazards and Hazard Management in the Greater Caribbean and Latin American, Publication No. 3, Unit for Disaster Studies, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica.

  • Corbin, C. 2013. "'There is no Green without Blue': An analysis of the importance of coastal and marine resources to the development of Green Economies by Caribbean SIDS". Caribbean Journal of International Relations & Diplomacy, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 47-59.

  • Day, S., C. Kilburn, and B. McGuire. 2008. Issues in Risk Science: Tectonic Threats in the Caribbean. Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, London, U.K.

  • Hammerton, J.L., C. George, and R. Pilgrim. 1984. "Hurricanes and agriculture: Losses and remedial actions". Disasters, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 279-286.

  • Jessamy, V.R. 2002. "Progression of Vulnerability of OECS States: A Historical Analysis of Root Causes". The Society for Caribbean Studies (UK) Annual Conference Papers, Volume 3.

  • Lewis, J. 1980. "Hurricane Damage". Nature, vol. 287, 9 October, p. 480.

  • Lewis, J. 1991. The development of school design and hazard resistance, construction training and curriculum infusion. Educational Architecture Unit, Caribbean Sub-Region, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation), full text (5,224 kb in PDF).

  • Lewsey, C., G. Cid, and E. Kruse. 2004. "Assessing climate change impacts on coastal infrastructure in the Eastern Caribbean". Marine Policy, vol. 28, pp. 393-409.

  • McGuire, W.J., M.C. Solana, C.R.J. Kilburn, and D. Sanderson. 2009. "Improving communication during volcanic crises on small, vulnerable islands". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, vol. 183, pp. 63-75.

  • McIntosh, C.E. 1984. "Methods of increasing food self-sufficiency following disasters in the commonwealth Caribbean". Disasters, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 273-278.

  • Mercer, J., I. Kelman, B. Alfthan, and T. Kurvits. 2012. "Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Integrating Local and External Knowledge". Sustainability, vol. 4, no. 8, pp. 1908-1932, full text (as a webpage).

  • Mossler, M. 1996. "Environmental Hazard Analysis and Small Island States: Rethinking Academic Approaches". Geographische Zeitschrift, vol. 84, issue 2, pp. 86-93.

  • O'Keefe, P. and C. Conway. 1977 (April). Natural Hazards in the Windward Islands. Bradford Disaster Research Unit Occasional Paper 14, University of Bradford, Bradford, U.K., full text (1,946 kb in PDF).

  • Poncelet, J.L. 1997. "Disaster Management in the Caribbean". Disasters, vol. 21, no. 3 (September), pp. 267-279.

  • Prevatt, D.O., G.M. Marcelle, I. Kelman, L.-A. Dupigny-Giroux and F.J. Masters. 2010. "On Reducing Hurricane Damage to Housing in the Caribbean Islands". Presentation and paper in the Proceedings of the 13th US-Japan Workshop on the Improvement of Structural Design and Construction Practices, Big Island, Hawai'i, U.S.A., 20-22 April 2010, abstract (8 kb in PDF)

  • Rasmussen, T.N. 2004. Macroeconomic Implications of Natural Disasters in the Caribbean, IMF Working Paper WP/04/224. IMF (International Monetary Fund), Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

  • Ratter, B.M.W. 1996. "Complex Resource Management - Requirements for Sustainable Development on Small Caribbean Islands". Geographische Zeitschrift, vol. 84, issue 2, pp. 114-124.

  • Reid, H.F.M., B. Birju, Y. Holder, J. Hospedales, T. Poon-King. 1990. "Epidemic scabies in four Caribbean islands, 1981-1988". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 84, no. 2, pp. 298-300.

  • Richardson, C.H. 1991. "Hurricane-borne African Locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) on the Windward Islands". GeoJournal, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 349-357.

  • Trotman, A., R.M. Gordon, S.D. Hutchinson, R. Singh, and D. McRae-Smith. 2009. "Policy responses to GEC impacts on food availability and affordability in the Caribbean community". Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 12, pp. 529-541.

  • Toulmin, L.M. 1987. "Disaster preparedness and regional training on nine Caribbean islands: A longterm evaluation". Disasters, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 221-234.

  • UNEP (M.C. Bernal, L.M. Londoño, W. Troncoso, P.C. Sierra-Correa, and F.A. Arias-Isaza). 2004. Caribbean Sea/Small Islands, GIWA (Global International Waters Assessment) Regional Assessment 3a. University of Kalmar, Sweden on behalf of UNEP.

  • UNEP (A. Villasol and J. Beltrán). 2004. Caribbean Islands, GIWA (Global International Waters Assessment) Regional assessment 4. University of Kalmar, Sweden on behalf of UNEP.

  • UNEP and SPREP PROE. 2005. Caribbean Environment Outlook. UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya.

Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda's Flag

Some Resources:

Barbados Barbados' Flag

"Like all who live on small islands,
I must always be remembering the sea."
From "Hymn to the sea" by Frank Collymore

Southwest Coast of Barbados

Southwest Coast of Barbados
(Copyright Ilan Kelman 1999)

Some Events:

Historic Hazard Events for Barbados, compiled by Bryan J. Boruff as of 2006.
(137 kb in Microsoft Word Format.)

  • 7 May 1902 5 mm of tephra falls on Bridgetown from the eruption of Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent.

  • 22 September 1955 Hurricane Janet.

  • 6 October 1976 CIA-backed agents place a bomb aboard a Cubana flight from Seawell International Airport in Barbados to Kingston, Jamaica. After the bomb explodes, the pilots try to return to Barbados for an emergency landing but smoke from the fire might have incapacitated them, although other accounts suggest that two bombs were on board. All 73 passengers and 5 crew on board are killed as the aircraft plunged into the sea. The CIA later helps the main bomber escape from a Venezuelan jail where he was being held on terrorism charges.

    Memorial to the Cubana terrorist victims at Paynes Bay on Barbados' west coast.

    Memorial to the Cubana terrorist victims at Paynes Bay on Barbados' west coast.
    (Copyright Ilan Kelman 1999)

  • 3-4 August 1980 Hurricane Allen.

  • 16-17 August 2001 Tropical Storm Chantal.

  • 23 September 2002 Tropical Storm / Depression Lili.

  • 7 September 2004 Hurricane Ivan.

Some Resources:

  • Belle, N. and B. Bramwell. 2005. "Climate Change and Small Island Tourism: Policy Maker and Industry Perspectives in Barbados". Journal of Travel Research, vol. 44, pp. 1-10.

  • DEM
    Department of Emergency Management
    "To develop, promote and maintain a comprehensive National Disaster Management Programme which will: Educate all citizens about the various elements of Disaster Management. Create appropriate mechanisms which will promote and advance Disaster Management activities at all levels of the society. Promote and institutionalize the practice of appropriate preventative and mitigation measure for all possible hazards. Promote the development and maintenance of effective warning, response and recovery plans for all sectors of the society.

  • Future Centre Trust
    "A charitable Non Governmental Organisation which focuses on the environment of Barbados and its resources and methods by which the community can take a greater role in conserving and preserving these resources for now and future generations."

  • Griffin, C.E. 2010. "Visitor Safety and Security in Barbados: Stakeholder Perceptions". Ara Journal of Tourism Research, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 104-114.

  • Hazard and Vulnerability Data for Barbados, digital spatial data collected or created by Bryan J. Boruff as of 2006.
    (40 kb in Microsoft Word Format.)

  • Nurse, L., A. Cashman, and J. Mwansa. 2012. "Confronting the Challenges of Sewerage Management in the Caribbean: A Case Study from the Island of Barbados". Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 30-43.

  • Perry, C.T. 2001. "Storm-induced Coral Rubble Deposition: Pleistocene Records of Natural Reef Disturbance and Community Response". Coral Reefs, vol. 20, pp. 171-183.

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?

Cuba Cuba's Flag

Some Resources:

Grenada Grenada's Flag

Some Resources:
  • Gibbs, T. 1998. Vulnerability Assessment of Selected Buildings Designated as Shelters: Grenada. Organization of American States, General Secretariat, Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment, Washington, D.C.

  • Global Volcanism Programme's entry for St. Catherine volcano.

  • Global Volcanism Programme's entry for Kick-'em-Jenny volcano.

  • Kutcher, S. and S. Chehil. 2008. "Application of a needs-driven, competencies-based mental health training program to a post-disaster situation: the Grenada experience". American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 235-240.

  • La Grenade, W. 2008. "Balancing Economic Development and Security: Tourism and HIV/AIDS (Grenada)". Social and Economic Studies, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 27-60.

  • OECS. 2004. Grenada: Macro-Socio-Economic Assessment of the Damages caused by Hurricane Ivan, September 7th, 2004. OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States), Castries, St. Lucia.

  • OECS. 2005 (August). Grenada: Macro-Socio-Economic Assessment of the Damage caused by Hurricane Emily, July 14th, 2005. OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States), Castries, St. Lucia.

  • Peters, E.J. 2010. "Impact of hurricane Ivan on Grenada water supply". Water Management, vol. 163, no. 2, pp. 57-64.

  • Schiøler, K.L. and C.N. Macpherson. 2009. "Dengue Transmission in the Small-Island Setting: Investigations from the Caribbean Island of Grenada". American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 280-286.

  • Walsh, D.P., G.R. Lammert, and J. Devoll. 1989. "The Effectiveness of the Advanced Trauma Life Support System in a Mass Casualty Situation by Non-Trauma Experienced Physicians: Grenada 1983." The Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 175-180.

Jamaica Jamaica's Flag

Some Resources:
  • Ahmed, S.F. 2008. An Examination of the Development Path Taken by Small Island Developing States: Jamaica a Case Study. Masters thesis from the Island Studies Programme, Faculty of Arts, The University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, download the full text (779 kB in pdf).

    Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are threatened by myriad of economic, environmental, and social issues, most of which are structural in nature and beyond the control of SIDS. To date, SIDS have collectively and unanimously endorsed only one policy document that comprehensively addresses these issues, and outlines a strategy that seeks to mitigate the vulnerabilities facing islands. This document is the 1994 United Nations Programme of Action on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (BPOA). However, close to a decade and a half after the implementation of the BPOA, SIDS continue to be extremely vulnerable to the issues identified in the blueprint for development; indicating that even though SIDS policy makers are acutely aware of the vulnerabilities and long-term threats facing their islands, there exists an inconsistency between the goals outlined in the development plans SIDS governments have collectively negotiated, drafted, and implemented; and the outcomes SIDS are collectively experiencing. In order to investigate this issue, this paper seeks to elucidate the ideological inconsistencies in the development process SIDS have embarked upon. By undertaking an analysis of the BPOA, it is shown that the concept of sustainable development has been conceived primarily through the lens of economic growth as a means to improve the quality of life for island peoples. To this end, we place particular emphasis on Jamaica's path towards development and document the islands ecological-history, as well as follow the major trends in Jamaica's economy, environment, and society since the islands independence, but particularly since the adoption of the BPOA. The central thesis of this paper is that SIDS are trapped into perpetuating a mode of development that is increasing their economic, environmental, and social vulnerabilities.

  • Attzs, M. 2008. Natural Disasters and Remittances: Exploring the Linkages between Poverty, Gender, and Disaster Vulnerability in Caribbean SIDS. UNU WIDER Research Paper No. 2008/61, UNU WIDER (United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research), Helsinki, Finland.

  • Barker, D. 1993. "Dualism and Disasters on a Tropical Island: Constraints on Agricultural Development in Jamaica". Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, vol. 84, no. 5, pp. 332-340.

  • Barker, D. and B. Spence. 1988. "Afro-Caribbean Agriculture: A Jamaican Maroon Community in Transition". The Geographical Journal, vol. 154, no. 2, pp. 198-208.

  • Bellingham, P.J., E.V.J. Tanner, and J.R. Healey. 1994. "Sprouting of Trees in Jamaican Montane Forests, after a Hurricane", Journal of Ecology, vol. 82, no. 4, pp. 747-758.

  • Berke, P., T. Beatley, and C. Feagin. 1991. Hurricane Gilbert Strikes Jamaica: Institutional Design Implications for Recovery and Development.. Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, U.S.A.

  • Berke, P., T. Beatley, and C. Feagin. 1991. Household Recovery Following Hurricane Gilbert: St. James and St. Thomas Parishes, Jamaica.. Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, U.S.A.

  • Blackburn, S. 2011. Governance of decentralised disaster management in Jamaica: Processes of empowerment and power-sharing across scales. Masters thesis from an MSc degree in Disasters, Adaptation & Development at King's College London, London, U.K., download the full text (1.9 MB in pdf).

    This research presents a case study of decentralised disaster risk governance in Portland, Jamaica. A 'zoning in' approach to understanding power relations was adopted, interviewing individuals in national government, local government and local communities. The innovative approach to processes across scales draws on contemporary literature on the politics of scale. This study indicates scalar processes of scale-jumping, partial participation and weak accountability explain the existence and reinforcement of power asymmetries between actors, rooted in the socio-political context. It argues attention to processes and agendas at all scales is necessary to fully understand the construction of realities at a single scale.

  • Blackburn, S. 2014. "The politics of scale and disaster risk governance: Barriers to decentralisation in Portland, Jamaica". Geoforum, vol. 52, pp. 101-112.

  • Carby, B.E. and R. Ahmad. 1985. "Vulnerability of Roads and Water Systems to Hydro-Geological Hazards in Jamaica". Built Environment, vol. 21, no. 2/3, pp. 145-153.

  • Clarke, G.R.G. and S.J. Wallsten. 2003 (January). Do Remittances Act Like Insurance? Evidence From a Natural Disaster in Jamaica. Development Research Group, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

  • Grove, K.J. 2013. "From Emergency Management to Managing Emergence: A Genealogy of Disaster Management in Jamaica". Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 103, no. 3, pp. 570-588.

  • Lewis, J. 1995. Project Identification and Equitable Development Planning for Vulnerability Reduction in Areas Affected by Natural Disasters and/or Civil Strife: Jamaica, Hurricane / Flooding / Earthquake, Environment and Community Development (Proposal) full text (1,734 kb in PDF).

  • Morris, K.-A.N. and M.T. Edwards. 2008. "Disaster Risk Reduction and Vulnerable Populations in Jamaica: Protecting Children within the Comprehensive Disaster Management Framework". Children, Youth and Environments, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 389-407.

  • Moser, C. and J. Holland. 1997. Urban Poverty and Violence in Jamaica. The World Bank, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

    Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
    "The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management is committed to taking pro-active and timely measures to prevent or reduce the impact of hazards on Jamaica, its people, natural resources and economy through its trained and professional staff, the use of appropriate technology and collaborative efforts with national, regional and international agencies."

  • Osei, P.D. 2007. "Policy responses, institutional networks management and post-Hurricane Ivan reconstruction in Jamaica". Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 217-234.

  • Østensvig, I. 2006. Interagency cooperation in disaster management: partnership, information and communications technology and committed individuals in Jamaica. Masters thesis at the Norwegian University Of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway, download the full text (3.0 MB in pdf).

    Jamaica, with its location in the Caribbean, yearly experiences hurricanes and flooding. Hurricane Ivan happened in 2004. This study examines the partnership and interagency cooperation in the disaster management system in Jamaica during Hurricane Ivan. The use of information and communications technology in this system was also studied. Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted of the involved agencies of the disaster management structures. A questionnaire with structured and open-ended questions was used to collect data at household level. This thesis describes the existing disaster management system in Jamaica, and the involvement of the international community. There is a national and parish level structure, with cooperation among key agencies in the varied specialised area. Popular trust in the system and the ability to prepare for action play important roles in the success of the disaster management. The time aspect and information sharing are key elements to the efficiency of operations. To some extent information and communications technology is used within the system for this purpose. This paper focuses on Red Cross' involvement at international, national and parish levels as well as examples of their partnership with private sector and community-based disaster response. This paper concludes that committed individuals within the system are needed to make the disaster management structure successful. There is also a need for training to improve the interagency cooperation and to utilise the available information and communications technologies. The experience from Jamaica shows that preparedness at community level can benefit the communities more than the disaster management system as such. Their success in community disaster preparedness, strengthen community and national self-esteem.

  • Overlooking Port Maria and the north coast of Jamaica, taken from Firefly Hill.

    Overlooking Port Maria and the north coast of Jamaica, taken from Firefly Hill.
    (Copyright Ina Østensvig 2003)

  • Thomas-Hope, E., H. Semple, and B. Spence. 2000. "Household structure, agrodiversity and agro-biodiversity on small farms in the Rio Grande Valley, Jamaica". PLEC News and Views, no. 15, pp. 38-44.

  • Woodley, J.D. 1980. "Hurricane Allen Destroys Jamaican Coral Reefs". Nature, vol. 287, 2 October, p. 387.

  • Wunderle, Jr., J.M., D.J. Lodge, and R.B. Waide. 1992. "Short-term Effects of Hurricane Gilbert on Terrestrial Bird Populations on Jamaica". The Auk, vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 148-166.

St. Kitts and Nevis St. Kitts and Nevis' Flag

Some Resources:

A sketch by James Lewis of Nevis at sunset

Nevis until it goes into the darkness, 11 November 1991 (Copyright James Lewis).

St. Lucia St. Lucia's Flag

Lazarus Funeral Home:  'We have your size, don't drink and drive'.

Risk education in St. Lucia
(Copyright Ilan Kelman 1998)

Some Resources:
  • Global Volcanism Programme's entry for Qualibou volcano.

  • Mycoo, M. 2011. "Natural Hazard Risk Reduction: Making St. Lucia Safe in an Era of Increased Hurricanes and Associated Events". Natural Hazards Review, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 37-45.

  • NEMO
    National Emergency Management Office
    "The role of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) is to develop, test and implement adequate measures to protect the population of Saint Lucia from the physical, social, environmental and economic effects of both natural and man-made disasters. Its responsibility is to ensure the efficient functioning of preparedness, prevention, mitigation and response actions."

  • Potter, R.B. 2001. "Urban Castries, St Lucia Revisited: Global Forces and Local Responses". Geography, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 329-336.

  • Pugh, J. 2005. "Social transformation and participatory planning in St Lucia". Area, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 384-392.

  • Saint Lucia's Government. 2003. Saint Lucia National Climate Change Policy and Adaptation Plan. Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, St. Lucia Government, Castries, St. Lucia.

  • Sandersen, H.T. and S. Koester. 2000. "Co-management of Tropical Coastal Zones: The Case of the Soufriere Marine Management Area, St. Lucia, WI". Coastal Management, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 87-97.

  • "St. Lucia's Retrofitting Project in Action". 1997. Caribbean Housing Network Newsletter, vol. 2, issue 1 (July), p. 7.

  • White, R., G. Engelen, and I. Uljee. 2000. "Modeling Land use Change with Linked Cellular Automata and Socio-economic Models: A Tool for Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on the Island of St. Lucia". Pp. 189-204 in: M. Hill and R. Aspinall (eds.), Spatial Information for Land Use Management, Gordon and Breach, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Les Pitons, St. Lucia.

Les Pitons, St. Lucia
(Copyright Ilan Kelman 1998)

St. Vincent and the Grendadines St. Vincent and the Grendadines' Flag

Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago's Flag

Some Resources:

Contact Island Vulnerability.

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.