Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean: Opportunities and Challenges for Achieving Greater Resilience
AbstractThe Caribbean experience of natural hazards and disasters has continued to increase over the last half-century. The intensity and number of weather-related disasters combined with existing social, political and economic vulnerabilities form a complex arrangement that threatens the livelihoods of individuals and communities. Global attention to at-risk regions, such as the Caribbean and the Pacific, has intensified in the last decade as an array of international and regional actors have advocated a set of prescriptive action points based on the Hyogo Framework Programme for Action (HFA). As the decade of HFA draws to a close, and as the international community prepare to negotiate the post-HFA in March 2015, it is timely to ask whether the HFA has reached the societal level as its targeted audience. Based on extensive interviews with members of the international community, local disaster managers and intellectuals in the Caribbean region, this paper emphasises the limited success of the HFA and the importance of culture as a long-term strategy for ensuring a safer future.