known and emerging risks to islands

Research Project | 2018

Known and Emerging Risks to Islands

Islands are especially vulnerable to certain risks: particularly in the form of environmental risks from climate change and natural disasters. These risks can be especially hazardous to a small-scale island economy and have cascading effects; for example, climate change vulnerability can negatively impact an island’s credit rating, further impairing its capacity for increasing resilience. In order to bolster islands’ resilience and adaptive capacities, it is important to both identify risks and strategies to counteract these risks.

This project will attempt to identify climate and disaster risk areas by mapping out the effects of sea level rise and storm surges on critical island infrastructure, and conducting a ‘lifeline’ assessment of how long an islands supplies would last if cut off from the outside world during a disaster. Further, the research will include an analysis of current disaster response policies in small islands as well as a look at best practices in building climate resilience. Ultimately, tailored recommendations will be provided to increase resilience to climate change and natural disasters in target locations based on identified vulnerabilities and best practices.