May 1-3, 2014
The Caribbean islands share many characteristics that put their populations at risk and increase their people’s vulnerability to natural hazards. The region’s geographic position and geological situation expose it to hurricanes, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanoes that cause loss of lives and property, disrupt livelihoods, and, in some cases, erase years of development and contribute to poverty traps. These hazards are, however, only the triggers of disaster events; a variety of historic, social, human, cultural, economic, political, and institutional factors come into play and influence differential disaster impacts and losses. This situation is complicated by the uncertainty and surprises associated with ongoing and projected effects of global changes (including, but not limited to, climate change). Understanding factors that influence risk and vulnerability is crucial to identify and promote strategies to enhance adaptation, adaptive capacity, and resilience of exposed populations. At this Conference we explore such topics, with particular emphasis on factors that influence Caribbean population vulnerabilities and capacities to manage, cope, adapt, and transform in the face of current and future hazards. Through keynote lectures, case-study presentations, and workshop discussion, we examine factors that influence vulnerability at various scales, identify lessons learned from hazard events, and discuss opportunities for adaptation and transformation. We will pay particular attention to successful experiences that have led to positive outcomes in terms of risk and hazard management, while also discussing barriers that need to be overcome in order to promote best practices, enhance adaptation, and facilitate transformation.
flyer of the conference can be viewed and downloaded here.
MaGrann Endowment, Department of Geography, Rutgers University