Assessing the climate resilience of Small Island Developing States
MSc Environment and resource management - Thesis
Building resilience against climate change is a field of study which as grown exponentially in recent times. Small Island developing states are among the countries that will suffer more damages from climate change globally. The small island state of Sint Maarten has had a number of natural disasters which have brought hardships on local residents and slowed down the development of the nation. Sint Maarten is now looking for avenues from which to improve not only its natural disaster preparedness but also the resilience of the island itself against these events. This research employs a mixed method approach which combines scenario and stakeholder analysis in order to envision possible future climate change scenarios at different resilience levels, and possible policy pathways that can help in efficiently improve the island’s resilience against climate change. The data used for the scenario analysis was taken from the most recent local census and statistical yearbook, while stakeholder interviews have been set up with local key players in community, economic, and ecological resilience. The data gained from both analyses has provided a comprehensive picture of future possible developments on the island in terms of resilience building. From the analysis of stakeholder interviews and scenario creation a strong vision for policy development was suggested. This vision takes into account the necessity for all actors to collaborate among each other and it is based on the importance of building climate awareness and improving monitoring of environmentally friendly behavior at the public and private levels. Policy recommendations were formulated accordingly to the vision resulting from the analysis.