Drivers of Climate Vulnerability to Tropical Storms: A Comparative Analysis of Adaptive Capacities in Haiti and Dominican Republic
Palabras clave:climate vulnerability, climate change adaptation, adaptative capacity, exposure to storms, climate resilience
The impacts of potential climate change threats are far-reaching and intrinsically diverse, while the adaptive capacities in both nations to cope with hazards are uneven. In this study, the drivers of climate vulnerability of two island nations were analysed: Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with a specific focus on tropical storms. While the countries generally experience the same level of exposure to storms, their vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities were found to be dissimilar. In the 2020 Global Climate Risk Index the Dominican Republic was ranked as the 50th country with the highest disaster risk index, while Haiti ranked in the top 3 countries. The analysis of adaptive capacity in both countries involved a review of secondary literature generated by evaluations of USAID, WBG, and UN agencies, as well as reading government reports and policy plans. It was found that the main drivers of divergent levels of vulnerability are the different historical, social and political processes experienced between the two countries. Factors such as the use of natural resources, dependency on economic sectors, trust in governance and awareness of storm threats all contribute to this disparity in preparedness and vulnerability. What this study has confirmed is that hazards become disasters when they impact on populations in precarious conditions built or developed by the failure or neglect of governments or those in power.
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