The Caribbean is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events and other natural hazards. The subregion is also exposed to anthropogenic hazards, including petroleum and other industrial chemical spills, fires, and soil, air and water pollution. These hazards can result in loss of life and other health impacts, damage to infrastructure, social and economic disruptions and ecological degradation. To significantly reduce the negative effects of these hazards, it is important that key stakeholders, including national disaster management agencies, development partners, and the private sector, particularly insurance companies be integrally engaged in the shaping of comprehensive disaster risk management (DRM) strategies and plans. The success of DRM will depend on the effective management of relevant information and data. Geospatial Information Management (GIM) has enabled more timely, data-driven, informed DRM decision-making.
This research provides an introduction to the status and use of GIM in support of DRM in the Caribbean region. The data and information obtained from on-line surveys and desk studies indicated that the Caribbean countries are at varying stages of progress towards the integration of GIM in DRM. Policy setting, legislation, education, capacity building, technological investment and institutional strengthening driving geospatial data management are priority areas identified for further advancing this progress. The study offers recommendations towards further strengthening the use of GIM in DRM both nationally and at the level of the Caribbean region.