Cat Island institute lands UNESCO hurricane workshop

Cat Island institute lands UNESCO hurricane workshop

Conservation group launches community survey on Hurricanes

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Cat Island Conservation Institute (CICI) will host a UNESCO-sponsored workshop on hurricane preparedness and response at the end of the month.

The workshop follows the institute’s Climate Crisis Declaration, which was presented to Minister of Environment Romauld Ferreira and adopted at the ministerial level.

The institute has launched a community survey to present a snapshot of needs identified by the Bahamian community.

“Hurricane Dorian has provided an opportunity for us to reflect on how we as a nation are prepared for natural disasters, particularly hurricanes,” read a recent press note.

“It is critical for us to understand and document the damage that Hurricane Dorian (2019), Irma (2017), Mathew (2016), and Joaquin (2015) had on the land, seascapes, physical structures, and communities of The Bahamas.

“CICI’s work is to record the story of the impact that our changing climate has on communities and the ecosystems in which they exist. Doing this generates ​predictive capacity and demonstrates the variability in UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets for communities.”

It added: “Additionally, our participatory research focus allows us to inform the government and communities on specific vulnerabilities and translate this into climate action.”

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency that promotes international collaboration in a bid to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights.

The workshop will: explore the relationship between achieving the SDG’s and building island resilience, particularly with the limitations and challenges posed by catastrophic hurricanes and climate disasters; present the Young Marine Explorers Participatory Science Model with data that reflects how Bahamian communities have been personally and professionally affected by hurricanes, and their thoughts on what is needed to survive future storms; and present the Climate Crisis Declaration and Policy Toolkit.

“The intent of our initial survey is to gather a snapshot of the needs of the Bahamian community in regards to preparation for major disasters,” said CICI founder and executive director Nikita Shiel-Rolle.

“This feedback will be used to inform future research on climate and disaster resilience in The Bahamas and other small island developing states (SIDS).”

Shiel-Rolle added her team has partnered with colleagues from the University of North Carolina Charlotte to analyze the data in preparation for the stakeholder’s workshop on October 29.

The press note read: “It is through participatory research that we are able to bring the voices of the community to engage in national dialogues about climate resilience. Their voice is critical to describing specific local needs and must be clearly articulated to strengthen national, regional and international partnerships to address our vulnerabilities.

“The Bahamas has had a devastating experience with Hurricane Dorian and it is vital that all national stakeholders work together to ensure the development of new systems to build a resilient island nation that is capable of adapting to climate change.”

To participate in the survey, click the link below: