The Caribbean at Risk: From Hazards Adaptation to Societal Transformation (Conference)


May 1-3, 2014

Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center

New Brunswick, NJ

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.


Tania del Mar López Marrero

Department of Geography and Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University

Robin Leichenko

Department of Geography, Rutgers University

The flyer of the conference can be viewed and downloaded here.

For the Conference website, which includes the Program go to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s