The small island of Grenada in the Caribbean is a world away from the polluted alleyways and congested roads of south-east Asia. Visiting here shortly after my return from Vietnam the island greeted me with beautiful rain forests and crystal clear waters. Travelling within the wet season however, I was also met with the occasional tropical downpour and the warning of tropical storm ‘Don’ which brought a sense of trepidation to the locals but degenerated substantially before it hit the island.
The level of panic exhibited by the locals in the wake of a tropical storm however is fully expected when delving into the islands previous climatic history. Hurricane Ivan which stuck Grenada in 2004 was one of the strongest storms to ever hit the Caribbean causing damage worth up to 200% of Grenada’s Annual GDP. The hurricane also inflicted damage on 89% of homes and 70% of tourism infrastructure located on the island. Hurricane Ivan also badly damaged the agricultural sector, most notably decimating the islands nutmeg crops which is the primary agricultural export for Grenada.
In the wake of this disaster, Grenada has taken a lead in the quest to improve climate resilience on the island by developing greatly its climate change planning strategies and completing its first National Adaption Plan to tackle this issue. In a world where the threats of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, these developments are a step in the right direction. On a broader scale however it is evident that the affects of long term climate change on many islands within the Caribbean will be devastating with serious implications on many sectors that the region relies so heavily upon such as agriculture and tourism. The need for investment into climate change resistance throughout the Caribbean has never been greater.
This sound recording includes three of my favourite water soundbites that I took whilst travelling around the island. Climate change will have serious consequences for oceanic as well as fresh water systems such as rising sea levels and coral bleaching, which will have severe implications particularly for the Caribbean islands. Reducing the affects of climate change is a global issue that needs a global solution.