Challenges and Opportunities for Risk Management of Volcanic Hazards in Small-Island Developing States

Miller, Victoria L., Joseph, Erouscilla P., Sapkota, Niroj and Szarzynski, Joerg, (2022). Challenges and Opportunities for Risk Management of Volcanic Hazards in Small-Island Developing States. Mountain Research and Development, 42(2), 22-31

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Miller, Victoria L.
    Joseph, Erouscilla P.
    Sapkota, Niroj
    Szarzynski, Joerg
    Title Challenges and Opportunities for Risk Management of Volcanic Hazards in Small-Island Developing States
    Appearing in Mountain Research and Development
    Volume 42
    Issue No. 2
    Publication Date 2022-08-24
    Place of Publication Bern
    Publisher International Mountain Society
    Start page 22
    End page 31
    Language eng
    Abstract The explosive volcanic eruptions of La Soufrière volcano, St Vincent and the Grenadines, in April 2021 caused the displacement of thousands of people, resulting in heavy disruption of livelihoods and economic activities, destruction of critical infrastructure, and volcanic ash deposits that affected the entire mountainous island of St Vincent and the neighboring island of Barbados. The resulting triple crisis in the region included volcanological risks, the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, and hydrometeorological risks due to the approaching hurricane season. This article analyzes the scientific and operational activities that The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre undertook after effusive activity was detected in December 2020, as well as the actions taken during an official response mission of the United Nations, led by the Joint Environment Unit of the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and upon request for international environmental assistance from the Government of St Vincent. It examines the interplay and collaboration between these 2 organizations and other disaster risk reduction agencies. The article also highlights how the interconnected, systemic nature of risks and disasters emphasizes the ultimate need for regional coordination and collaboration across sectors, including scientific monitoring networks; national, regional, and international emergency preparedness and response agencies; academia; and the private sector. The presented case study for elucidating the ongoing lahar hazard at La Soufrière volcano supports a long-term view for planning and mitigation in this challenging topography. This will help to ensure that the volcanic risks in the Caribbean region are appropriately considered a major component of the multihazard approach undertaken by national authorities and scientists to manage community safety and sustainable economic development through adequate means of disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness.
    Keyword Humanitarian
    La Soufrière
    Lahar
    Land use planning
    Multihazard
    Risk sensitive
    Small-island developing states
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2022
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-22-00001.1
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    Created: Fri, 28 Oct 2022, 18:50:06 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS