The storm-prone island nation is erecting hurricane-proof buildings and diversifying its economy with strategic agricultural planning
Spotted: The tiny Caribbean island of Dominica was nearly destroyed by a hurricane in 2017. As a result, the island determined to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation. Rather than simply replace what was destroyed in the storm, in 2018 Dominica’s legislature passed the Climate Resilience Act, which established the Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica (CREAD), to improve climate resilience.
Dominica is working not only to erect hurricane-proof buildings but also to build a more diverse economy. One way it is doing this is by growing a larger variety of fruits and vegetables. Previously, it was primarily bananas that were grown for export, but after the hurricane, the banana plantations were replanted alongside seeds for locally-sold crops such as yams, potatoes, and passion fruit, distributed by the government.
This legislation to build climate resilience has also resulted in uniform building codes, the construction of new geothermal energy plants, better healthcare facilities and more reliable transportation infrastructure. The island has also banned plastic and developed individual composting processes to reduce reliance on Dominica’s over-full landfill. Keeping the island pristine is also a way to attract high-end tourists, who will bring in more money but less traffic.
Climate resilience has also meant increasing awareness among Dominica’s citizens. Pepe Bardouille, CEO of CREAD, points out that, “It’s incumbent on every citizen to know what they need to do for themselves. Making decisions about what they’re building, whether they’re getting insurance, those are individual decisions—not things a government can do.”
At Springwise, we have seen many innovations concerned with improving climate resilience. Some of those more recently covered include pre-fab houses on stilts that can be easily moved and a renewable energy company that is turning Barbados into the EV paradise.