As a result of climate change, ocean temperatures are warming and sea levels are rising. Natural disasters have been increasing in frequency and ferocity. Yet, over six decades, Cuba has developed a world-leading model for disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change in Cuba: Management and Adaptation discusses the island’s ongoing resilience against the impacts of climate change. Its commitment to disaster preparedness and management are lauded by international bodies, such as the United Nations and World Health Organization, and by governments from across the globe. Comprised of research from leading scholars, policy makers, and activists, this comprehensive, multidisciplinary analysis of Cuba’s model explores why Cuba’s approach to emergency disaster response is such a success and the aspects that make it so distinct, while also informing readers about the much-needed improvement of international approaches and policies. Scholars of communication, environmental studies, and Latin American studies will find this book particularly interesting.
Emily J. Kirk is research fellow in the Department of International Development Studies and adjunct professor at Dalhousie University.
Isabel Story is senior lecturer in visual communications at Nottingham Trent University.
Anna Clayfield is a senior lecturer in Spanish and Latin American studies at the University of Chester, UK.
Table of Contents
List of Acronyms
Chapter 1: Disaster Preparedness and Management: What Makes the Cuban Approach Different?
Emily J. Kirk
Chapter 2: Disaster Management in Cuba: Formal, Semi-Formal, and Informal Procedures
Chapter 3: First and Last Bulwark against Natural Disasters: Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces
Hal P. Klepak
Chapter 4: Cuba-Russia Cooperation: The History of Fraternal Disaster Management Collaboration
Chapter 5: Bastión: the Shaping of a Pueblo Combatiente and Natural Disaster Management
Chapter 6: Meteoro: The Impact of Education on Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction
Chapter 7: Post-graduate Education ConcerningNatural Disasters and Climate Change in the Cuban Health Sector
Guillermo Mesa Ridel
Chapter 8: People Power: Cuba’s Path to Effective Disaster Management
Chapter 9: Cuba’s Tarea Vida: Sustainable Development and Combating Climate Change
Chapter 10: International Collaboration on the Environment and Marine Conservation in Cuba: Reflections from Environmental Defense Fund
Chapter 11: Agroecology, Food and the Climate Crisis: Transition, Adaptation and Building Resilience in Cuba
Margarita Fernández, Leidy Casimiro Rodríguez, Luis L. Vázquez and Giraldo Martin MartinChapter 12: The Quest for Energy Alternatives in post-1959 Cuba
Chapter 13: The Foundation, Evolution and Significance of Law as Part of Cuba’s Adaptive Governance of Hazard Response
Shawn H.E. Harmon and Emily J. Kirk
Chapter 14: Timeline: Important Events in Cuban Disaster Management and Climate Change Adaptation
About the Authors
"Cuba’s uncanny ability to weather natural disasters with minimal loss of life is a continual source of wonderment to outside observers. An island in hurricane alley, Cuba recognized risks of climate change early and has developed the most detailed, long-term plan to confront it of any nation in the world. This collection by an international team of scholars is a deep dive into Cuba’s relationship with its environment—disaster preparedness, the tension between development and conservation, and adaptation to climate change. Cuba’s exceptional efforts to live in harmony with its environment is a subject that has not received the attention it deserves—a knowledge gap for which this book is an important remedy."
"This timely study offers a highly complex and multi-disciplinary analysis of Cuba’s outstanding ability to deal effectively with the twin – and closely-related – threats of natural disasters and climate change. It provides a wealth of perspectives on how Cuba has developed sustained policies to face these increasing threats; and it demonstrates through carefully-contextualised chapters how the Cuban response is based both on collaboration and on singular, often highly inventive, solutions to its own problems. It is a must for researchers of development and environmental studies and a host of other disciplines, and its interdisciplinary focus is a model for collaborative research."
Much of the world’s youth worry that governments make only pretend gestures about climate change. Anyone sharing their concern might want to put aside whatever prejudices they have about Cuba and study the book Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change in Cuba. This collection of 14 essays may be the most profound untold story in print about an island nation struggling for survival against dangers already rising at its shores. The essays are an extraordinary assemblage of articles, with each author covering specific topics.