Policy Brief: A Global Island Perspective on COVID-19

Island Innovation and the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) launched a survey aiming to better understand how Covid-19 was being dealt with on islands globally.
Global Island Perspective

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Island Innovation and the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) launched a survey aiming to better understand how Covid-19 was being dealt with on islands globally. SCELG was soon joined by Island Innovation and together they reached out to their island network. The goal was not to undertake a research project, but to collate “raw” data from anybody who was inclined to respond and put such data at the disposal of policy makers and wider island related stakeholders in their ongoing activities to deal with and adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. The response to the survey was very positive and so far responses from islands in 36 countries have been included in an online database where people can now find the data divided by islands and by specific survey question.

Questions included in the SCELG and Island Innovation survey:

  • What actions are being taken to protect the island community from COVID-19? In particular, how are travel restrictions being put in place and enforced?
  • What actions will be taken should people on the island have COVID-19?
  • What actions are being taken to ensure that essential goods and services are provided to the island community?
  • What actions are being taken to ensure that people working on the islands, not only in the tourism sector, are sustained financially
    in the short term and in the long term?
  • What actions are being taken to ensure the mental well-being of people on the islands?
  • If you consider it appropriate, feel free to share any data about people who have COVID-19 on your island and of people who, sadly, have passed away because of COVID-19.
  • If applicable, how are lockdown measures being relaxed?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share?

After just over one month from its start, the survey will now expand and attempt to collate data on what can be framed as “Phase 2” of dealing with Covid-19 and that relates on when and how to relax the lockdown and the long-term economic implications such as the impact on the tourism industry. Before SCELG and Island Innovation move towards this new territory it is time to start reflecting on the responses to the survey so far.

This policy brief was written as a collaboration between the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) and Island Innovation and was co-authored by Francesco Sindico and James Ellsmoor.


Survey: How Are Islands Responding To COVID-19?


Island Responses Webinar Series

We invite you to join our free webinar series on island strategies for the future.

We know that the implications of COVID-19 will impact islands in many ways, particularly noting public health, self-sufficiency and the economy – tourism being a particularly important part of the discussion.

In this series we will start the global discussion looking at a selection of global islands, before moving into the specific response of the Caribbean region and then looking at the country-level response in Jamaica.

We will be exploring the current crisis’ implications for islanders around the world, and invite you to participate in the live discussion through the event chat, polls and Q&A.

  1. Islands and the COVID-19 Pandemic 
  2. The Economic Future of the Caribbean: Life After COVID-19
  3. Responding to COVID-19 in Jamaica


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Island Innovation

Island Innovation facilitate connections between island stakeholders and sustainable development practitioners across the globe to share knowledge and promote collaboration.  By creating a support network, we smooth the way for developing innovative solutions to drive economic performance, ensure political stability and promote good governance, which improves the social and environmental conditions within island communities.

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