The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is an initiative led by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) and the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in collaboration with Island Innovation. The Series aims to bring together critical assessments of how specific islands around the world have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which their recovery plans are able to promote long term resilience and sustainability.
Every two weeks, Island Innovation will release COVID-19 Island Insights Series from two different islands. This week we are in the Caribbean and focusing on Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. The piece on Grenada is authored by John N. Telesford and the piece on the Trinidad and Tobago by Preeya S. Mohan and Richard Ramsawak.
This week’s COVID-19 Island Insights look at two Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean: Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago. Both countries have seen the imposition of extensive lockdown measures and travel restrictions, but while Grenada has so far managed to curtail any significant spread of the virus, Trinidad & Tobago has struggled with transmission rates, with a surge in infections in August. Both countries however have suffered considerable damage to their economies as a result of the pandemic.
Tourism sits at the core of Grenada’s economy, the negative blow to which has spilled over into many other areas such as agriculture, construction and local services. Trinidad & Tobago has also felt the adverse effects to tourism although its oil and gas industry, which is even more central to the country’s economy, has also been put under pressure.
Looking forward, Grenada’s priority is getting the tourism sector back up and running as quickly as possible, as well as getting students back to St. George’s University campus which is regarded as a form of ‘educational tourism’. In Trinidad & Tobago, the government has taken a collaborative approach through engagement with the private sector, civil society and academia, to develop a recovery roadmap that should guide both short-term action, as well as a long-term sustainable development vision. This vision includes diversifications to the economy, greater civil society engagement and strengthening the food value chain.
The COVID-19 Island Insights Series will lead to a series of “thematic primers” aimed at assisting policy makers and wider island related stakeholders to encourage islands to move to a more resilient and sustainable future.
List of islands covered by the COVID-19 Island Insights Series (list subject to change):
- Åland Islands (Finland)
- Croatian Islands
- Egadi Islands (Italy)
- Guam (USA)
- Hawai’i (USA)
- Lesvos (Greece)
- New Zealand
- Newfoundland (Canada)
- Okinawa (Japan)
- Prince Edward Island (Canada)
- Saint Helena (UK)
- Shetland Islands, Scotland (UK)
- Solomon Islands
- Trinidad & Tobago