Assessment of the Economic Impacts of Hurricane Gilbert on Coastal and Marine Resources in Jamaica. CEP Technical Report No. 4

United Nations Environment Programme (1989)

Hurricane Gilbert struck Jamaica on 12th September 1988, causing loss of life and considerable property damage. The Government and the scientific community acted quickly to establish several working groups to assess the damage in different sectors of the economy (Anon, 1988a), and to aid repair and recovery. Although working groups were convened with responsibility for "Environment and Conservation" and for "Agriculture" (which presumably included fisheries), the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean Environment Programme, UNEP, felt that special attention should be paid to coastal and marine resources, because of their importance to the economy of this island state. It was decided that the assessment of the impacts of Hurricane Gilbert on these resources should be undertaken in two phases: (a) a rapid survey to assess the scope of damage and identify the types of economic impact which resulted; and, if further funding were available, this would be followed up by (b) a longer-term study which would include a comprehensive economic analysis of damage, repair, recovery and the introduction of measures to reduce future losses. This report is concerned with the first phase of this economic impact assessment, and attempts to provide a framework for the more detailed analyses which are to follow. Further-more, after critically reviewing the existing information, the report outlines further research that will be necessary to accurately assess the effects of Hurricane Gilbert on coastal and marine resources.

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