The Caribbean are among the most disaster-prone regions in the world. The frequent droughts, floods, hurricanes, storms, landslides and earthquakes constitute a threat to the region’s economies, growth and social development. In the way natural hazards are dealt with, the countries of the region have made a gradual shift from an ex post response and recovery strategy to a more comprehensive approach in reducing risk. Supportive governance has played a major role in this sense, both from a regional as well as a national point of view.

The paper will explore the links beetween good governance characteristics, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and adaptation to climate threats amplified by human induced climate change. First, good governance indicators, such as those developed by the Worldwide Governance Indicators project (Kaufmann et al. 2010), will be analysed and compared with the progress registered towards the 5 priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). Second, the role of Caribbean regional organizations in defining and shaping regional risk management policies and in supporting national efforts will be examined. Finally, the positive examples of the DRR frameworks in Cuba and Belize will be discussed, to extract lessons learned and good practices worth to be replicated in the region.

The paper draws on the research conducted in the context of the EU FP7 project CATALYST (Capacity Development for Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation).