Overseas Territories Review

A forum for critical analysis of international issues and developments of particular relevance to the sustainable political and socio-economic development of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

Go to: http://overseasreview.blogspot.nl/


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Hurricanes Make The Need To Dismantle Colonial Economics In The Caribbean Increasingly Urgent

Sint-Maarten, 6 september 2017
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hurricanes have always been a part of life in the Caribbean. The destruction they cause and inhabitants’ subsequent recovery have been observed throughout human history. What is alarming now, however, is the apparent increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes due to climate change.

For the Caribbean territories, the climate change challenges are even more severe than they are for most other places around the globe because they have an impact on the entire coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. The already poor state of the Caribbean marine environment restricts the ability of habitats such as seagrass meadows and coral reefs to recover from the effects of severe storms. Poor water quality and over-fishing, for example, promotes the overgrowth of algae, preventing recovery. With repeated hurricanes occurring over time periods that are insufficient for recovery to occur, this will only get worse.

Moreover, climate change can be expected to have negative effects on the tourism and hospitality industry. According to the Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change Project, virtually all the Caribbean territories are highly vulnerable to climate changes and can expect to experience a “linear increases in the number of storms and hurricanes … loss of land from rising sea level … increased susceptibility of coastal infrastructure … negative impacts in the tourism sector.”

In this context, the severity of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which caused catastrophic destruction, should be a wake-up call, even though the devastation was not equally distributed across the Caribbean, and it will be far more challenging for some countries than others to recover from their tragic situations.

Caribbean policy makers need a fundamental shift in how marine environments are protected to enable long-term sustainability for the food and income they provide. Many locations in the Caribbean — for example, Puerto Rico — have ineffective marine protection rules and so destructive practices continue unchecked, meaning that when a disaster does occur, the environment is unable to recover. Besides, previous hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons across the globe have shown the severe negative effects storms can have on the marine environment. Hurricane Irma — one of the strongest on record to hit the region — recently scoured the islands leaving catastrophic damage in its wake, even in Cuba, “a country that prides itself on disaster preparedness.”

And just as the Caribbean began to piece together the devastating and potentially long-term impacts of Irma, Hurricane Maria has now left another path of destruction. Puerto Rico, the British dependency of the Turks and Caicos, and many other Caribbean islands have suffered what have been described as “apocalyptic conditions.” More than 30 cruise ports were damaged by these two hurricanes.

Some of the most severely affected areas of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean — Florida, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico — all house extensive seagrass meadows. These shallow water marine habitats support valuable lobster fisheries, as well as shrimp, conch and finfish fisheries. Seagrass also stabilizes sediments and protects the white sand beaches that attract so many tourists to the region. The devastation of coastal environments, particularly seagrass meadows, can also result in long-term losses of the benefits that humans receive from them, such as fisheries support or coastal protection. Damage to these ecosystem services consequently impacts human well-being, because people can no longer rely on them for their livelihood and food supply. Read more

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New Urban Collective ~ The Black Archives

The Black Archives is a unique historical archive for inspiring conversations, activities and literature from Black and other perspectives that are often overlooked elsewhere.

Did you know that in the 70s and 80s all Surinamese emancipation movements were actively working to combat racism and inequality? These stories and histories can be found in The Black Archives: an unique collection of books, archives and artifacts, which are the legacy of black writers and scientists. The Black Archives documents the history of black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands, preserving and making it visible and accessible to a wide audience.

The archives are located in the premises of the Association Our Suriname in eastside Amsterdam. The growing archive currently consists of more than 4,000 special historical books, documents, photographs, films and artifacts around the Surinamese and black history in the Netherlands. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the Society (in 2019) we, for the first time, want to make this history accessible to a wide audience.

Go to: http://www.theblackarchives.nl/

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Trace Your Caribbean Ancestors Like Liz Bonnin

Inspired by Liz Bonnin’s episode? Who Do You Think You Are? television series genealogist Laura Berry highlights the wide range of resources available for researching ancestors from the Caribbean

Irish presenter Liz Bonnin was born to a French Martinican father and Trinidadian mother with Indian and Portuguese ancestry. Such an exotic cultural mix is a reflection of the diverse populations that settled in the Caribbean, whether by choice or by force.

The history of the Caribbean islands was dominated by sugar and slavery from the 16th century, when the first European colonies were established there. African slaves were transported to the islands in huge numbers by the 18th century, and slavery was not abolished in the British Caribbean until 1838, in the French Caribbean until 1848 and in the Dutch Caribbean until 1863.

Unfortunately, researching slave ancestry using documentary sources is often complicated and might not be possible at all before these dates. Even after slavery was abolished, family history research can be difficult because children were frequently born out of wedlock and subsequently registered with their mother’s surname and they sometimes adopted their father’s surname when they grew up.

Read more: http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/trace-your-caribbean-ancestors-liz-bonnin

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Ellen Klinkers ~ Op hoop van vrijheid. Van slavensamenleving naar Creoolse gemeenschap in Suriname, 1830-1880.

De afschaffing van de slavernij op 1 juli 1863 is het hoogtepunt in de Surinaamse geschiedenis. Bijna 33.000 mensen werden vrij. Wat gebeurde er met de samenlevingen die op de plantages waren ontstaan? Welke keuzes had en maakte de vrije bevolking na 1863? Hoe ontstond één Creoolse gemeenschap in Suriname uit al die plantagesamenlevingen? Die vragen staan centraal in de dissertatie waarop ik in 1997 aan de Universiteit Leiden promoveerde.

Echt vrije burgers werden de Creoolse plantagearbeiders pas tien jaar later op 1 juli 1873, toen het Staatstoezicht werd opgeheven. Tot die tijd waren zij nog aan de plantages gebonden. Wel mochten zij zelf beslissen waar ze werkten en kregen zij betaald voor hun werk. Die overgangsperiode tussen slavernij en vrijheid beschermde de planter tegen een leegloop van zijn bedrijf.
In mijn boek bespreek ik de laatste decennia van de slavernij, het staatstoezicht en eerste jaren van volledige vrijheid. Ik maakte gebruik van de dagboeken van de Herrnhutters en van rechtszaken. Die documenten brachten mij zo dicht mogelijk bij de mensen die zelf nooit een stem kregen in de bronnen.

Op hoop van vrijheid is in 1997 verschenen. Het woord slaaf is nu omstreden, maar was toen gangbaar. Het boek is al lang niet meer leverbaar.

Het boek in PDF-formaat is hier te downloaden: http://ellenklinkers.nl/op-hoop-van-vrijheid/

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Karel Frielink ~ Karel’s Legal Blog

Het advocatenbestaan omvat meer dan werken en ‘bloggen’. Er kan ook elders met het recht worden ‘gespeeld’. Geregeld mag ik in het kader van een seminar, een congres, of een cursus- of studiedag een verhaal houden over een onderwerp dat mij boeit. Enkele van die verhalen heb ik uitgeschreven en die zijn als pdf. te downloaden. Uiteraard is er de nodige zorgvuldigheid betracht bij het maken van deze stukken, maar het is niet raadzaam klakkeloos van de juistheid of volledigheid daarvan uit te gaan. Bovendien zijn het momentopnames: het zou zo maar kunnen dat met de tijd ook het inzicht is voortgeschreden, of dat bepaalde opvattingen of stellingen inmiddels door een wetswijziging of door jurisprudentie achterhaald zijn.

Ga naar: http://www.curacao-law.com/presentaties-karel-dutch/

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