The development of the ISLAND demo was part of the UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) project "Vulnerability assessment of low-lying coastal areas and small islands to climate change and sea level rise".
Climate change in the Wider Caribbean Region is expected to have an important impact on the physical, environmental, social and economic systems. Formal instruments to study the effects of climate change on these systems require realistic representations of their actual state and of the mechanisms that will cause them to change. Climate change is affecting socio-economic systems through mechanisms at different geographical scales: at the macro-scale, causing changes in the exchange with the world system through changing demands, exports, imports and migrations; and at the micro-scale causing the relocation and possible disappearance of activities.
In order to realistically describe the effects of climate change on socio-economic systems RIKS developed an explicitly dynamic (temporal) and spatial modelling framework operating at the two geographical levels. This modelling framework has been applied to and tested on a theoretical, prototypical island (named (ISLAND) with characteristics typical of existing small Caribbean islands.
The long term objectives of this project are to develop a methodology and operational procedure applicable on the level of the individual coastal country or island (1) to describe and analyse the impacts of climate change on their territory, their ecosystems, their social systems and their economic activities, and (2) to provide instruments or tools to design, explore and evaluate policy measures and policy interventions to prevent or alleviate undesirable impacts.
More details about the ISLAND demo were published in [i]Environmental Monitoring and Assessment[/i]