Measuring Small Island Disaster Resilience Towards Sustainable Coastal and Fisheries Tourism: The Case of Guimaras, Philippines

Small islands have unique environmental characteristics that make them prone or vulnerable to natural and human-induced hazards. The ability of a community to measure and assess its own characteristics (i.e., connectedness, risk and vulnerability, procedures on disaster planning, response and recovery, and available resources) contributes to the improvement of its capacity to better deal with, survive, and recover from disasters. Thus, we undertook this study to measure the resilience of a small island community using a tool developed by the Torrens Resilience Institute. We conducted a survey among 37 local government officials and 192 local community residents in the Island Province of Guimaras from August to December 2018 using a structured questionnaire following a simple random sampling method. Our results show that Guimaras is facing various natural and anthropogenic hazards. However, local officials and community residents agreed that Guimaras is in the “Going Well Zone” (i.e., the island community is likely to be extremely resilient to any disaster) and that there is no significant difference (t-test, α = 0.05) in their ratings on disaster preparedness. As sun, sand, and sea tourism is a growing industry worldwide, the assessment that small island tourist destinations such as Guimaras is a resilient community would have positive impacts on the tourism industry, possibility leading to the sustainable development of coastal communities with tourism as a major source of supplemental or alternative livelihoods while reducing pressure on overexploited fish stocks.

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