SEASONAL TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE FOR DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES IN VANUATU
Free (open access)
Volume 11 (2016), Issue 6
834 - 844
V. SAVERIMUTTU & M.E. VARUA
Developing island nations in the Pacific are highly dependent on tourism receipts to support and sustain growth in their economies. Vanuatu consists of an archipelago of 83 islands with a population of approximately 260,000 people. Vanuatu is classified as a least developed nation with a predominance of subsistence agriculture as well as a heavy dependence on the tourism sector as mainstays of the economy. In 2015, a category 5 cyclone struck Vanuatu causing severe destruction in four of its six provinces damaging both of its key industries, tourism and agriculture. Australia, as a key development partner and as a provider of the majority of its tourists has a direct interest in the sustainability and stability of the Vanuatu economy. Australia provides financial as well as humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu in the event of a crisis as well as for developmental purposes. Tropical cyclones are a normal phenomenon in the Southern hemisphere generally during the months of November to April. Even if a cyclone does not make landfall, strong gusts of wind and rainfall can cause significant damage through flooding. Although people can be trained in disaster management techniques and thereby achieve a reduction in the death toll, the damage to property and key industries are inevitable. This paper investigates the impact of cyclone activity on the economy of Vanuatu from the beginning of this century and its significance for the developmental challenges that face this nation. The paper also explores the dependence of Vanuatu on aid programmes and its implications for the management of extreme weather events in order to promote the sustainability of its key industries.
aid, sustainable development, tourism, tropical cyclones and economic impact, vanuatu