Water with overhanging trees
Thirsty Islands and Water Inequality: The Impact of Colonial Practices on Freshwater Challenges in the Dutch Caribbean


  • Suzanne Loen LILA Living Landscapes





Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Territories in the Dutch Caribbean face unique water challenges related to climate change. With fragile ecosystems and surrounded by rising sea levels and limited natural resources, island communities are increasingly faced with the reality of life withextreme drought and floods. While Caribbean SIDS in general have limited freshwater resources and limited water-retaining capacity due to natural characteristics, it is undeniable that unsustainable actions, practices and attitudes under colonial rule, such as deforestation and “property-thinking,” have contributed to present-day environmental degradation, freshwater resource management problems and water inequality. In the Netherlands, there are ongoing discussions about reparative justice compensation for the impact of Dutch colonial imperialism. In this light, it is worth considering whether reparative justice for the former colonial territories could take the form of eco- and heritage- system reparations and substantial investments in nature- and heritage-based solutions.

How to Cite

Loen, S. (2023). Thirsty Islands and Water Inequality: The Impact of Colonial Practices on Freshwater Challenges in the Dutch Caribbean. Blue Papers, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.58981/bluepapers.2023.1.12





methodologies and case studies


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