Recently, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) selected drs. Harold Kelly as a Ph.D. candidate in Archeology in the multi-disciplinary program titled; Island (er)s at the Helm”. This opportunity can create sustainable solutions and indicate social adaptations to counter climate change effects.
After submitting the investigation proposition and an interview with the selection committee of the NWO. Mr. Harold Kelly was selected to initiate the Ph.D. trajectory. In addition, drs. Sharelly Emanuelson of Curacao and drs. Lysanne Charles of Saba were both selected for the Ph.D. program. This research will be financed by the NWO. The host of this program is the Royal Institute for Language, Country en Folklore, and the University of Sint Maarten. The academic partners are the University of Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, Delft, Twente, Rotterdam, the District of Columbia (USA), Institute of Social Studies (The Hague), and the University of the West Indies. The main objective of the investigation program is to investigate the innovative tools and practices that are needed to develop sustainable solutions. It also serves to counter the effects of climate change that affect the population of the Dutch Caribbean. Scientifically, the investigation program will contribute to more knowledge of the impact of climate change, based on the way the Dutch Caribbean islands deal with this in the material, social and mental levels. An innovative aspect of the program is the investigation of social adaptation to counter the effects of climate change. The investigation will be done by a team consisting of professionals in many fields like archeology, (paleo) ecology, (paleo) ethnobotanical, anthropology, visual art, scenic art, political science, urban design, and planning, government and political science, law, architecture, and civil engineer.
The investigation program consists of 5 areas and will have a duration of 5 years. The investigation will be done on a Ph.D. level and Postdoctorate level. A total of 5 Ph.D. investigations will focus on archeology, anthropology, ethnic-architecture engineering, ethnic-urban engineering, government, and management development. Archeologist Harold Kelly will focus on the identification of the social adaptation to counter the effects of global warming, hurricanes, and tsunamis, from the first inhabitants up to the present, according to the archeological data. Climate change, hurricanes, and tsunamis are not recent phenomena. Since the first exploration and inhabitation in the Caribbean Region, more or less 8000 years ago, islanders have experienced these phenomena. The Caribbean islanders had to collectively and continuously adapt to these climate changes that affected or threatened their island and resources like food and water. Time has proven that since the very beginning, the islanders were resilient and have always overcome many obstacles. Kelly’s investigation will take place in the Dutch Caribbean, in Aruba, Bonaire, and Sint Maarten. Field findings, excavations, surface drilling, and conversation data will be collected. An essential aspect of the investigation is the involvement of the population during the investigation process. The findings of the investigation done by archaeologist Kelly will complement and contribute to the research of the other disciplines that are part of the total program. These findings will collectively help develop sustainable and innovative solutions to equip the Dutch Caribbean islander with the right tools and practices to become more resilient and to be able to prepare for future climate change effects. The Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, and Culture wishes Mr. Kelly of the National Archeological Museum all the best with this opportunity to study on a scientific level.