Climate Change

I am currently embarking on a new line of study in the Caribbean region: that of climate change among the fishing community.

Climate change has been touted as one of the most challenging environmental stressors that currently face the global community. Research has shown that climate change has and is projected to have significant devastating effects on marginalized communities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, states that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are considered to be most at risk to the impacts of global warming. There are a number of different ways in which small island developing states will be impacted ranging from the increasing sea surface temperatures that have impacted their reefs to the unpredictability in precipitation which has impacted the agricultural sector. There is therefore a need to understand how different groups within these islands view and are adapting to this environmental phenomenon.

Preliminary research has resulted in a video documentary that documents stories of how the fishing community has experience climate change and their understanding of the process. This video which is sponsored by UNESCO: Climate Change on the Frontlines Forum, will be release in October 2011. This research as lead to a larger more scientific study to explore these stories to a greater extent among this marginalized population.

The purpose of this new study is to examine the vulnerability of marginalized groups to the impacts of climate change among the small island developing states of the Caribbean region. The study engages the literature from the hazards research with a focus on the vulnerability discourse; that of climate justice and adaptive capacity; as well as the environmental psychological literature, which examines how these threats, are perceived and viewed by the marginalized communities. Using a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach, the study will examine both the psychological and socio-economic vulnerability of populations in the Caribbean region