Smith, Rose-Ann J.; Rhiney, Kevon
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Climate (in)justice, vulnerability, land and livelihoods: The case of the Black Caribs in Northeastern St. Vincent
Date of Publication
This paper examines climate justice from the perspective of three remote indigenous Carib communitieslocated in northeastern St. Vincent, amidst their vulnerability to climatic hazards. The study contributesto the growing body of literature that explores the impacts climate-induced changes are having onIndigenous peoples through its explicit focus on this distinctive social group. The paper entails a detailcase study of the particular ways the recent onset of two consecutive extreme weather events haveimpacted livelihood activities in these traditional farming villages. Primary data were collected in theaftermath of a severe drought that was followed by Hurricane Tomas in 2010, using a mixed methodapproach involving a questionnaire survey of 311 households, 70 unstructured interviews and 2 focusgroup sessions held in each of the three communities. The combined impact of these extreme weatherevents not only brought to light how exposed and sensitive these communities are to climatic hazards,but also illustrated some of the underlying issues driving vulnerability at the local scale that must bedealt with if climate justice is to be achieved. We argue that the factors driving vulnerability within thesecommunities are partly a function of centuries of economic neglect and political marginalization and arealso strongly related to the communitiesí characteristically lower-socio economic status, geographic loca-tion, heavy reliance on land-based resources, coupled with a range of cognitive barriers that affect resi-dentsí capacity to adapt to a changing and variable regional climate regime.....