Landscape, Land-Change and Well-Being in Small Island Contexts: Case Studies from St. Kitts and the Kalinago Territory, Dominica
- Wednesday 9 May 2018
- Academy Building
2311 GJ Leiden
In the Caribbean region, landscape change is part of the region’s history. Beginning with trade networks established by Amerindians, continuing to the importation of exotic species through the colony era, extreme land degradation caused by sugar plantation, forced settlement enslaved Africans, diverse populations of indentured laborers, and continued mixing of cultures from globalized interactions today, the Caribbean region exemplifies a dynamic landscape. Today, the small islands of the Caribbean are often described as vulnerable: with limited resources, growing populations and a dependence on unsustainable economic markets. However, this perspective overlooks the underlying power structures in both the global economic market and climate change discourse as well as the resilience of these island communities.
With a collaborative framework, this research investigates the changing landscape and land use in two case studies of the coastal villages of St. Kitts and the Kalinago Territory of Dominica. By integrating human and ecological aspects of agrarian landscapes, this research analyzes how land degradation or land change impacts cultural ecosystem services b, that ultimately disrupts community wellbeing. In both case studies, there remains emphasis on the tangible, as results not only lead to new directions in landscape research but also deliverables used by community stakeholders for continued land sustainability. By investigating the synergies of nature and community within landscape change, this research proposes that local communities assert local agency. This moves away from how local communities fit into global phenomena of land change, to how communities can assert their diversity within a global process.
- Prof. C.L. Hofman
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Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282