Week 7: Rough Outline

By Rhesa Lawrence

This past week I did not do research for my topic; instead, I refined my research question and created a rough outline for my project. I have come up with sub-questions; to help me narrow down the information the I consider for my project, such as:

  • Is climate change played a part in the endangerment of the Crapaud (mountain Chicken).
  • What amendments to the law has the ministry of agriculture and wild life due to climate change in terms of regulations in the hunting season?
  •  What are the groups around the country are in place to help  the pass down of  our culture from generation to generation?

For this past week I have also created a list of prospective building that I have to visit in order to gather these and other information such as

  • Ministry for climate resilience
  • Ministry of culture
  • The library/ the information centre
  • And the Dr. Lennox Honychurch publications.

In the coming week, I hope to get information on at least one aspect of my research area. The rough outline that I have created will now help me keep on track with my research and help me remove all irrelavant information

How will we survive without our forests? Carisealand Project update

By Shalian Shaw

During the past week, I mainly engaged in research pertaining to my overall topic and main area of focus which is ‘The effects of the changing climate on the forests of Dominica in the past 10 years ’. I also thought about the direction I wish to go in with my project and how I would like to go about answering all relevant questions.

“Forestry, Wildlife and Parks, Forestry! In Our Face; All The Time!” an article by Ronald Charles who is the Assistant Forest Officer for the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division, was an interesting one to read while I did my research. The main question being answered in the article was whether Dominica can survive in the absence of our forests. He talks about the importance of our forests in Dominica and what will result from a deprivation of our forest resources.

Throughout the upcoming week I aim to continue my research and make myself more familiar with the tools needed to execute my project. I wish to delve in the specific technology of mapping and become familiar with it so that I face as few problems as possible as I progress.

At our last digital humanities class, Dr Esprit mentioned how her father was trying to get the public to realize how our water levels were decreasing and this somewhat inspired me. Because of this I actually hope to find out more about the decreasing water levels in Dominica as a result of losing much of our forest cover. I also hope to visit the office of the Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division to further look into the changes over the past few years.

I honestly feel like this might be a challenging task as I am not well versed in dealing with technology. I also have the task of managing my time and ensuring that my project and other school projects are given adequate time and effort.

Project Update

By Dinelle Dailey

Ocean acidification, the rise in sea levels and an increase in sea temperatures, just to name a few are some of the effects Climate change can have on the marine environment. Interestingly, with an interview already carried out with a marine biologist, points of interest arose. Through an answer to a question directed to him, Mr, Lawerence defined marine life as not only life underwater, however, it is also life around, adjacent to or within the tidal and intertidal zone of marine environments. This may include, organisms, such as coral reefs that live both on land and in water. Thus it is a point of focus to research about organisms which may often be bypassed because they are not underneath water 24hrs of the day.

Furthermore, after carrying out more research, this information was stumbled upon. According to ocean-climate.org “Each day, the oceans absorb about a quarter of the CO2 produced by human activities, causing a chemical modification of seawater that results in ocean acidification. The disso- lution of CO2 in seawater causes an increase in acidity (decrease in pH) and a decrease in the availability of carbonate ions (CO32-) which are one of the building blocks required by marine plants and animals to make their skeletons, shells and other calcareous structures. Ocean acidity has increased by 30% in 250 years, and could triple by 2100. It threatens species such as oysters and mussels, and will also have an impact on marine food chains. Our understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on marine life is still only rudimentary.” This passage raises awareness for individuals to at least have an idea of the threats global warming has on marine life specifically.

For the upcoming week, plans are in place to focus on obtaining more information about coral reefs and their importance addtionally, focus will be made on getting pictures of coastal areas before and after Hurricane Maria

What is Fish migration?

B. Melissa E. Santiago

Topic:Marine Life and Global Warming

For the past week I mainly focused on doing research.I tried to figure out which digital tool would be best to use for the project so that it can have the effects I’m looking for.I also got the names of some fishermen which I can interview to find out the direct impact of the change in marine life and how it is affecting them.

From websites such as https://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/the-heat-is-on-global-warming-and-the-caribbean/

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisheries_and_climate_change i learnt that  global warming seems to be increasing with each season that passes. The Caribbean islands are vulnerable since we mainly depend on marine life for our source of food and income. But we also have to note that the change in marine life is not only due to global warming but also human activities such as over-fishing. It is said that the ocean has being one of the things greatly affected since it had taken up about 50% of anthropogenic CO2 . This affect the level of oxygen thus the life of organisms in the ecosystem contaminated. The  increase in the level of CO2 is a factor that contributes to the acidity of the ocean. The rise in acidity affects the production of organisms shrimps and corals by a process called  calcification. Corals reefs provide an ecosystem for one quarter of marine life. The death of coral reefs lead to fish migration. Fish migration is the moving from one part of a water body to another. There are many factors which contribute to fish migration but the rise in the temperature of the sea water due to global warming has now become one. This migration would then affect fishermen and everyone who benefits from this marine life directly or indirectly.

Throughout my week of research most of the information has included the caribbean region and a few spoke about the larger islands but one of my main issues is getting information oN Dominica’s marine life..

This coming week I plan on interviews a few individuals on how global warming affects them and their opinion on how we can help decrease it rate.

Are natural disasters the primary cause of community poverty? – by Kodie Jean-Jacques

Being an Economics major and having done several research projects in the past, it is no news to me that siphoning information in Dominica is a grueling task. Proper documentation, maintaining statistical records and timely dissemination of information seem to be concepts unheard of to the Dominican populace. In Doing research on Community poverty and environmental justice during the past week in Roseau and its surrounding areas, I’ve fallen short in obtaining much information as it relates to poverty rates in the Roseau area, rules, regulations and mandates as it relates to environmental justice and the effects of poverty on Roseau’s inhabitants. I’ve realized I need to up my internet research skills if I am to complete the project as getting information locally is iffy. 

I did discover, however, that many impoverished people are in the socio-economic bracket that they are as a result of natural disasters. In reading through a journal published in December 2012 by Indelia Ferdinand, Geoff O’brian, Phil O’Keefe and Janaka Jayawickrama titled International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction : The double bind of poverty and community disaster risk reduction: A case study from the Caribbean, I was educated on poverty as it relates to natural disasters in the Caribbean region. According to this journal, “Poor communities have strong mechanisms to manage disasters but these strong internal ties militate against broader community efforts to address disaster risk reduction. Essentially poverty acts as a double bind. The double bind of poverty is the bind that ties poor people together in coping while simultaneously the coping mechanisms make a barrier for engaging with other organisations. The conclusion is that there is need for multi-stakeholder partnerships to reduce vulnerability and build resilience in communities.” 

In Dominica, with the passage of two massively destructive natural calamities within the last 5 years, people are forced to recover, rebuild and re-adapt. These processes are not easy and are capital-demanding. As a result, people often struggle to make ends meet. 
Unfortunately for my beautiful island – appropriately deemed “The nature Isle of the Caribbean” , it will be in the path of several more storms in the not-too-distant future. 
In the following weeks, I will attempt to make more connections between political, social, economical and geographical issues and the poverty margins of the Roseau inhabitants.

Project update- week 1

By Alaina Mathew

Economic and political impacts of climate change. 
For the duration of this week, I mainly reflected on my project topic and thought of ways to go about research and collecting data and information for it. It was a bit difficult for me to come up with new ideas, as I went over my research questions a few times and tried to go more in depth with the questions. 

After speaking with a few locals in the farming industry, I found out that there are many farming grounds in Salisbury (mainly crops) and a few dairy and poultry farms. The major crop (cash crop) in Salisbury is watermelon. After the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017 , the production of watermelon and many crops like breadfruit decreased drastically. Directly after the hurricane certain foods such as Watermelon and tomatoes were in abundance After a while, was there was a major shortage in some of these crops. The prices of the little crops that were grown were raised immensely to make a profit to meet the high demand. An example of this is ground provision. The price of green bananas went from $1 per hand (about 7 individual green bananas) to $1 for a single green banana. Changes in agricultural supply result from the combination of changes in yields and changes in crop rotation. 

In a review article on the effects of global climate change on agriculture by Richard M Adams et al, I learned how certain climate change scenarios affects the crop yield. Temperature increases lead to higher respiration rates, shorter periods of seed formation and, consequently, lower biomass production. For example, higher temperatures result in a shorter grain filling period, smaller and lighter grains and, therefore, lower crop yields and perhaps lower grain quality (i.e. lower protein levels). As a response, farmers have taken action in making plant adaptations to climate change. 

For the upcoming week, I intend to do more research on the topic in order to stay more informed. I also wish to find out more about mapping and make myself more acquainted with the technology as I have no knowledge on It, and it is the main research tool I intend to use in presenting my research.

Humans Impact on The Fish Population

By Melissa Santiago

For the third week of working on this project, I tried to gather more information on the size of the fishes being caught in Dominica. Since we know that global warming is not the only thing having an effect on the fish population and all the fishes wouldn’t just decide one day that they all migrate together.  After asking numerous persons (consumers) from all around Dominica about what fishes they were able to get, and most only mentioned ‘balou’.

On Saturday 20, April 2019, I went to mero beach  located on the west of the island and I noticed that there was a lot of debris in the water. The water was also dirty but that would be caused by the river that is located near where I was. We stop in Colihaut when we saw a man selling fish but the majority of the fish were too small. The fisherman said that that was his best catch for the day and that the fishes very bigger than what he had gotten the day before. The images below are pictures that I took of the fish. This shows that the fishes are being caught went they are too young not giving them enough time to mature and reproduce. This causes these species to have a decline in population and a problem to even increase in numbers if they don’t get enough time to produce the next generation of its kind.

An article by Michael Tennesen mentions that “old fish tend to be the largest and produce the most offspring. They are also the most flexible in their behavior, so they can adapt better to environmental changes. For instance, the older fish tend to spawn in different times and locations.” Thus meaning that the older fishes can more adapt to the changes cause to our oceans by global warming and the other threats such as ocean acidification, climate change that affect the ocean and marine life. Their population would not be too affected by the changes in their environment.  But if we keep catching this fishes while they are so small we will sooner than later cause a great change in their population. This can lead to the extinction of different species both because of over fishing and the size of the fish we catch. According to Current Biology Magazine’s ‘Not so many fish in the sea’ “The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which is under the purview of the United Nations, estimates that in 1950 the amount of fish landed worldwide amounted to 19.3 million tons. That figure had increased to 93.4 million tons in 2014, meaning we are pulling about five times as much fish out of our rivers, lakes, and oceans”. This is proof that we are overfishing and soon we will not have any fishes left unless we change this.

Some of the main threat to marine life are ocean acidification, climate change, and global warming.  But humans pose a great on our marine life as well, whether it is overfishing or by the garbage which we dispose of in our seas. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration “each year, billions of pounds of trash and other pollutants enter the ocean”. Marine debris injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to human health. Our oceans and waterways are polluted with a wide variety of marine debris, ranging from tiny microplastics to derelict fishing gear and abandoned vessels. The article speaks about how too much nutrients can cause alga bloom which is an overgrowth of algae. This is caused by nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which are needed for plant growth.

A silent sufferer? – By Kodie Jean-Jacques

Oftentimes, members of the Dominican populace posit that Dominica isn’t a real place. Though this may be said jokingly, over the past week, I discovered that this far-fetched belief may hold some truth especially as it relates to the poverty margins.

In doing research on my topic throughout the week, I was taken aback by how many people lived in poverty. According to the UNDP,  in Dominica, 29% of households and 40% of the general population lived in poverty as per 2003. 11% of households and 15% of the general population lived in indigent poverty. An average of 50% of Dominica’s children live in poverty.

This survey was taken before the passages of the devastating natural calamities – Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria. As a result, it can only be inferred that the poverty rates would be even higher now.

Why many people jokingly postulate that Dominica is surreal in nature is that that members of the broad middle class seem to be strangely unbothered and accepting of the disturbingly inadequate living and working environments. It’s truly a bitter-sweet feeling to know that inhabitants of this beautiful island are so poor, yet they seem to really enjoy life.

However, in this project, I will be primarily focussing on poverty within the St. George area which is approximately 20%. Quoting from a journal published in 2009 by Kairi Consultants Ltd.  titled “Country Poverty Assessment – Dominica : Reducing poverty in the face of vulnerability”. “As a result of difficulties encountered in finding formal employment in Roseau, there were many references on the part of both men and women, to considering participating in the underground economy to make ends meet.”

In this same journal, a recorded conversation between a mother and her teenage daughter  notes the mother saying: “…go and sell what God give you so you can pay for the exam.” Though this conversation may seem harsh, I assure you that teenage girls are mandated to perform sexual deeds for money quite frequently. Money for food….money for clothes…..money for school….money for basic necessities….

In this next week, I plan on looking into the environmental justice aspect of the project even though I have been having problems in obtaining such information.

Our planet, Our problem.

B. Melissa E. Santiago

For the second week focused on our project, I interviewed three individuals who are affected by the effect that global warming is having on our marine life. These individuals all have a different lifestyle and all are impacted in different ways by this.

The first individual I spoke to was a fisherman from Portsmouth. One of the things I learned from him was that there is a difficulty in catching fishes other than “bala-w”. That wasn’t the only concerning thing but also the size of the fish being caught. This fish can be found everywhere because of it demand due to its cheap price; at the moment it’s being over fished which can lead to a fast decrease in its population. He spoke about how they have to travel greater distances to catch fishes but with the boats local fishermen here have its very dangerous.

Fg.1. Balaw

The second individual I interview was a hotel and restaurant owner who spoke about the struggle to get a variety of fish which his customers are accustomed to being served at his restaurant. He told me that he hasn’t been able to get any lobsters for about two weeks now. This being one of his best-sellers and a tourist favorite.we also spoke about the effect that hurricane Maria and tropical storm Erica had on his business and how much fish he managed to get around that time. He said he was able to get more fishes after maria than he is now

The third person I spoke to is a landlord at Picard. Who consumes mainly fish and has also been struggling to get it. This individual isn’t benefited economically by marine life but is still being affected by the changes our marine life is having.

I interviewed this person to show that not only are fishermen and coastal region inhabitant being affected by the effect that global warming is having but everyone in our society. This is our problem, and we all have to try to find a way to stop harming our planet so much. Whether we affect it when we use too many fertilizers which then run off to our oceans when rainfall and contaminates our waters or by simply turning on our A.C when we could go outside and enjoy the breeze. This is our planet making these issues our problem and furthermore, our children’s problem that We have created. What Marine life will they enjoy if we destroy all?

I believe we need to educate people more about the problem that global warming is causing and how we can help stop or at least slow it down. This information I found when searching about Dominica’s marine life and what is affecting it.

” There are few things we have a lot of in Dominica: sunshine, salt water and more recently sargassum seaweed and driftwood. Sargassum seaweed seems to be building up in the area and impacting our nesting beaches. The influx of seaweed and is likely caused by climate change shifting the ocean’s currents, sending offshore algal blooms from Brazil (caused by nutrient runoff) into Caribbean waters. The beaches last nesting season were inundated with sargassum, making it very difficult for both nesting turtles to build a nests and for hatchlings to emerge from their nests after hatching.”

This is a story about five men who were charged for slaughtering a
“a young female nesting leatherback sea turtle” in 2010.This shows that there are rules put in place to protect our endangered species.



Environmental Justice – by Kodie Jean-Jacques

Throughout the course of this week, I decided to explore environmental justice in Roseau, Dominica. Environmental justice, as defined by Science Direct is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

In order to fully understand this term, I will look at it from a global perspective. China, America, Russia and India alone contribute an astonishing 55% of the world’s carbon dioxide produced from combustion. When examining a world map, you need to zoom in a great deal in order to see Dominica. However, this small country has become the punching bag of several large nations. Dominica isn’t responsible for large amounts of pollution and it barely contributes to climate change. However, when climate-change-strengthened natural calamities come bouncing through the Atlantic ocean, oftentime, it is in the direct line of fire. Not only that, rising sea levels and acidic rainwater destroy this country’s marine life – a major tourist attraction. To add fuel to the fire, the same big nations that are primarily responsible for climate change do not welcome islanders into their territories with open arms and wide grins. This explains the concept of environmental justice.

There are about 16,000 people who live in Roseau and its surroundings. These people all come from many different races, socio-economic positions and religions. The challenge rises – how can the government satisfy the environmental needs of all these people without reducing other persons’ environmental benefits?

In my research, I discovered that there is a unit called the Environmental Coordinating Unit that’s dedicated primarily to advising the government on environmental laws. Upon examining their website, I read that the unit is currently undergoing a low carbon development path(LCDP) project which, when completed is supposed to increase the use of renewable energy in Dominica as well as it is supposed to reduce the total energy consumption on the island. Are these objectives completable with the 5-person staff of the LCDP and a limited budget? Only time can tell.

During the next week, I shall do more research on environmental justice and I will further examine the absurd poverty rates in St. George.