Dominica pronounced as “Dom-in-EE-ka” is a beautiful island filled with green majestic trees and vibrant flowers. With three hundred and sixty-five (365) rivers, to breath-taking coastal beaches, to the steaming hot springs, it is known as the nature island of the Caribbean with its beautiful flora and fauna. The island whose official name is The Commonwealth of Dominica is one of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) found within the Caribbean Basin.

In the island of Dominica, “29% of households and 40% of the general population lived in poverty as of 2003. 11% of households and 15% of the general population lived in indigent poverty.” (Barbados and the OECS. (n.d.). About The Commonwealth of Dominica.) The above statement refers to people who lack not only money but homes. On average 50% of Dominica’s children live in poverty and furthermore, 1 in every 2 households in the rural areas is considered poor. Poverty remains a leading issue in Dominica, especially because of the past heavy reliance on the banana industry which destroyed after the removal of preferential treatment in the European Union (EU) market. Data indicates that there was an increased incidence of household poverty, from 27.6 in 1995 to 29 percent in 2002.

More than 37 percent of households on the island do not have access to piped water and 25% of households have no access to toilet facilities. With total government debt currently almost equal to it’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, Dominica also struggles with structural unemployment and under-employment. Also, the unemployment rate on the island moved from 15.7 percent in 1999 to 25 percent in 2002. When the unemployment rate was last recorded, in 2016 23% of the population was found to be unemployed. Dominica has the third highest unemployment rate in the Caribbean. The rate of unemployment for poor and non-poor households is 40% and 16% respectively. This data above demonstrates the correlation between income/employment and poverty in Dominica.




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

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.

Carisealand Project Update

Serena Maxwell

As an economics major, it only seemed appropriate that I would choose the topic,’The Economic and Political Impacts of Climate Change’. I believe that in conducting research on this topic I will be able to offer my expertise as well as acquiring new information. In order to gather information on this topic I scoured the internet in order to find websites containing the appropriate information.

I was able to find information on sites such as Discover Dominica Authority as well as a great number of other sites. Moving forward I will visit the Ministry of Tourism in other to gain additional information. Added to this, I intend to interview individuals employed in the tourism industry in order to gain multiple view points on the subject matter.

Throughout this project I will focus on the negative impacts of climate change on the livelihood of those employed in this sector as well as the country as a whole.
Tourism provides a multitude of benefits to the country by creating jobs and increasing an inflow of foreign exchange into the country.

I will examine how the change in weather patterns impacts the natural environment, for example the waterfalls and forests. Due to the fact that Dominica promotes itself as an eco-tourism destination, the destruction of its tourism product will have drastic and lasting impacts on the sector.
The project will focus on two main points; how climate change affects the individuals employed in the tourism sector and how climate change affects the level of national income in the country as a whole.

Carisealand Project: Community Poverty and Environmental Justice Proposal


What are the impacts of Community Poverty and Environmental Justice on the northeast region of Dominica, in communities such as Calibishie, Woodford Hill, and Marigot? This is where I chose to focus on from my broad topic, Community Poverty and Environmental Justice.

From my last Digital Humanities class, we focused on the different types of research inquiries, which are definition, cause, and effect, value, action, and jurisdiction. Definition research inquiry requires the meaning of the that are brought about through the argument. Cause and Effect Research Inquiry denotes the impacts of the problems faced. Value research inquiry compares the importance of one aspect of the research topic to another. Action research inquiry looks for the ways in which the issue that is being researched is solved. Jurisdiction research inquiry searches for who is responsible for insinuating these problems.

When investigating this branch of the topic, Community Poverty the question that needs insight and enlightenment on are: What the major causes of Poverty in Calibishie, Woodford Hill and Marigot? Are the effects of poverty on Dominica villages inevitable? What actions can be taken to solve this Poverty issue? The Digital Humanities tools chosen to showcase my research findings are visualization and timeline. These tools are chosen as they will bring forth the necessary information needed to be documented. The DH tool, the timeline will showcase the developments of community poverty from the past, present and what could be expected in the future. The visualization tool will be used to display how poverty has affected in the past compared to the present. While working on this project, the research inquiries that will be used are definition, action, jurisdiction and cause, and effect.

Public Health and Pollution

By Rennick Stevens

One may ask him/her self, can the people of Dominica contribute better to solid waste management? Pollution is defined as the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects. This brings us to the next aspect of this project which is public health, which can be defined as, the health of the population as a whole, especially as the subject of government regulation and support. You may ask how are the 2 related, well they go hand in hand, in order to have a healthy country the environment must be healthy itself.
The findings from this study that I will acquire will demonstrate why local and state officials should take keen attention to pollution when considering and making decisions about transportation, industrial activity and regional planning. For Dominica we do not have so much industrial activities(factories) but now that we can see how harmful pollution can be, addressing it should be a key component in reducing health disparities. In the last 3 years it is safe to say that the levels of pollution has increased. As a result of the 2 major storms that occurred, there is no telling the extensive damage and pollution that has been done to our country. Also the excessive burning of garbage aiding the development of global warming and further more reacting to cause climate change. To address loss of biodiversity GOCD strategy has been habitat protection and education. Twenty percent 20% of the Dominica’s land is protected as forest reserves (the Central Forest Reserve and the Northern Forest Reserve or national parks, Morne Trois Pitons National Parks, Cabrits National Park and the Morne Diablotin National Park. In the near future my plan is to see who would one see to it that i get all avialbabe resousres. mapping out the last few months living hear in Dominica. The people will soon asking be asking questions, those i intend to provide that information. I will map the pollution for Roseau.

Carisealand Project Proposals

Environmental law and policy – Ashante Matthew

What is environmental law and policy?

Environmental law and policy also known as natural resources law is a term which is used to explain regulations, statutes and treaties used to protect the environment against damage and legal consequences which would be faced by an individual who chooses to break these laws rather than upholding them.

From the topic of environmental law and policy i chose to focus on the factors in which such laws, regulations and policies will aid in the preservation of the environmentals natural resources from now and future generations to come.

During my research of this project i intend to incorporate the categories of research will assist in defining, outlining and explaining relevant facts and information with precision. Furthermore i intend to gain further knowledge of these laws and regulations by meeting and interviewing the set person in charge of creating these laws and policies here in Dominica and the factors/steps which they took to create such measures and also i intend to conduct my own investigations as to how effective the laws and policies are and assurance that they are being kept and the different initiatives and plans which are being taken to improve these regulations and or assist in the long run for preservation. I also intend to bring across environmental issues that we are being faced with and figuring out strategic ways that could be taken to terminate such issues.

Additionally to achieve such a goal i understand that much time and effort will have to be put in place to recieve the right answers to my questions so that i may bring about substantial information and evidence to the public about our environment.

Carisealand Project Proposal

Serena Maxwell

From my broad project topic, the economic and political impacts of climate change on the community, I have chosen to focus on the area of the topic, how has the increase in intensity and frequency of natural disasters due to climate change, affected the eco-tourism industry in Dominica.
At my digital humanities class , I was introduced to a five categories of research inquiry which will be utilized throughout this research project. Firstly, with definition, the meaning of certain terms can be argued. With definition arguments the way in which terms are defined are discussed whereby the classification of certain groups of items, individuals, and so forth, are outlined. In my research I intend to clearly outline the definition of the relevant terms, such as ‘eco-tourism’, by explaining what characterizes the country as an eco-tourism destination. Additionally, using cause and effect analysis, I intend to explore the causes of certain climate phenomena as well as their implications on the tourism product in Dominica. Added to this the level of value placed on these natural resources will be investigated along with the necessary actions which can be undertaken to minimize the negative effects of climate change on our tourism industry.
In order to achieve this goal of making our eco-tourism industry resilient to the effects of climate change, certain policies and actions have to be put in place. However, in order to ensure its effectiveness the relevant individuals and/or organizations have to initiate and ensure that these policies are kept. As a result, I will be investigating the jurisdiction in which the responsibility of undertaking such policies lies.
After taking these factors into consideration I have revised my initial questions to incorporate the types of research arguments. Some of my new questions include,’ what categorizes Dominica as an eco-tourism destination?’, ‘What are the benefits of eco-tourism to the island?’, ‘How does the topography of Dominica make it susceptible to the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters caused by climate change?’ As well as this I will research on questions such as ‘how many individuals are engaged in the tourism sector either directly or indirectly?’ , ‘what policies can be put in place to minimize the damage suffered by the tourism industry?, and ‘which organizations/ individuals are responsible for implementing these policies?’
Dominica promotes itself as a prime eco-tourism destination in the Caribbean and this sector contributes significantly to country’s economy. The tourism industry in Dominica provides jobs for numerous individuals within various communities such as craft making, taxi driving as well as those employed in the food establishment. Therefore, as climate change severely impacts the island of Dominica , it is of paramount importance that we educate ourselves on how it affects us and what tools we can arm ourselves with to combat this issue and secure the livelihoods of those employed in this sector. In order to complete this project I intend to use mapping software which will enable me to create a visual representation of Dominica identifying the tourist sites as well as a topographical map showing how the terrain of Dominica is linked to its vulnerability to natural disasters caused by climate change.

Is this the narrative that we should push?

By Tracey Daway

The articles I have read seem to narrow in on one word, resilience.  Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.  Dominica, the nature Isle of the Caribbean has always been seen and spoke of as a tough country.  Tough in the sense that the people and our culture are very concentrated, we are hard working and diligent and we’ve prided ourselves on numerous occasions using that narrative. This has been proven, seen and documented over the years where we have bounced back from a multitude of devastating hits, one almost more damaging than the previous.  

In 1979, Dominica was roughly ambushed by David, a category four hurricane, travelling at a staggering 280 km/h there was no escape for an inch of greenery nor residency on the island. I have heard numerous stories of David from many aunts and uncles, grandparents and even my parents, who were old enough to remember that terrible day.  On all accounts, it was life changing, terribly frightening and shocking. To know that it happened in 1979, where buildings now and buildings then hugely differed in structure and integrity and quantity, i can only imagine the level of devastation our people lived through with David. I cannot begin to fathom the mental and emotional aftermath that remains residual within our people after nearly four decades. David killed 40 people also garnering a whopping 1.5 billion in damages to the island overall.  David has been on record, one of the most damaging hurricanes to impact our island, but look at our parents, our grandparents, aunts and uncles, our brothers and sisters, they are here. They have built lives upon the ruins and wreckage, they have raised children to leave on their legacy and they have had to start from scratch and they have continued to provide for their families. This is testament to the strong, withstanding and resiliency our nation is often praised for by islanders and outsiders alike.  Therefore, it goes without saying we know we are strong, we have had time and time again to prove it we don’t ask for reminders or assurance. Pushed to our knees, we have stood in the face of adversity. As strong our people are, we are also human and where there is strength there will be weakness and vulnerability. To this day, there are families and people who still live in the aftermath and effects of the past systems that have devastated our island, psychically, financially, emotionally and mentally these people have not recovered or gotten past the trauma.  To the people who have survived this with their health intact i would like to extend my apologies for us having to take on these burdens and living with them – also I would like to say thank you, for keeping that constant narrative that we as Dominicans are strong, we will not stay down.

On September 18, 2017 a thief came in the middle of the night to steal our piece of mind, for who knows how long.  That night people stood helpless, trapped, as they witnessed their lives fall apart before them, literally and figuratively.  Lives steeped in sacrifice and hard work and time, years, decades, all gone within a matter of hours. Mentally and emotionally people are still traumatised from that night.  The morning after, the breaking dawn brought with it the ugliest shock, catastrophic, unprecedented, undocumented, never before seen damage. No one really knew how to react, confusion, disorientation, cannot accurately represent the feelings of those who survived that night.  The island was in a state of mass confusion and chaos as people’s shock began to surface in numerous unhealthy ways that remained for weeks and months to come. However, I feel that this strong, tough, ‘go-get-it’ attitude that we constantly push puts immense pressure on people to rise above their human reaction to pain and loss and that is to feel.  We get so caught up in praising the strength of our people but take no time to let people feel their feelings, and be weak, be hurt, grieve, process and understand what happened, learn how to cope with it and move on from it. We demonise weakness and fragility of one’s mental abilities. It’s important to know, as strong as someone may be, they have their weak points.  While it may be great to praise where praise is due, but it is even greater to acknowledge and mention and speak about the events that changed our lives without mention of recover. Let people feel, let people be where they are now. The main dialogue centred around Maria was biased, where it minimised and trivialised to an extent people’s experience to an extent. Dr. Esprit’s article spoke to me, two lines that resonated deeply with me were; “There is no place greener in the Caribbean than Dominica. None. I revise that. There was no place greener in the Caribbean than Dominica…. before September 18, 2017” and, “It worries me that the trauma has already been repressed in exchange for the narrative of development.”  Dealing with our trauma is essential to growth as a nation to bring us to combat climate change and climate resilience. Commitments and promises are placing undue pressure on every one of us here and I feel its too big a step to take, smaller steps will get us there and minimise the pressure, we already have our unresolved trauma to deal with as it is. We are thinking too far ahead.  We have to open to be able to grow, a seed has to open to sprout.

Food Maps Week 1

By Kieron Clunes

As I proceed into week 1 of my project, I begin to think of ways in which I intend to complete it. Over the past couple days, I have been looking into a mapping software known as ArcGIS. ArcGIS is a very powerful piece of technology that allows users to geographically map analytical and geographical data onto a pre-existing base map of anywhere in the world. This type of technology is exactly what I need to conduct my research and complete my project as it will now allow me to generate critical data from my research findings. I intend to learn more on how to use this software throughout the course of the following week.

I’m also considering looking into ways in which I can simplify and efficiently conduct the whole process of finding my information. Finding pre-existing data on farm lands in the country would be a great help as it will negate the most tedious part of my project. Throughout the course of the following week I intend to find out whether that data exists, and if not, I intend to find other ways to efficiently conduct my project.