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Beyond Sun and Sand

Caribbean Environmentalisms

Edited by Sherrie L. Baver and Barbara Deutsch Lynch

Publication Year: 2006

Filtered through the lens of the North American and European media, the Caribbean appears to be a series of idyllic landscapes-sanctuaries designed for sailing, diving, and basking in the sun on endless white sandy beaches. Conservation literature paints a similarly enticing portrait, describing the region as a habitat for endangered coral reefs and their denizens, parrots, butterflies, turtles, snails, and a myriad of plant species.

In both versions, the image of the exotic landscape overshadows the rich island cultures that are both linguistically and politically diverse, but trapped in a global economy that offers few options for development. Popular depictions also overlook the reality that the region is fraught with environmental problems, including water and air pollution, solid waste mismanagement, destruction of ecosystems, deforestation, and the transition from agriculture to ranching.

Bringing together ten essays by social scientists and activists, Beyond Sun and Sand provides the most comprehensive exploration to date of the range of environmental issues facing the region and the social movements that have developed to deal with them. The authors consider the role that global and regional political economies play in this process and provide valuable insight into Caribbean environmentalism. Many of the essays by prominent Caribbean analysts are made available for the first time in English.

 

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

As usual, numerous people helped in the long germination and publication of this book; we can mention only a few of them by name. Sherrie would like to thank several supportive colleagues in New York, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, especially Janis Roze, who introduced her to environmental issues over a decade ago, Manny Ness and Pedro Caban. ...

Part I Issues and Movements

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Chapter 1. The Political Ecology of Paradise

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pp. 3-16

Filtered through the lens of the European and North American media, the Caribbean becomes a series of uniformly breezy landscapes of sun and sand designed for loafing, sailing, diving, and perhaps for gambling and sex. In the conservation literature, Caribbean landscapes are habitat for endangered coral reefs and their denizens, ...

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Chapter 2. Environmental Movements in the Caribbean

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pp. 17-32

Environmental movements in the Caribbean region are extremely heterogeneous, primarily because of the large number of actors involved. The main actors are the international, inter-governmental organizations and agencies; the various domestic government agencies; regional, national, and local non-governmental organizations; ...

Part II The Political Ecology of Sun and Sand

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Chapter 3. Paradise Sold, Paradise Lost: Jamaica’s Environment and Culture in the Tourism Marketplace

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pp. 35-43

Tourism is the leading trade sector for many Caribbean states, with several of them dependent on the industry for more than 50 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) (McElroy and Klaus 1991, 144). Although Jamaica has a more diversified economy than some of its Caribbean neighbors, ...

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Chapter 4. Historical Contentions and Future Trends in the Coastal Zones: The Environmental Movement in Puerto Rico

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pp. 44-64

A “new” space for leisure and a landscape of high aesthetic value, the coastal zone of Puerto Rico attracts numerous visitors and investors.1 With commodification, coastal lands are attracting well-to-do home buyers who are displacing long-term local residents of rural coastal communities, fishing villages, and small harbors. ...

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Chapter 5. The Struggle for Sustainable Tourism in Martinique

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pp. 65-72

The development of tourism, and the use of land to support it, increasingly preoccupies public opinion in Martinique. The decline in agriculture, the rise of the service sector, and the willingness of the French state to follow a policy of economic diversification have all contributed to a boom in tourism and cruise-ship activities. ...

Part III Behind the Beach: Productive Landscapes and Environmental Change

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Chapter 6. Puerto Rico: Economic and Environmental Overview

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pp. 75-85

Humans modify nature more than any other species. Their interaction with nature takes place within a social milieu that comprises scientific, technological, economic, political, ideological, and living and non-living nature-derived elements. ...

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Chapter 7. Seeking Agricultural Sustainability: Cuban and Dominican Strategies

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pp. 86-108

Cubans and Dominicans have suffered from a perverse pattern of environmentally destructive export agriculture. This pattern, established during the colonial period, has been unstable because the land and water management practices associated with export production have exacerbated soil erosion, salinization, and pest problems, ...

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Chapter 8. “Ni Una Bomba Mas”: Reframing the Vieques Struggle

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pp. 109-128

For decades, residents of Vieques, Puerto Rico fought a David and Goliath battle against the U.S. Navy. Until 1999, however, few people in the United States had ever heard of Vieques and its problems. Vieques is a 51-square-mile island, roughly twice the size of Manhattan, where more than nine thousand people lived wedged between an ammunition depot and a live bombing range. ...

Part IV Risky Environments and the Caribbean Diaspora

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Chapter 9. Environmental Justice for Puerto Ricans in the Northeast: A Participant-Observer’s Assessment

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pp. 131-139

In recent decades, Puerto Rican community activists in New York and the northeastern United States and environmentalists from Puerto Rico have entered into a dialogue on the quality of environmental protection afforded our geographically dispersed community. ...

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Chapter 10. Environmental Risk and Childhood Disease in an Urban Working-Class Caribbean Neighborhood

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pp. 140-157

The environmental justice movement of the last two decades has confronted dimensions of poverty and racism previously overlooked in movements for social justice: the socially and geographically inequitable distribution of the costs of environmental degradation and pollution accompanying industrialization (Freudenberg 1984; Bryant 1995; Novotny 2000; Rhodes 2003). ...

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Conclusion: Toward a Creole Environmentalism

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pp. 158-170

The images of sun, sand, and sea that fuel the Caribbean tourist economy conceal more than they reveal about island environments. The environmental and societal side effects of these corporate constructions of secular paradise are carefully airbrushed away. ...

References

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pp. 171-190

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 191-194

Index

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pp. 195-210


E-ISBN-13: 9780813537528
E-ISBN-10: 0813537525
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813536538

Page Count: 222
Publication Year: 2006