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Atmosphere 2018, 9(12), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9120459

Local Perceptions of Climate Change Impacts in St. Kitts (Caribbean Sea) and Malé, Maldives (Indian Ocean)

1
Van Steenis Building Einsteinweg, Leiden University, 22333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Department of Informatics, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Brno 61300, Czech Republic
3
Migration Policy Centre, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, I-50133 Florence, Italy
4
Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction and Institute for Global Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
5
University of Agder, Kristiansand S 4630, Norway
6
Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Brno 60200, Czech Republic
7
Department of Informatics, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Brno 61300, Czech Republic
8
Department of Archaeology, Philosophical Faculty, University of Hradec Králové, Hradec Králové 50003, Czech Republic
9
Department of Informatics, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Brno 61300, Czech Republic
10
Department of Physical Planning and Environment, Ministry of Sustainable Development (DPPE), P.O. Box 597, Bladen Commercial Development, Basseterre, St. Kitts
11
Department of Archaeology, Van Steenis Building Einsteinweg, Leiden University, 22333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weather and Climate Extremes: Current Developments)
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Abstract

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are now experiencing the local consequences of a changing climate, environment, and society. Nonetheless, climate change research frequently remains at regional or national levels. Without locally grounded data, islanders’ perceived impacts of the changes might not be considered, thereby causing difficulties when policy and practice responses are implemented without accounting for local understandings. To contribute to addressing this gap, this study examines perceptions of climate change and associated environmental and social changes in two SIDS case studies: St. Kitts in the Caribbean Sea and Malé Atoll, Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Through these two case studies, we assess perceptions of changing social and natural environments through a closed-question, face-to-face survey. Our results suggest that in both island case studies, communities perceive environmental changes to be happening that demand negotiation with the social changes of daily life. Results also suggest that perceived climate change impacts are only part of the equation, as social and economic impacts reveal two case studies of changing island societies. While the geographic context in each case study differs, this study reveals the perceived impacts of climate change and social changes at a local level, providing valuable insights and angles for formulating policies and actions to deal with the myriad of social and environmental changes affecting SIDS. View Full-Text
Keywords: small islands; local perceptions; environmental change; climate change small islands; local perceptions; environmental change; climate change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stancioff, C.E.; Stojanov, R.; Kelman, I.; Němec, D.; Landa, J.; Tichy, R.; Prochazka, D.; Brown, G.; Hofman, C.L. Local Perceptions of Climate Change Impacts in St. Kitts (Caribbean Sea) and Malé, Maldives (Indian Ocean). Atmosphere 2018, 9, 459.

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