Beyond Sun and Sand: Caribbean Environmentalisms

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Sherrie L. Baver, Barbara Deutsch Lynch
Rutgers University Press, Feb 15, 2006 - Nature - 240 pages
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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.

 

 

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About the author (2006)

Sherrie L. Baver is an associate professor of political science and Latin American/Latino studies at The City College and The Graduate Center-CUNY in Manhattan.  Barbara Deutsch Lynch is a visiting associate professor and director of the urban and regional studies program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

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