American Journal of Climate Change Public Knowledge and Attitudes towards Climate Change and Its Impacts on Ecosystems in Grenada Research Paper
Objective: This study was conducted to assess knowledge and attitudes to climate change and coastal and marine ecosystems of residents in the westerly parishes of St. Mark and St. John in Grenada. Methodology: Interviews were conducted in focus groups with three distinct groupings of fishers, students, and community members. The interviews focused on seven thematic areas: knowledge and awareness about climate change; components of the coastal and marine ecosystems; impact of climate change on the ecosystems; marine protected areas; attitude to climate change and impacts; responses to climate change and impacts; and education and sources of information. Results: The participants discussed their observations of major changes in the coastal and marine environments including considerable build-up of sediments along the shoreline due to the erosion of soil from inland, smaller volume of rivers, increased severity and frequency of flooding, larger deposition of sand in reefs, decline in the stock and variety of fishes, and erosion of coastal lands. The students were more knowledgeable about factors that contributed to climate change but had doubts about how they contribute to the problem and whether the community was willing to take action to protect the environment. The fishers were more knowledgeable about changes in the environment and advocated for the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs) to protect their trade. The community residents were the least knowledgeable about climate change. The community residents, however, felt that education was necessary to effect positive change towards the coastal and marine ecosystems. The fishers and community members demonstrated a high level of interest and support for MPAs. Conclusion: The findings highlight a need to address gaps in knowledge of all groups about the potential effect of climate change on the environment. Such knowledge is also necessary to build community support for the MPA project.
Area of Interest: Grenada