Climate change knowledge at the grass roots: the case of Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines


This study examines perception of households to climate change and factors that influence the selection of adaptation measures. Using survey data, the results suggest that households are knowledgeable and concerned about climate change but lack knowledge about the measures needed to adapt. The results also suggest that the risk and importance placed on climate change, vulnerability experienced with household flooding, drainage and expected threat of future sea level are the main factors that influence the adaptation decision. The results obtained in this study are beneficial to all as adaptation requires a collective effort by stakeholders.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Source: Environment Assessment Team (2011)

Fig. 3

Source: Author


  1. 1.

    See “Appendix 1” for questionnaire.

  2. 2.

    The tests for normality and homoskedasticity are shown in “Appendix 2”.

  3. 3.

    Adapted from Leod (2007).

  4. 4.

    Adapted from Pantin et al. (2004).


  1. Beatley, T., Brower, D., & Schwab, A. K. (2002). An introduction to coastal zone management. Washington, DC: Island Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Becken, S., & John, E. H. (2008). Climate change related-risks and adaptation. In S. Becken & E. H. John (Eds.), Tourism and climate change: Risk and opportunities (pp. 223–260). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bueno, R., Herzfeld, C., Stanton, E. A., & Ackerman, F. (2008). The caribbean and climate change: The cost of inaction. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  4. Bynoe, P. (2012). Promoting education for public engagement in climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives in Guyana. In Paper presented at the international convention centre Liliendaal, Guyana, April 16, 2012.

  5. Cambers, G. (1998). Planning for coastline change: Coastal development setback guidelines in antigua and barbuda. Paris: UNESCO.

    Google Scholar 

  6. CANARI. (2009). The impacts of climate change on biodiversity in Caribbean Islands: What we know, what we need to know, and building capacity for effective adaptation. Technical Report No. 386. Trinidad and Tobago: Caribbean Natural Resources Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications. (2012). Report on climate change knowledge, attitude and behavioural practice survey. Kingston: Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications.

    Google Scholar 

  8. CBD. (2009). Capacity building workshop for the Caribbean Region on national biodiversity strategies and action plans, mainstreaming of biodiversity and the integration of climate change. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  9. Chadwick, A., Morfett, J., & Borthwick, M. (2004). Hydraulics in civil and environmental engineering (4th ed.). London: Spon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cicin-Sain, B. (1993). Sustainable development and integrated coastal zone management. Ocean and Coastal Management, 21(1–3), 11–43.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Clark, J. R. (1977). Coastal ecosystem management. NY: John Wiley and Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Clark, J. R. (1996). Coastal zone management handbook. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Cooper, N. J., & Harlow, D. A. (1998). Beach replenishment: Implications for sources and longevity from results of the Bournemouth schemes. In J. Hooke (Ed.), Coastal defence and earth science conservation (pp. 162–177). London: Geological Society of London.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Dean, G. R. (2002). Beach nourishment: Theory and practice. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Elgershuizen, J. H. B. W. (1981). Some environmental impacts of a storm surge barrier. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 12(8), 265–271.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Environmental Assessment Team. 2011. Environmental impact assessment of the installation of a photovoltaic solar powered salt water reverse osmosis plant at Paget farm, Bequia. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  17. Fenster, M. S. (2005). Setbacks. In M. L. Schwartz (Ed.), Encyclopedia of coastal science (pp. 863–866). Berlin: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Fernandez, M., & Mahon, R. (2011). Livelihoods Vulnerability and Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change in Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Technical Report 48. Barbados: Centre for Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES).

  19. French, P. W. (2001). Coastal defences: Processes, problems and solutions. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hamilton, J. M., & Tol, R. S. J. (2004). The impact of climate change on tourism and recreation. Human-Induced Climate Change-An Interdisciplinary Assessment, pp. 147–155.

  22. Hanson, H., Brampton, A., Capobianco, M., Dette, H. H., Hamm, L., Laustrup, C., et al. (2002). Beach nourishment projects, practices, and objectives—A European overview. Coastal Engineering, 47(2), 81–111.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Hillen, M. M., Jonkman, S. N., Kanning, W., Kok, M., Geldenhuys, M. A., Vrijling, J. K., et al. (2010). Coastal defence cost estimates. Case study of the Netherlands, New Orleans and Vietnam. Delft: TU Delft.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Hinkel, J. (2011). Indicators of vulnerability and adaptive capacity: Towards a clarification of the science-policy interface. Global Environmental Change, 21(1), 198–208.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Huq, S., Reid, H., & Murray, L. A. (2006). Climate change and development links. London: International Institute for Environment and Development.

    Google Scholar 

  26. IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission). (2009). Hazard awareness and risk mitigation in integrated coastal area management. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  27. IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change). (1990). Summary for policymakers. In J. T. Houghton, G. T. Jenkins, & J. J. Ephramus (Eds.), Climate change: The IPCC scientific assessment. Contribution of working group I to the first assessment report of the IPCC (pp. 2–28). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change). (2007). Summary for policymakers. In M. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden, & C. E. Hanson (Eds.), Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change). (2013). Summary for Policy-Makers. In C. B. Field, V. R. Barros, D. J. Dokken, K. J. Mach, M. D. Mastrandrea, T. E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K. L. Ebi, Y. O. Estrada, R. C. Genova, B. Girma, E. S. Kissel, A. N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P. R. Mastrandrea, & L. L. White (Eds.), Climate change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the IPCC (pp. 1–32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Joslyn, O. (2008). Pilot vulnerability and capacity assessment study final report, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Belize: Caribbean Community Centre for Climate Change.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Kaly, U., Craig P., & Mitchell, J. (2004). The environmental vulnerability index. Accessed Retrieved 10, 2014.

  32. Klein, R. J. T, Nicholls, R. J., Ragoonaden, S., Capobianco, M., Aston, J., & Buckley, E. N. (2001). Technological options for adaptation to climate change in coastal zones. Journal of Coastal Research, 17(3), 531–543.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Leggett, D. J., Cooper, N., & Harvey, R. (2004). Coastal and estuarine managed realignment: Design issues. London: CIRIA.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Leod, P. M. (2007). St. Vincent and the grenadines national protected areas system capacity development—Final Draft Plan.” Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  35. Lewsey, C., Gonzalo, C., & Edward, K. (2004). Assessing climate change impacts on coastal infrastructure in the Eastern Caribbean. Marine Policy, 28(5), 393–409.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Mings, L., & Helena, J. (2008). Determination of knowledge, attitudes and practices on climate change issues. Environment Tourism Consulting, 1–12.

  37. MOHE. (2003). Climate Change and its Effects on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. SVG: The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

  38. Mycoo, M. (2014). Autonomous household responses and urban governance capacity building for climate change adaptation: Georgetown, Guyana. Urban Climate, 9, 134–154.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Nicholls, R. J., Nicholas J. C., & Ian H. T. (2007). The management of coastal flooding and erosion. Future Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risks, 392–413.

  40. OAS. (2007). Seminar launched at OAS: Climate change in the Caribbean demands urgent mitigation and adaptation. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  41. OECD. (2006). Declaration on integrating climate change adaptation into development co-operation. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  42. Pantin, D., Brown, D., Mycoo, M., Toppin-Allahar, C., Gobin, J., Rennie, W., & Hancock, J. (2004). The People and the Coast: Feasibility of Alternative, Sustainable Coastal Resource-Based Enhanced Livelihood Strategies. Trinidad and Tobago: Sustainable Economic Development Unit (SEDU), University of the West Indies.

  43. Pilarczyk, K. W. (1990). Introduction to coastal protection. In K. W. Pilarczyk (Ed.), coastal protection (pp. 1–14). Avereest: A.A. Balkema.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Rakodi, C., & Treloar, D. (1997). Urban development and coastal zone management: An international review. Third World Planning Review, 19(4), 401–424.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Satterthwaitie, D., Huq, R. S., Pelling, M., & Lankoa, P. (2009). Adapting to climate change in urban areas: The possibilities and constraints in low and middle income nations. In J. Bicknell, D. Dodman, & D. Satterthwaitie (Eds.), Adapting cities to climate change: Understanding and addressing the developmental challenges (pp. 3–31). London: Earthscan.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Simpson, M. C., Clarke, J. F., Scott, D. J., New, M., Karmalkar, A., Day, O. J., et al. (2012). CARIBSAVE Climate Change Risk Atlas (CCCRA)—St Vincent and the Grenadines. London: DFID.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Singh, A. (2010). National environmental summary St. Vincent and the grenadines. Accessed 10 Dec 2014.

  48. Sorensen, J. (1993). The international proliferation of integrated coastal zone management efforts. Ocean and Coastal Management, 21(1), 45–80.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Sutherland, M. (2011). Sea level rise modelling in support of socio-economic impact analysis: Grande riviere, Trinidad and Tobago. In Paper presented at the sustainable development of coastal communities challenges and solutions, Port of Spain, Trinidad. June 1–3, 2011.

  50. Tol, R. S. J., Klein, R. J. T., & Nicholls, R. J. (2008). Towards successful adaptation to sea level rise along Europe’s coasts. Journal of Coastal Research, 24(2), 432–442.

    Google Scholar 

  51. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). (2000). Regional commitments under the united nations framework convention on climate change. Nairobi: UNEP.

    Google Scholar 

  52. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). (2008). Climate Change in the Caribbean and the Challenges of Adaptation. Panama City: UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Google Scholar 

  53. UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation). 2006. “Sandwatch Project Newswatch.” Accessed December 10, 2014.

  54. UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). 1999. Coastal Adaptation Technologies. Report of a UNFCCC Experts Meeting on Coastal Adaptation Technologies, 22–23 March, 1999. Bonn Germany.

  55. UNFCCC. (2007). Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in small island developing state. Background paper for the UNFCCC expert meeting on adaptation for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) part I - Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean SIDS, February 2007, Jamaica.

  56. United Nations- Habitat. (2011). Global report on human settlements 2011- cities and climate change. Nairobi: UN-Habitat.

    Google Scholar 

  57. United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). (2002). Coastal engineering manual—Part I. Washington, DC: USACE.

    Google Scholar 

  58. USAID. (2009). OTI Uganda quarterly report. Retrieved December 10, 2014.

  59. van der Meer, J. (1998). Geometrical Design of Coastal Structures. In K. W. Pilarczyk (Ed.), Dikes and revetments: Design, maintenance and safety assessment (pp. 161–176). Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema.

    Google Scholar 

  60. VanKoningsveld, M., Mulder, J. P. M., Stive, M. J. F., VanDerValk, L., & VanDerWeck, A. W. (2008). Living with sea-level rise and climate change: A case study of the Netherlands. Journal of Coastal Research, 24(2), 367–379.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Vermieren, J. (2000). Risk transfer and finance experience in the caribbean. Managing Disaster Risk in Emerging Economies, 166–174.

  62. Verner, D. (2010). Reducing poverty, protecting livelihoods and building assets in a changing climate: Social implications of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Williams, A., & Micallef, A. (2009). Beach management: Principles and practice. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  64. World Bank. (2010). Funding adaptation to climate change. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Zhu, X., Linham, M. M., & Nicholls, R. J. (2010). Technologies for climate change adaptation-coastal erosion and flooding. Lyngby: Danmarks Tekniske Universitet: Risø Nationallaboratoriet for Bæredygtig Energi.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sherry-Ann S. Ganase.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Appendix 1: Questionnaire


Appendix 2: Test for normality and homoskedasticity


Test for Homoskedasticity

Cameron and Trivedi’s decomposition of IM test

Source χ2 df p
Heteroskedasticity 8.35 5 0.0613
Skewness 7.78 3 0.0507
Kurtosis 0.27 1 0.6067

Breusch-Pagan/Cook-Weisberg test for heteroskedasticity

Ho: Constant variance

Variables: fitted values of adapt

χ2(1) = 5.93

Prob > χ2 = 0.0516

Test for Model Specification

Ramsey RESET test using powers of the fitted values of measure

Ho: model has no omitted variables

F(3, 868) = 3.02

Prob > F = 0.0451

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ganase, SA.S., Sookram, S. Climate change knowledge at the grass roots: the case of Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 1105–1132 (2021).

Download citation


  • Adaptation
  • Bequia
  • Multiple linear regression
  • Perception