Perceptions of climate change risk in The Bahamas

Abstract

The Bahamas is considered to be one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change due to its geographic, economic, and population characteristics. While prior research on specific Bahamian resident groups, such as tourism and healthcare workers, has shown limited awareness of climate change, minimal knowledge of specific impacts of environmental change, and low prioritization of environmental issues, in general, there is a lack of studies on the perception of the broader Bahamian public about climate change issues. In this study, over 500 Bahamian residents were surveyed to determine their familiarity with the issue of climate change, specific impacts on The Bahamas, and the perceived levels of risk of these impacts. The majority of respondents were females between the ages of 18 and 30 with some level of college education. The study provides analysis of how climate change is perceived by this subset of the population and potential links with how these perceptions can guide policymaking and risk communication strategies. The study also has implications for other small island developing states, as it contributes to an understanding of the needs for localized data and public education in vulnerable states such as these.

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Correspondence to Adelle Thomas.

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Thomas, A., Benjamin, L. Perceptions of climate change risk in The Bahamas. J Environ Stud Sci 8, 63–72 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-017-0429-6

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Keywords

  • Public perception
  • Climate change risk
  • Small island developing states
  • Caribbean