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The Geographical Review
July 1997, Vol. 87 (3), pp. 353-374
Soil Conservation, Political Ecology,
and Technological Change on Saint Vincent
Lawrence S. Grossman
Remnants of grass barriers planted on an estate on the leeward side of Saint Vincent, 1989.
A political-ecological perspective is used to analyze soil erosion, conservation, and the peasantry on Saint Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean. Peasants farm areas most susceptible to erosion because of the historical development of property relationships. A soil-conservation effort begun in the late 1930s was part of a broader, British Empire-wide program. Local political-economic conditions and the environmental and technical characteristics of the cropping systems influenced the nature of soil conservation on Saint Vincent. Official colonial discourse about erosion reflected a complex mixture of blaming peasants and recognizing their political-economic constraints.
Keywords: Caribbena, peasants, political ecology, Saint Vincent, soil conservation.
Dr. GROSSMAN is an associate professor of geography at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061.
To contact the author: Professor Lawrence S. Grossman
Department of Geography
College of Arts and Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0115
Phone: (540) 231-6886, (540) 231-6367 fax