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Mon Apr 6, 2020, 04:28 PM

Indigenous Practices Could Help Islands Prepare for Rising Seas

MARTIN MACIAS JR April 6, 2020

Indigenous inhabitants of islands in the Caribbean and off the coast of West Africa developed lifestyles that allowed them to adapt to catastrophic climate events such as hurricanes and sea-level rise, researchers say. (Courtesy of Kristina Douglass / Penn State)

(CN) Communities in the Caribbean and on islands off the coast of West Africa must adopt the nomadic, less stationary modes of living their ancestors embraced if they are to survive dangers that come with rising sea levels, according to a study released Monday.

The islands examined in the study have varying degrees of elevation, but those with lower elevation levels face more urgent threats since even a small increase in sea levels could bring catastrophic floods.

. . .

In the last millennium, rampant colonization devastated communities and natural environments in both sets of islands, propping up economies built using mass enslavement and marginalization of indigenous groups.

Diseases introduced to Caribbean communities decimated native people and largely replaced them with colonists and enslaved Africans.


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