The continuing struggle to preserve the ecological abundance of the eastern Caribbean is a recurrent theme in this collection of essays on the gardens (both botanical and small holdings) and the forests of such diverse islands as Martinique, St. Vincent, St. Dominigue (present Haiti) and Barbados.
This book pays homage to the indigenous Caribbean people and imported slaves and their descendants, who fashioned gardens in remote jungles to achieve both personal dignity and independence from the slave and post-slave plantation economy. The resilience of island ecosystems following natural disasters is documented.
The book's pioneers include botanists and gardeners from many countries, who strove to introduce food crops and medicines to the Caribbean for an ever-growing population, and enlightened local administrators, who tried to prevent the ravishes of deforestation and its consequent climate changes wherever they could. This includes, in contemporary times, Dr Earle Kirby of Kingstown , who has studied and acted on these questions all his life, and in whose honour this book is created
Robert S. Anderson is Professor of Communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He has worked in the eastern Caribbean and Jamaica, as well as Asia. His degree is from the University of Chicago, and a recent book is Rice Science and Development Politics for OUP. Richard Grove has received degrees from Cambridge University and was the editor of the journal Environment and History. His latest publication for CUP was entitled Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism 1600-1860. Karis Hiebert is a city planner in Vancouver, British Columbia, whose professional focus is sustainable urban development. She worked as assistant co-ordinator for the 1991 St. Vincent Conference of Environmental Institutions. Her degrees were awarded by Simon Fraser University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.