(OECS Secretariat, Castries Saint Lucia) The Organisation of East Caribbean States (OECS) has begun a survey to assess people’s knowledge of climate change and its related issues. The survey will also measure whether citizens of the OECS care about climate change and what personal changes, if any, they are making to reduce the predicted impacts of climate change.
This is the first study of its kind to be done by the OECS Secretariat with an estimated 500 persons targeted in each of the six independent Member States. The study will be conducted through a consulting firm, Kairi Consultants Ltd. The consultants have already begun collecting data in Saint Lucia and will continue through for a period of three weeks. Data collection will also take place in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines from the end of June through to July 2012.
During the data collection process, trained local interviewers, working on behalf the Consultants will administer face-to-face questionnaires across each of these OECS Member States. The local interviewers will also seek information on media consumption patterns of respondents – this is to determine where, how and from whom they obtain climate change information and what their media preferences for such information are.
The results of the survey will be used to guide future public awareness programs on climate change issues in the OECS and for developing and strengthening climate change adaptation policies and activities. The information gathered will also provide the OECS with baseline knowledge that will be used to facilitate behaviour change among local populations most vulnerable to the predicted impacts of climate change.
The final report of the survey is due to be completed in September 2012. It will present an analysis of respondents’ knowledge, attitudes and practices related to climate change.