chapter  11
Tourism, environmental conservation and management and local agriculture in the eastern Caribbean: is there an appropriate, sustainable future for them?
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This chapter examines the troubled history of conflictual relationships between tourism’s growth and development, coastal zone environmental conservation and management and local, small-scale agriculture in eastern Caribbean islands in general and in St Lucia, in particular. Not only are these three strongly interrelated, but their sustainable futures may be predicated on the progressive paths all three follow, or are directed along. Institutional mechanisms forging linkages between all those involved in local tourism development, local agricultural development and environmental protection and management need to be carefully thought out, appropriately articulated (narrated), and analytically informed, if this diffi-

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coastal zones, are discussed. An understanding of how easily environmental relationships are disturbed is important because of their significance for the very notion of sustainability and for the health and long-term future of the industry. By developing and constructing the tourist ‘built environment’, and thus displacing farms and agricultural land, tourism’s rapid monopolisation of the coastal zone drives up land prices and rents beyond their rural use-value (McElroy and de Albuquerque 1990). Not surprisingly, the proportion of agricultural land (and overall production) declines under mass tourism’s challenge; whether with, or without, state intervention(s).