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International Conference on Climate Change Global Warming

Berlin, Germany
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Review of agricultural pollution in the Caribbean with particular emphasis on small island developing states

Author(s): Rawlins BG, Ferguson AJ, Chilton PJ, Arthurton RS, Rees JG

Abstract

Recent studies have attributed the degradation of coastal living resources in the Caribbean to the potential impacts of agricultural pollution. Physical features controlling the delivery, retention and dispersal of pollutants throughout the region are discussed. Information relating to four types of agricultural pollution is presented and assessed: soil erosion leading to siltation, nutrient enrichment, pesticide contamination and agro-industrial pollution. The results of this review have enabled gaps in knowledge to be identified. Areas prone to soil erosion and the reasons for their susceptibility are known. There is a paucity of baseline data on turbidity and on the concentration of nutrients and pesticides in the coastal zone. The increase in the use of agricultural fertilisers and pesticides over the last 20 years suggests a concomitant rise in their loads to coastal waters. Few studies have made direct links between agricultural pollution, reduction in coastal water quality or clarity, and the degradation of coastal living resources.

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