In May 2012, following a successful week of introductions, site planning meetings and knowledge exchanges, a team of four began the Community-Based Vulnerability Assessment (CBVA) for Tobago. Amanda Palmer, Canadian Master’s Candidate at the University of Waterloo, Alvin Thompson, Tobagonian PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo and Heather Stager, ParCA Project Manager, worked with Tobagonian field research assistants, Kathleen Thompson and Juliana Antoine, to conduct interviews with local fisherfolk and tourism operators. During their 2 months in Tobago they conducted over 135 interviews, attended a fisherfolk association meeting and participated in various other local events.
Working with a local non-governmental organization, Environment Tobago, and through Alvin’s extensive network in Tobago, getting people to participate in the interviews was no trouble. Key informants within the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and other institutions enabled the research team to reveal governance frameworks, and tap into many formal and informal networks. Amanda will continue with the analysis over the summer of 2012 and prepare a more detailed summary of findings.