The Role of Community Participation Mechanisms in the Search for Social and Environmental Justice in Vieques, Puerto Rico
AuthorRichardson, Belinda Lian
community participation mechanisms
Social and environmental justice
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis paper assesses the continued community participation mechanisms, especially the Restoration Advisory Board, and the role of these mechanisms in the environmental cleanup of post U.S. military training operations in the current colonial situation of the Puerto Rican island municipality of Vieques. Today the community has many informal and formal mechanisms of organization meant to address the social, economic, health and environmental problems resulting from the Navy's presence on the island. These mechanisms are the cornerstone of the community's search for social and environmental justice. This paper provides a brief history of the Navy's presence on Vieques, the evolution of community participation mechanisms and an analysis of how these mechanisms allow the community to interact with public, private and government institutions involved in the cleanup. The research is centered around interviews with community members to discern whether they feel these mechanisms are effective in properly addressing community concerns. The case study of Vieques could also have international implications for the future of foreign military bases and toxic waste disposal around the world. Analysis of the effectiveness of community participation mechanisms could help marginalized communities deal with developed countries on issues that may concern human health and environmental risks as a result of the developed countries' activities. The analysis of community participation mechanisms can be used as a guide for Vieques and other communities around the world trying to achieve social, economic and environmental justice.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Interdisciplinary International Studies