Push to restore healthy coastal zones
The importance of restoring Caribbean coastal zones to healthy ecosystems capable of sustaining appropriate levels of economic activity through halting the negative trend and encouraging sustainable use was emphasized by Dr Leo Brewster, Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU).
He was speaking today at the launch of the Caribbean Regional Working on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) workshop at the Courtyard Marriott.
Acting Minister of Environment Water Resources and Drainage Denis Kellman revealed that Government will undertake within the next fiscal year a Coastal Risk Assessment and Management Programme to build capacity in integrating coastal risk management in Barbados, incorporating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the development and monitoring of the coastal zone.
This programme was made possible through the signing by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of a loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank for US$30 million with a counterpart Barbados contribution of US$12million.
Brewster said that owing to the acceleration of tourism prior to marine resource conservation efforts, many islands have experienced a decline of the quality of habitats within the coastal area.
The CZMU Director said that few governments have developed the tenacity required to execute a coastal management programme sustainably as many projects have been conducted, reports developed and plans formulated but implementation has remained elusive due to lack of funding.
He however urged the region to get up and show that some ICZM activities could be undertaken through linkages with the right funding agencies.