Coastal Zone Risk Assessment Programme

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (centre), congratulates Sir Richard following the unveiling of the plaque at the renaming ceremony. At right is Minister of Environment, Denis Lowe.
(A. Gaskin/BGIS)

Government has embarked on a coastal risk assessment and management programme which is aimed at fortifying the island’s coastline to withstand coastal hazards and the effects of climate change.??

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this disclosure last Sunday, while addressing the official opening and naming of the South Coast Boardwalk to the Richard Haynes Boardwalk, at the Hastings Rock Esplanade, Christ Church.??

He disclosed that the Coastal Zone Management Unit was working to incorporate coastal climate change adaptation technologies, methods and disaster risk reduction considerations, into integrative coastal zone management processes.

"The project will deliver a comprehensive evaluation of the risks and vulnerabilities to Barbados, to sea level related hazards such as storm surge and tsunamis.?? It will provide valuable information for agencies within the national emergency management system, which can be used to implement additional mitigation measures and hazard response procedures, including evacuation routes from the coast and safe zones," Mr. Stuart emphasised.

The Prime Minister also revealed that during the financial year, construction would commence on the Holetown Waterfront Improvement Project to stabilise beaches in the area, as well as the Tent Bay Slipway and Revetment programme, to assist fishermen and other boaters with an additional landing site on the island’s east coast.

Mr. Stuart further stated that other diagnostic studies would be conducted and comprehensive institutional strengthening undertaken for government agencies responsible for coastal management and disaster risk management.

The Prime Minister said the new project was being carefully examined by overseas interests as the island would be one of the first countries to incorporate costal risk into a "mature and successful integrated coastal zone management programme".

"The Coastal Zone Management Unit’s technical team must be commended for the conceptualisation and development of its components.?? As a result, Barbados … is now a champion for coastal best practices at the regional and international levels, and coastal states across the globe, are seeking technical assistance and advice from our coastal experts," Mr. Stuart underlined.

He said the boardwalk project which "stood tall" as a world class design, had opened up new economic opportunities for businesses in the area by providing a window to the sea for pedestrian traffic to gain access to properties.

The boardwalk, Mr. Stuart noted, apart from recreation, also had an educational value as it allowed Barbadians to learn more about the island’s coastline and the importance of protecting it.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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