The just concluded Consett Bay project has been lauded as a success, with recommendations being put forward for it to be used as a template for similar projects within other coastal watersheds, especially those found within National Parks systems.
Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, gave these accolades as he addressed the handing over ceremony of the pilot project entitled: Up-scaling Sustainable Resource Management in Coastal Watershed Communities of Barbados??? National Park and System of Open Spaces, at Consett Bay, St. John, recently.
???Through this project, Government agencies have been afforded the opportunity to work together with the community in developing the elements of a strategy for sustainable resource management, while demonstrating the critical role that communities can play in shaping national development,??? he said.
The Minister further stated that such practical community-based management methodology for natural resources was at the cutting-edge, and would take Barbados closer to attaining its national goal of becoming ???the most environmentally advanced green country in Latin America and the Caribbean???.
Dr. Lowe also stressed that work done at Consett Bay also augured well for the improvement of Barbados??? management and monitoring of near shore marine and terrestrial resources in the area.
???I am also aware of your willingness to continue to use this relationship with the Consett Bay community as a platform for further research, and the development of livelihood opportunities in the area, which should redound not only to the benefit of the community but to the nation,??? the Minister said.
The Consett Bay project represents a collaborative effort between members of that community, the University of the West Indies, the United Nations Environment Programme, Government and non-governmental agencies. It produced a number of outputs, including the Local Sustainable Fisheries Code to promote Responsible Fisheries Development and Management.
Under the code highlighted by the output, persons agreed to work together with other institutions towards the further development of sustainable livelihoods within the fisheries sector at Consett Bay.
In addition, they also agreed to respect and protect the integrity of the hillside and Bay to ensure a healthy and productive marine ecosystem and sustainable fisheries; and to develop the Consett Bay Advocacy Group to effectively convey the common interests of fisherfolk in the area.
Dr. Lowe also recommended that the code be used by other fishing communities to establish their own code of conduct in respect of managing the unique marine and terrestrial resources in their own areas.
He also gave the assurance that he would take the suggestion that the Governance Steering Committee at Consett Bay should remain in place as the executing entity to oversee the roll out of the next steps to Cabinet.