Barbadians are being encouraged to read the draft Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan and provide their inputs on the document.
Director of the Coastal Management Unit (CZMU), Dr. Leo Brewster, made this call as he urged residents to be guardians of the island’s coastal communities, and be a part of the process to restore it for future generations.
To participate in the process, persons are invited to attend the public meetings currently being held by visiting the CZMU website to download and share feedback.
They may also send comments to the CZMU WhatsApp number 256-3173, or email ICZMPlan@coastal.gov.bb.
Once the consultation process is completed, the plan and the revised boundaries of the Coastal Zone Managed Area will be amended, taking the comments into consideration.
“If we want to keep enjoying our coastline’s economic, recreational, business and job benefits for generations to come, we all need to maintain its diversity, health and productivity. Let us play our part. Regardless of our parish or constituency, what happens around the coastline of Barbados affects us all,” Dr. Brewster stated.
In a statement, he explained that the updated ICZM Plan used the latest knowledge and science on climate change and coastal risks to produce new guidelines, legislation, regulations, standards and advisories, all designed to support safe and long-term climate development in Barbados.
“The plan puts climate change adaptation and disaster risk management measures front and centre to support flood and coastal erosion risk management, and restore and rehabilitate coastal resources, such as corals and beaches.
“All to reduce the impacts of storm surges and hurricanes,” Dr. Brewster noted.
He added that the implementation of the 10-year plan, which runs from 2020 to 2030, would “future proof” planning on the coasts of Barbados, while creating a framework for the country to build back better in light of COVID-19 international economic downturns.
The plan is broken down into two volumes. Volume One contains the Policy Framework, which focuses on six main outcomes. They include ensuring that coastal resources are protected and effectively managed, and climate and disaster risk adaptive capacity is strengthened, and increasing the research, understanding and knowledge outreach.
Dr. Brewster noted that Volume Two highlights four main components – setting the scene for risk resilience; creating an adaptive pathway; national guidance strategies to be implemented by the CZMU, and describing the main themes of each sub area.
“When you read the document, you will realise that it is one that can be effectively used as a reference document by all. For this reason, we’ve tried to make it as user-friendly as possible. I hope that you’ll spend the time to go through and read it,” the CZMU Director said.