The Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) will host a virtual national launch of the public enquiry to gather the views on the new Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan on Monday, June 7, at 11:00 a.m.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, and Director of the CZMU, Dr. Leo Brewster, are expected to address the launch which will be held ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8, under the theme: The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods.
Dr. Brewster described the updated plan as being relevant at this time. “The coastline of Barbados is increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
“For example, projections indicate that hurricane impacts, tourism losses and infrastructure damage from sea level rise could amount to US$22 billion a year by 2050 and US$46 billion per year by 2100. This is approximately 10 per cent and 22 per cent of current regional GDP,” he said.
Dr. Brewster further noted that effective national implementation of the plan would increase climate resilience to the increasing frequency and threat of coastal hazards likely to be faced in the future.
He noted that once implemented, Barbados would benefit from a coastline that is more resilient to storm surge from hurricanes and other forms of severe weather. “We will have beaches we can continue to enjoy for future generations, more sustainable job creation and other economic benefits,” he said.
The updated ICZM Plan uses the latest knowledge and science on climate change and coastal risks to produce new guidelines, legislation, regulations, standards and advisories, which are designed to support the safe and long-term climate development within Barbados’ coastal zone management area.
“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,” the Director outlined.
He added that the 10-year plan, which runs from 2020 to 2030, was designed to reduce the impact of storm surge and hurricanes and would “future proof” planning of Barbados’ coast, while creating a framework to build back better.
“If we want to realise our coastline’s economic, recreational, business and job benefits for generations to come, we all need to maintain its diversity, health and productivity. Let’s play our part, regardless of our parish or constituency, what happens around the coastline of Barbados affects us all,” Dr. Brewster stated.