Residents across Barbados are custodians of the island’s coastlines, and they are being encouraged to voice their opinions on the draft Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan during the upcoming public enquiries.
The first of these enquiries is slated for tomorrow, Tuesday, June 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. It will focus on Sub-Area 1 which is South Point to Kitridge Point. Persons may access the public enquiry by clicking here . Each meeting will focus on a different sub-area.
Speaking during the national launch of the enquiries this morning, Chairman of Public Enquiries on the draft updated ICZM Plan, Yolanda Alleyne, said now was the time for all residents to become involved in the integrated management of Barbados’ coastal areas.
“The general public and key stakeholders are all custodians of our coasts, and this consultation process is an opportunity for everyone to get involved.
Together let us examine the proposed policy tools and guidelines for coastal areas management and give meaningful feedback to foster sustainable development and integrated and informed decision making,” she said.
Ms. Alleyne stressed that public involvement was important to making the plan work, and noted that residents were the ones who lived, worked and had fun in the coastal areas.
She explained that the new ICZM plan was intended to strengthen the management of Barbados’ coastal areas. “This is a fresh approach to make coastal resources, businesses and livelihoods in defined coastal zone management areas more resilient to coastal risks and adaptable to the probable impacts of climate change,” she said.
Ms. Alleyne further noted that the draft plan effected a long-term strategic approach to the country’s physical and economic development planning which recognised the integrated nature of natural hazards such as climate change, climate variability and terrestrial, coastal and marine environments.
“For the first time, an integrated disaster risk management and climate change adaptation strategy is embedded in coastal zone management. This draft plan is intended to manage coastal resources in a sustainable way that reflects the latest understanding of climate and disaster risk,” she pointed out.
The Chairman noted that it was estimated that about 50 per cent of Barbados’ population and 95 per cent of its tourism infrastructure was concentrated in or near the area defined as the coastal zone.
As a result, she noted, ICZM management was essential to Barbados with healthy oceans and coastal areas being vital to the island’s economic future.