The final reports and findings from a project geared towards sustainable land management in Barbados will be revealed on Friday, August 31 during a workshop at The Barbados Hilton, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, will deliver the keynote address, while Project Manager, Mark Brathwaite will give an overview of the project.
Environment Officer in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Kim Downes Agard, explained that Government partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to implement the sub-regional project entitled: LDC-SIDS Targeted Portfolio Approach to Sustainable Land Management.
She added the project, which was funded by the Global Environmental Facility, was part of an international effort to look at sustainable land management under the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought.
Mrs. Downes Agard pointed out that Barbados signed onto the three-year project, but had delays in getting it started and this resulted in it being condensed to 18 months. "Most of our outputs were developed in the last six months of the project. As a result, we identified priority areas that we could complete within the time left in the project," she said.
Those areas were: the institutional strengthening of the Soil Conservation Unit; the development of a Geographical Information System (GIS, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); and the development of a communications strategy for sustainable land management.
"What we hope to get from these three components is an agency that integrates sustainable land management concepts in its daily work; a communications strategy that would make Barbadians more aware of the issues of sustainable land management, and how their activities can have an impact; and that we put a strategy in place to encourage best practices and make people aware of the impact their activities can have on the land," the Environmental Officer said.
She added that the GIS concept was innovative and would see the integration of information from various agencies into one place to effect better decision making.
"What this project did was bring together all the agencies that would have information relevant to land management. The agencies understand the relevance of the output of the project and the issues, and they have shared their information to demonstrate how something like this could work Government wide. These things will be presented to all the stakeholders at the workshop on the 31st," Mrs. Downes Agard highlighted.
She noted that the workshop was also expected to provide an avenue for national discussion in the area of sustainable land management.