Coastal Conservation Programme Phase I

Coastal Conservation Programme Phase I 
- Study of North, East and South-East Coasts (1996-1999)

Sir William Halcrow and Partners Ltd (U.K.) and Consulting Engineers Partnership (Barbados) were the two companies hired as consultants to implement this project which was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. The study area for the project was from Maycock's, St. Lucy to South Point, Christ Church in a clockwise direction.

The objectives of the project were:

  • To develop an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) for the North, East and South-East coasts.
  • To combine the new ICZMP for the North, East and South-East coasts with the existing ICZMP for the South and West coasts, so as to obtain an overall ICZMP for the entire coast.
  • To implement institutional strengthening.
  • To complete the feasibility assessment and design for the Investment Programme for Phase II. In Phase II, construction activities will be carried out as outlined in Phase I.

Community participation and public awareness were viewed as essential to the success of the project. Involvement of users, communities and the general public creates opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of the issues. Therefore five (5) demonstration projects which promoted participation and awareness were conceptualised and implemented.

Demonstration Projects
Five demonstration projects were implemented by People Dynamic Association (PDA) under the auspices of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) as part of the Barbados Coastal Conservation Programme (Phase I).

The goal of the demonstration projects was to engage the stakeholders (the public) in sustainable management of coastal resources in Barbados; and the purpose was to explore approaches and methods for stakeholder participation in sustainable management of coastal resources.

Background to the Projects
The Coastal Watershed Management project sought community input to a plan for managing the coastal watershed of Long Pond (the Bruce Vale and Walkers River watersheds) (PDA 1998b, 1999a). The project was linked to the activities of the St. Andrew Independence Committee. Stakeholders identified key information, and environmental and planning issues that needed to be addressed. Baseline studies and community awareness activities were carried out. The ecological uniqueness of Long Pond was recognised by stakeholders, as was the need for its recognition as a National Heritage Area. A small team has decided to seek partnership with the Government of Barbados in an eco-tourism venture at Long Pond.

The Coastal Nature Trail project established a community-based nature trail from Bath to Martin's Bay in St. John that has the potential to provide income generation for community residents (PDA 1998d, 1999c). This was done in collaboration with the St. John Independence Committee. Stakeholders, mainly area residents and landowners, comprised the coordinating committee that guided the project. A community representative organised local workers for trail clearing, and residents have been trained as trail guides. For sustainability, a non-profit organisation, 'Trail Friends' has been established to guide future development and management of the trail.

The Sea Moss Farming project was also aimed at income generation from coastal resources. It established a community-based sea moss farm at Consett Bay, St. John where residents farm and process seamoss for local markets (PDA 1998f, 1999e). After experiencing a number of problems due to rough weather conditions, residents are making several adjustments to the growing process to keep their enterprise going. The group consists of teams, each of which owns several seamoss rafts. A small number are responsible for daily maintenance, but the major work is done together in working parties. The group formed the Conset Bay Seamoss Farmers and Processors Study Group which is actively supported by the Fisheries Division.

The Coastal Re-vegetation and Stabilisation project sought to stabilise the beach and dunes in the area by Barclay's Park by planting vegetation and installing sand fences (PDA 1998b, 1999c). Through collaboration with various government agencies, private enterprise, and NGOs, this project mobilised the wider community in planting vegetation in vulnerable areas. School children built and installed sand fences and monitored and maintained young plants. For sustainability, the project aligned with the Arbour Committee, whose mandate is the forestation of Barbados.

The Community-based Sea Urchin Management project focused on fisherfolk who were engaged in the sea urchin fishery (PDA 1998e, 1999d). Thus its geographical scope was the entire island. Sea urchin fisherfolk were mobilised though community visits by project personnel. Key persons were identified and invited to attend facilitated planning meetings where they prepared a vision for the fishery and and strategic and action plans for achieving the vision. This included the formation of an organisation to work with the Fisheries Division in co-managing the fishery. The Barbados Fisherfolk Divers Association was established, and the Management Committee will meet at the Fisheries Division where the group now has its own fisherfolk desk equipped by the project.

In all cases where there was the need for management capability to support the business aspects of the projects, members received small-business training from the Barbados Institute for Management and productivity (BIMAP).