Imagine how valuable our coastline is!

Barbados’ coastline is vital to the lives of all Barbadians. Not just now but for our future. It provides us with food as well as places to relax, live, and play. It also enhances the island’s economic development through tourism, fishing, and recreational business-related activities.

Our coastline, however, is becoming more vulnerable because of the impact of climate change. If we do little or nothing to combat this it will be more negatively impacted by coastal flooding, erosion, cliff collapse and more.

It’s clear that the time is now to take a new approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and make our coastline more resilient. The Barbados Government through Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) is leading the way. How? With state-of-the-art, science-based adaptation and investment planning on the coast. The new draft updated ICZM Plan will introduce improved coastal risk understanding and procedures into physical infrastructure and non‐structural adaptation measures. This will increase the island’s resilience to coastal hazards caused by climate change. It’s tackling climate change head on!

What makes the updated Plan different?

The updated Plan provides guidance on the appropriate long‐term ecosystem‐based interventions that can be combined with existing strategies to deal with coastal hazards. This was lacking previously. Such measures will help to build coastal resilience and capacity within the newly defined Coastal Zone Management Area (CZMA).

The updated ICZM Plan is backed up by and integrates the latest knowledge on climate change and coastal risk into new guidelines, legislation, regulations and advisories to support safe and long‐term climate development within the coastal zone.

It also champions an integrated approach which puts climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk management (DRM) measures front and centre to managing erosion, restoring coral health, and reducing the impact of storm surge.

The Plan is divided into two volumes. Volume 1: The Barbados Policy Framework (2020 to 2030) inculcates the new concepts of DRM and CCA in a proactive manner while continuing to consider sustainable development as a long‐term commitment that combines environmental protection, social equity and economic efficiency. Volume 2: The Barbados ICZM Plan (2020 to 2030) provides detailed guidance for activities within the CZMA at the national and Sub Area level to support all sectors and the wider society on achieving climate and disaster risk compatible development.

It’s no doubt that this Plan is an important milestone for Barbados.

A coast to be even more proud of!

If we implement this Plan and implement it well there will be a range of social and economic benefits for all Barbadians. For example, we’ll have a coastline that is more resilient to storm surge from hurricanes and other severe weather; beaches that we can continue to enjoy now and for future generations; greater and sustainable job creation; and other economic benefits.

In a nutshell, we get to fully and more safely enjoy all that our coastline has to offer with its goods, services, relaxation, housing, and recreation.

We want to hear from you!

Consultation is integral to the approval of the draft updated ICZM Plan. Issues impacting our coast affect us all, therefore robust discussion is needed. A Public Enquiry was launched on Monday June 7, 2021 ahead of World Oceans Day. The day’s 2021 theme, “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” has direct relevance to the draft updated Plan. The launch has been followed by a series of eight public meetings that started on June 8 and end on July 1.

Each public meeting focuses on the “nuts and bolts” of the Plan, benefits, and impact as well as a presentation on the unique characteristics, risks and goals for a different sub area of the Coastal Zone Management Area (CZMA). The meetings also have a question-and-answer segment. And you're invited.

In addition to attending the public meetings you can also make your voice heard on the draft updated Plan by visiting the CZMU website at to download and share your comments on the Plan; sending comments via our WhatsApp number (246) 256-3173 , or emailing them to

After the consultation process, the draft updated ICZM Plan and the revised boundaries of the CZMA will be amended in conjunction with the Director of CZMU, incorporating comments from the public enquiry.