Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Field Project Summary
Socio-economic and environmental evaluation and management of the south coast of Havana Province, Cuba

Revision Date: 1st March, 2001.
Title:  Socio-economic and environmental evaluation and management of the south coast of Havana Province, Cuba. (Former titles: Socio-economic and environmental management along the south coast of La Habana Province [Cuba], Planning for people and human settlements, southern coastal area of Havana Province, Cuba).
Goal: To provide for the presence and development of the human population in a fragile coastal area, utilising the principles of integrated coastal management. 
Location: Southern coastal area of Havana Province, Cuba
Starting date: 1999. 
Partners: The Physical Planning Directorate of Havana Province (DPPF); the Provincial Government; the Physical Planning Directorates of the nine municipalities involved; the Provincial Delegation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA); UNESCO through: the Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana (ORCALC); and the Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform.
Pilot project leader:

Antonio Diaz Tablada, Department of Scientific and Technical Development, Physical Planning Directorate of Havana Province, Calzada de Managua Km 4½, Mantilla, Ciudad de la Habana, Codigo Postal 10 900.
Tel: 537  99 0951, 537 98 5803, 537 99 1556 ext. 360. 
Fax: 537 57 8378.
e-mail: dppfhab@ceniai.inf.cu

Description: The land area lies on the south coast of Havana province, it is 142 km long, 2.5–12 km wide and has a total area of 846 km2, and is characterised by wetlands.  The marine area lies in the Gulf of Batabano, under the jurisdiction of Havana province and extends 55–60 km offshore.
Major activities: (1) Preliminary diagnostic survey (1999). This includes a synthesis and analysis of territorial, statistical and cartographical information as well as other published materials.
(2) Addition to the diagnostic survey (2000). The preliminary survey document was reviewed by a UNESCO consultant and the key marine aspects were added. Cadastral and statistical databases were used to add information on human settlements on the coast, focusing particularly on four of the seven settlements.
(3) A publicity and awareness campaign about the project was conducted during and after a visit by a UNESCO evaluation mission in April 2000. Interviews with local actors at one of the coastal settlements, the project leader and a specialist from CITMA, were broadcast on national and provincial television. An interview with the project leader about the origin and goals of the project was broadcast by the provincial radio station.
(4) A project dossier was prepared and discussed with provincial and municipal leaders and specialists, to obtain external support to solve urgent, short-term problems at one of the coastal settlements.
Achievements & Assessment: (1) The preliminary diagnostic survey clearly defines the boundaries of the project area. It provides an integrated vision of the area’s dynamics and the relationship between the ecological and socio-economic systems. Through the diagnostic survey, knowledge of international trends and the national instruments available for planning, management and territorial control of coastal areas has been obtained. The diagnostic survey was the only document mentioned in the research category of the Annual Physical Planning Awards. In addition, the preparation of the database and bibliography has enhanced the capabilities of the project team.
(2) The additions to the diagnostic survey and the analysis of the human settlements along the coast increased understanding of land-sea interactions, pinpointed the origin of some of the negative impacts experienced in the coastal area and identified settlements in priority need of socio-economic and environmental management.
Future Directions: Future work will focus on the population of the settlements which lie within 1,000 m of the shore and its relationship with the environment. The work will include:
(1) Analysis of the three coastal settlements not yet studied in depth.
(2) Evaluation of the dynamics of land use, and the territorial transformations brought about by human activity and natural change.
(3) Investigation of the psychological and social aspects of some of the identified impacts, such as the loss of wetland areas. This will require complete sociological investigation and analysis.
(4) Integration of the sociological investigation results into the conclusions of the diagnostic survey.
(5) Sharing the results of the project with stakeholders in workshops focused on defining a development strategy for the area in the short to medium term.
(6) Establishment of an Action and Monitoring Plan to be executed by local agencies.
(7) Training members of the research team to use new planning techniques and tools.
(8) Exchanging experiences internationally through conferences and other events and publication of the final project report.

(9) Seeking funding for implementation of the Action and Monitoring Plan.

    

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