Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Antigua and Barbuda

A beach monitoring programme was started in Antigua in 1992 and in Barbuda in 1995.  Officers from the Department of Fisheries and the Development Control Authority were trained in monitoring techniques.  Annual visits were made between 1993 and 1995 to provide additional training.

A slide presentation illustrating the effects of Tropical Storm Iris and Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn on the islands of the eastern Caribbean in 1995, including slides on Antigua and Barbuda, was put together in 1997.  

Antigua and Barbuda participated in the regional ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Eastern Caribbean (COSALC) project’ (now renamed ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands). The coastal monitoring programme was continued through 1996-99 by the Fisheries Division. In 1996, equipment for coastal monitoring was provided. Analyses of the monitoring data collected between 1992 and 1995 and stored in the country’s computerized data base, were completed in 1996 and a corresponding report ‘Hurricane Impact on Beaches in the Eastern Caribbean Islands 1989-1995’ was issued; another report, analysing the 1996 coastal changes in the region (with a chapter on Antigua and Barbuda) was produced in 1997. A public awareness campaign was launched in 1997; it included the production of audio-visual material entitled ‘Beaches and Hurricanes: 1995 in the Eastern Caribbean Islands’ (with data from Antigua and Barbuda) for distribution to national agencies, schools and the private sector. A cultural and socio-economic assessment of beach changes in the Eastern Caribbean (including Antigua and Barbuda) was completed and a corresponding report was issued in 1996; a paper on the assessment was published in CSI papers 1. Two country representatives (from government agencies) attended a regional workshop (co-sponsored by CSI, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, IOCARIBE, and the Caribbean Development Bank) on management of beach resources in small Eastern Caribbean islands (Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 21-25 October, 1996). Their contributions, along with contributions by other countries in the region, were published as CSI Info 1 (1997): ‘Integrated Framework for the Management of Beach Resources within the Smaller Caribbean Islands: workshop results’; and Coastal Region and Small Island Papers 1 (1997): ‘Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands: workshop papers’. A practical guide for stakeholders, presenting methodology for coastal development setbacks in the Eastern Caribbean Islands was published as CSI Info 4, ‘Planning for Coastline Change’ and distributed. In 1997, an institutional strengthening pilot project was launched with a consultancy mission in July and August, which provided technical support to the national agencies involved in the beach monitoring programme. Under the ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Eastern Caribbean project’, a consultant visited Antigua and Barbuda in January 1998 to determine coastal development setback guidelines. Country-specific guidelines were produced and issued in a report entitled ‘Planning for Coastline Change - Coastal Development Setback Guidelines in Antigua and Barbuda’. Another mission followed four months later to provide support to the beach monitoring programme, to consult with the national agencies involved and organize public discussions for stakeholders on sustainable coastal development matters. Yet another consultancy mission provided further support to the beach monitoring programme, which included a training workshop for planning officers on ‘Shoreline Management’ and a public forum on ‘Coastal Development Setbacks’ held in October that same year. A summary report entitled ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean Islands - COSALC project activities 1996-97’ (published as No.6 in the CSI Info series) and a report ‘Planning for Coastline Change - COSALC project review, 1998’ were submitted to the Antiguan and Barbudan authorities. The public information material distributed included: a poster ‘The Sea at your doorstep’ produced in August 1998; three articles in the Sea Grant in the Caribbean Newsletter (January-December 1998); and ‘Coping with Beach Erosion’ (published as Coastal Management Sourcebook 1).

Since April 1999 a web-based discussion on ‘Planning for Coastal Erosion’ in eastern Caribbean islands (including Antigua and Barbuda) has been taking place on the ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum’.

Antigua and Barbuda participated in the first phase of a joint Caribbean Development Bank/UNESCO project on ‘Institutional Strengthening in Beach Management in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Turks and Caicos Islands’ (October 1999-March 2001).  The focus of the project was strengthening of the on-going COSALC beach monitoring programme. A UNESCO consultant visited Antigua and Barbuda in March 2000. Beach monitoring manuals specific to Antigua and Barbuda were prepared and distributed, new beach monitoring software was installed and personnel were trained to compile beach-change databases. A workshop on ‘Beach Management in Antigua and Barbuda’ was held in November 2000; twelve people attended. A final report on the institutional strengthening project ‘Monitoring Beach Changes as an Integral Component of coastal Management’ was published as CSI info 15 in 2003. It contains a section specific to Antigua and Barbuda.  

A summary of the COSALC project, its goals, achievements and future direction, was made in September 2000.

A resource book for schools of the Caribbean region ‘Glimpses of the Blue Caribbean’ was published jointly with the Associated Schools Project (ASP), as CSI papers 5, in 2000 and provided to Antigua and Barbuda. A teacher from Antigua and Barbuda participated in the ASPNet-CSI Sandwatch workshop in St. Lucia in May 2001. Schools from Antigua and Barbuda are involved in Sandwatch beach monitoring activities.

One person from Antigua and Barbuda attended a workshop on ‘Furthering Coastal Stewardship in Small Islands’ held in Dominica in July 2001. The results were published as CSI papers 11 ‘Wise Practices for Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Small Islands’. The participant from Antigua and Barbuda presented a paper on ‘Coastal Stewardship in Antigua and Barbuda’.

A booklet Wise Practices for Coping with Beach Erosion - Antigua and Barbuda’ was published in 2003. It is one of a series of  public information booklets on beach erosion in the Caribbean produced jointly by UNESCO-CSI, the University of Puerto Rico’s Sea Grant College Program and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The Small Islands Voice project started in January 2002. Its goals are to overcome the isolation of small islands by providing their citizens, including young people, with opportunities to voice their opinions on environmental and development issues in a variety of ways: radio, television, print and Internet-based debate. In this way the general public will be able to contribute to the 10-year review of the ‘Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Islands Developing States’ adopted in Barbados in 1994; and play a more effective role in decision-making in their islands. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the island states involved in the project through the Small Islands Voice Internet-based global forum. Correspondents from Antigua and Barbuda contributed to a discussion on beach access Support from Around the World for Keeping Beaches Open to the Public’.

 

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