Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The British Virgin Islands (UK territory)

As part of the ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands’ project (old mane: ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Eastern Caribbean (COSALC)’) equipment for coastal monitoring was provided to the British Virgin Islands in 1996. Analyses of beach changes for the year 1996 were conducted in the British Virgin Islands and were summarized in a report. Two government officers  from the British Virgin Islands attended the regional workshop on the ‘Management of Beach Resources within the Smaller Caribbean Islands’ (Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, October 1996). One made a presentation at the workshop which was published in CSI Info 1 in 1997 (‘Integrated Framework for the Management of Beach Resources within the Smaller Caribbean Islands - workshop results’); the other gave a paper that was later published in Coastal Regions and Small Islands Papers 1 in 1997 (‘Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands - workshop papers’). The impact of tropical storms and hurricanes on the islands of the Eastern Caribbean (including the British Virgin Islands) was analysed and a corresponding report ‘Hurricane Impact on Beaches in the Eastern Caribbean Islands 1989-1995’ was issued in 1996. 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 the British Virgin Islands, was put together in 1997. A summary report ‘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 entitled ‘Planning for Coastline Change - COSALC project review, 1998’ were submitted to the British Virgin Island 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). 

The British Virgin Islands 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 this project is strengthening of the on-going COSALC beach monitoring programme. A UNESCO consultant visited in February 2000 and January 2001. Beach monitoring manuals specific to the BVI were prepared and distributed, new beach monitoring software was installed and personnel were trained to compile beach-change databases. 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 the British Virgin Islands

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 sent to the BVI. A teacher from the British Virgin Islands participated in the ASPNet-CSI Sandwatch workshop in St. Lucia in May 2001.

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

One person from the British Virgin Islands 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 the British Virgin Islands presented a paper on ‘Coastal Stewardship in the British Virgin Islands’.

Someone from the British Virgin Islands contributed a paper to the web-based ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ Forum, in January 2002, on: Small Islands and the World Summit on Sustainable Development’.

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 they 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. The British Virgin Islands are involved in the project through the Small Islands Voice Internet-based global forum. 


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