Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The Republic of Colombia

Seven scientists completed a comprehensive study of the mangroves of Colombia and contributed the results to the publication ‘Mangrove Ecosystem Studies in Latin America and Africa’ (UNESCO, 1997). One laboratory in Colombia takes part in the ‘Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity field project (CARICOMP)’ dealing with monitoring changes in biodiversity and productivity in coastal areas. Coral reef, mangrove and seagrass sites in Bahía de Chengue (Parque Natural Tayrona) are regularly monitored by local scientists. The collected output of such monitoring, throughout the region, was published as CSI Papers 3 ‘CARICOMP. Caribbean Coral Reef, Seagrass and Mangrove Sites’. A national site director attended site directors meetings (Cancún, Mexico, November 1996, Blackrock, Trinidad and Tobago in May 1998 and in San José, Costa Rica in May/June 2000) for information exchange with, and technical assistance from, the CARICOMP steering committee. The steering committee of CARICOMP met in Miami, USA in October 1996 and January 2000; a delegate from Colombia attended.

A student from Colombia attended courses given during autumn 1996- spring 1997 at the ‘UNESCO Chair in Coastal Sciences’, University of Concepción, Chile. A pilot project on Cartagena Bay was initiated in 1997 with a study on the priority actions to be recommended to decision makers for better management of the Bay. One resource person attended a workshop on the ‘Relation between Health and Climatological Variabilities’ (Panama, June, 1997).

Early in 1999 the San Andrés archipelago of Colombia joined the network of Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean (COSALC). A summary of the associated field projectManaging Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change’ was compiled in September 2000.

One person from Colombia attended a Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) meeting in Samoa in December 2000. The results of the workshop were published as CSI papers 9 (2001) ‘Wise Coastal Practices Towards Sustainable Small-Island Living’. The participant from Colombia presented papers on the CARICOMP project and the ‘Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Old Providence and Santa Catalina (CORALINA)

A summary of the CARICOMP project, its goals, achievements and future direction was produced in March 2001.

The problems of beach erosion in the San Andrés Archipelago were discussed on the CSI Internet-based ‘Wise Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ forum in August 2001: ‘The Complexity of Beach Erosion Mitigation’. A second paper on San Andrés was added in May 2002: Small Islands: Limits of Acceptable Change’ and another in October 2002: Further Views on Small-island Carrying Capacity’.

During 2002 discussions were held on the San Andres Archipelago’s possible participation in the Small Islands Voice project - a project to elicit and broadcast the views of people from small islands on environment and development. Small Islands Voice activities in San Andres officially started in December 2002. A Small Islands Voice logo for the archipelago has been designed.

One person from San Andres attended the first Small Islands Inter-Regional Workshop’ that was held in Palau in November 2002. She prepared a paper on Proposal for Small Islands Voice in the San Andres Archipelago in 2003’. The workshop and other Small Islands Voice activities were reported in CSI papers 13: ‘Small Islands Voice - Laying the Foundation’.

Pupils from Antonia Santos CEMED High School, Brooks Hill Bilingual School and Luis Amigó School in San Andres were involved in the second phase of the Small Islands Voice youth forum (user name view, password only), which started in February 2003. They contributed to discussions on agriculture, island traditions, island heritage, education and tradition with other young people from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Cook Islands and Palau.

An article on potential water problems in San Andres Because of Total Drought, San Andres Uninhabited’ was published in 360 Degrees in 2003 by the Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andres, Old Providence and Santa Catalina. It serves as a dire warning of what might happen if care is not taken to conserve water and preserve the environment.


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