Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The Commonwealth of Dominica

Dominica participates in the ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands project’ (formerly the Coast and Beach Stability in the Eastern Caribbean (COSALC) project). The coastal monitoring programme, started in 1987,  was continued through 1996-98 by the Forestry Division. In 1996, a set of equipment for coastal monitoring was provided. An analysis of data on coastal changes, stored in the computerized database in the country, was completed for the year 1996, and a report issued (with a chapter on Dominica). A report, that analyses beach changes resulting from tropical storms and hurricanes: ‘Hurricane Impact on Beaches in the Eastern Caribbean Islands 1989-1995’, with details of the coastal changes in Dominica, was distributed in 1997. 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 Dominica, was put together in 1997. Public awareness material was distributed to national agencies and schools in 1997; this included audio-visual material ‘Beaches and Hurricanes: 1995 in the Eastern Caribbean Islands’ (which included data from Dominica). A cultural and socio-economic assessment of beach changes in the Eastern Caribbean (including Dominica) was completed and a report was issued in 1996; a paper on the assessment was published in CSI papers 1. A representative from Dominica attended a regional workshop (co-sponsored by 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, October 1996). His contribution was published in reports of the workshop: ‘Integrated Framework for the Management of Beach Resources within the Smaller Caribbean Islands - workshop resultsCSI Info 1 (1997); and ‘Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands - workshop papersCoastal Region and Small Island Papers 1 (1997). 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’. 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 ‘Planning for Coastline Change. COSALC project review, 1998’  were submitted to the Dominican authorities. 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). A summary of the COSALC project was compiled in September 2000. 

Dominica participated in 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 was strengthening of the on-going COSALC beach monitoring programme. In February and November 2000 UNESCO a consultant visited the island. Beach monitoring manuals specific to Dominica 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 Dominica’ was held in November 2000; fifteen people attended it. Another COSALC workshop was held in Dominica in March 2001. A series of three beach management workshops were organised by the Forestry Division in different parts of Dominica in 2001. A final report on the institutional strengthening project ‘Monitoring Beach Changes as an Integral Component of Coastal Management’ was published in 2003 as CSI info 15. It has a section specific to Dominica.

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 Dominica. A teacher from Dominica and the Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission for the Commonwealth of Dominica participated in the ASPNet-CSI Sandwatch workshop in St. Lucia in May 2001. Since then schools from Dominica have been actively involved in Sandwatch beach monitoring activities.

Twenty-six people attended a workshop on ‘Furthering Coastal Stewardship in Small Islands’ that was held in Dominica in July 2001. The participants developed ideas relating to the prevention of coastal conflict through wise practice agreements and ethical codes of practice. The results were published as CSI papers 11 ‘Wise Practices for Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Small Islands’. The Dominican participants presented papers relating to Dominica on ethical issues, coastal stewardship, tourism and pollution. A paper on the workshop was posted on the web-based ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ Forum in June 2002: Wise Practice Agreements: a Proposed Mechanism for Reducing Coastal Conflicts’. 

A teacher-training workshop on beach monitoring was held in Dominica in December 2001. Workshops on ‘Wise Practices for Beach Management’ were held in September, November and December 2001.

A booklet Wise Practices for Coping with Beach Erosion - Dominica’ 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 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.  Dominica is one of the island states involved in the project through the Internet-based global forum and Youth Forum (user name view, password only), and through activities on-the-ground which include the strengthening of a multi-media production centre at Dubique.

Pupils from the Marigot Secondary School in Dominica were involved in the second phase of the Youth Forum, which started in February 2003. They replied to messages sent by young people in the Cook Islands and the Seychelles on island heritage, recycling and drug abuse.

A second regional Sandwatch workshop was held in Dominica in July 2003. As part of the Small Islands Voice initiative young people from the Cook Islands, Palau and the Seychelles participated in the workshop.

 

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