Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Montserrat (U.K. territory)

Montserrat participates in the project ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands (COSALC)’. A paper on ‘Hurricane Impact on Beaches in the Eastern Caribbean Islands 1989-1995’ was produced in December 1996. The effect of Hurricane Luis on Montserrat’s beaches is described. 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 Montserrat, 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 ‘Planning for Coastline Change. COSALC project review, 1998’ were submitted to the Montserrat authorities. Public information material distributed included: a poster ‘The Sea at your doorstep’, 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 consultant visited Montserrat in October 1998 to re-establish the beach monitoring programme and make an initial qualitative assessment of the volcanic activity and the effect of Hurricane Georges on the beaches.

In December 1999 UNESCO representatives visited the island. They replaced monitoring equipment lost during the evacuation and installed the beach monitoring software on the Fisheries Division computers giving training in its use and on beach monitoring techniques. They also reconsidered which beaches should be monitored in light of the volcanic activity. North Sturge Park and Foxes Bay although classed in the ‘unsafe zone’ will be monitored because of their potential importance as a source of aggregate and for tourism respectively. Old Road Bay, Lime Kiln Bay, Woodlands Beach, Bunkum Bay, Carrs Bay and Little Bay, all on the west coast, are in the ‘safe zone’ and will continue to be monitored. Three people were trained in field measurement techniques. Reference points have been re-established and beach profiles measured.

Montserrat participated in the first phase of a joint Caribbean Development Bank/UNESCO project on ‘Institutional Strengthening in Beach Management in the Eastern Caribbean States and Turks and Caicos Islands’ (October 1999-March 2000). The focus of this project is strengthening of the on-going beach monitoring programme. A beach monitoring manual specific to Montserrat was prepared and copies were distributed to national agencies such as the Fisheries Division and the Physical Planning Unit. New beach monitoring software was supplied in 1999. Personnel were taught to use the software and the beach change database. The 1990-1996 database was checked and converted for use with the new software. A workshop on ‘Beach Management in Montserrat’ was held in late 2000. 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 contains a section specific to Montserrat.

In September 1999 a paper on ‘A Viable Solution to Beach Sand Mining? / Montserrat’ was posted on the web-based ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ Forum. It was followed-up by ‘Conditions Necessary for the Implementation of this Wise Practice’ in February 2000. Other papers discussing the impact of tourism on the Caribbean have also been published on the Forum.

A summary of the managing beach resources project was written in September 2000. A workshop on ‘Beach Monitoring in Montserrat’ was held in October/November 2000.

A  resource book for schools of the Caribbean region ‘Glimpses of the Blue Caribbean’ was published jointly with the Associated Schools Project, as CSI papers 5, in 2000.

One person from Montserrat 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 Montserrat presented a paper on ‘Coastal Stewardship in Montserrat’.

A booklet Wise Practices for Coping with Beach Erosion - Montserrat’ was published in 2002. 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.


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