Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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United States of America

The ‘Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity (CARICOMP)’ field project was continued and partly refocused as a CSI pilot project through 1996-97 with US financial support, under the leadership of a US scientist and with the participation of other US specialists. As such, CARICOMP is contributing to the development of a pilot project that focuses on the interface between coastal ecological and socio-cultural systems, and aims at their integrated management and sustainable development. Coral reef, mangrove and seagrass sites are monitored at La Parguera, Puerto Rico. The collected output of such monitoring, throughout the region, was edited by an American and published as CSI Papers 3 ‘CARICOMP. Caribbean Coral Reef, Seagrass and Mangrove Sites’. In addition to continued support for systematic biological monitoring, a particular effort is being made at a number of selected sites to analyse the socio-economic and cultural dynamics of natural resource use. Two specialists from the USA attended a CARICOMP sub-committee meeting on CSI project development in Kingston, Jamaica, September 1996. CARICOMP Steering Committee meetings were held in the USA in Miami in October 1996 and January 2000. A summary of the CARICOMP project, its goals, achievements and future direction was produced in March 2001.

A specialist from the USA edited and contributed to a CSI-supported publication ‘Mangrove Ecosystem Studies in Latin America and Africa’ (1997).

One person from the USA mainland attended the regional workshop on the management of beach resources within the smaller Caribbean Islands in October 1996 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. The workshop report and proceedings were published by UNESCO in 1997 as CSI Info 1 ‘Integrated Framework for the Management of Beach Resources within the Smaller Caribbean Islands: workshop results’ and Coastal Regions and Small Islands Papers 1 ‘Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands: workshop papers’.

Three people from the USA were invited to give a series of lectures at the ‘UNESCO Chair in Coastal Sciences’, University of Concepción, Chile (October 1996 - January 1997). Three American specialists attended the first regional symposium on the ‘Enhancement of Coastal Productivity in the Middle East’ in Elat, Israel in October 1996. One resource person from the USA participated in a seminar on the ‘Study and Management of Coastal Areas of Haiti’ in Port-au- Prince, Haiti in October 1996. Six American resource persons attended the international workshop on ‘Submarine Archaeology and Coastal Management’ in Alexandria, Egypt in April 1997. Four specialists from the USA took part in a workshop on the ‘Relation between Health and Climatological Variabilities’ in Panama in June 1997. Two specialists in remote-sensing are developing an Arctic circumpolar remote-sensing network whose principle objective is to familiarize and educate northern communities as to the environmental and land-use planning applications of this rapidly developing technological tool. One specialist in Bilko remote-sensing software visited UNESCO Headquarters in October 1996 to discuss the development of this network.

One person from the USA attended an international seminar on ‘Sustainable Development in the Coastal Zones’ held in Mahdia, Tunisia, in June 1999. A report on the seminar was published as CSI info 8 (2000) ‘Développement Urbain Durable en Zone Côtière. Actes du Séminaire International’.

A specialist from the USA participated in the UNESCO conference on ‘Sustainable Development of Coastal Resources in the Nordic and Baltic Countries’. The Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO organized the conference, which was held in Fredrikstad, Norway, in May 1999.

As part of the ‘Second World Water Forum’, a special thematic session was held on ‘Water and Indigenous Peoples in The Hague, The Netherlands in March 2000. A speaker from the USA attended.

Some papers of relevance to the USA were posted on the web-based discussion forum ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ in 2000: ‘Mass Market Versus Up-scale Tourism/St. Croix US. Virgin Islands’, ‘Paradise Lost: How Marine Science Failed the World’s Coral Reefs’ and ‘Debate in the USA over Privatising Marine Fisheries’. More were posted in 2001: ‘Views on “Soft Engineering” Measures for Coastal Erosion Control’ and ‘Management Approaches to Reduce the Negative Impact of Migrant Fishers’. A paper relevant to Hawaii was posted in July 2002: ‘Announcement of a trial global discussion forum for Small Islands Voice’; one on the Florida Keys in August 2002: Small-island Carrying Capacity, Vulnerability and Indicators’.

Two people from the US attended an interdisciplinary workshop ECOTONE IX on ‘Wise Practices in Coastal Tourism Development in Protected Areas’, that was organised jointly with the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) in May 2000. The workshop was held in the Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve, Mindoro, that is threatened by tourism. The Puerto Galera Declaration 2000 ‘A Charter for Ecotourism in Biosphere Reserves’ was adopted. It is intended to guide development in protected areas.

During 2000 one US national provided editorial assistance in producing CSI publications.

The co-ordination centre for the COSALC project ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands’ is at the University of Puerto Rico. For details see Puerto Rico.

A video on a hurricane that passed over Florida, the Carolinas and up the eastern seaboard in 1999 ‘Hurricane Irene: the Social and Environmental Impacts’ was produced in 2001.

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. The United States is involved in the project through Small Islands Voice Internet-based global forum; correspondents from the USA contributed to debates on foreign investment ‘Saving Island Identity’, development ‘Balancing Development and Environment’ and tourism ‘The Advantages of Up-Market Tourism’.

 

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