Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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US Virgin Islands

A beach monitoring programme for the US Virgin Islands was launched as part of the ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands’ (old name: ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Eastern Caribbean (COSALC) project’). A consultant visited first St. John in January 1998 then St. Thomas in June 1998 to establish the programme and provide training to local personnel. Beach monitoring equipment was provided. Three country-specific reports were issued: ‘St. John (US Virgin Islands) Beach Monitoring Field Manual’ in February 1998; ‘Beach Monitoring Programme, US Virgin Islands. Summary and Assessment Report’ in June 1998 and ‘St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands) Beach Monitoring Field Manual’ in June 1998. 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 US Virgin Islands 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 follow-up ‘Coping with Shoreline Erosion in the Caribbean’ was published in Nature & Resources vol.35 no. 4 in December 1999. In July 1999 a UNESCO representative visited the US Virgin Islands to assist in the beach monitoring programme. A manual on beach monitoring, customized for the US Virgin Islands, was prepared. New beach monitoring software was installed and local personnel were taught how to use it and the beach change database. The database was brought up to date, checked and converted for use with the new software. A summary of the managing beach resources project was issued in September 2000.

A paper relating to St. Croix ‘Mass Market Versus Up-scale Tourism’ was posted on the web-based discussion forum ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ in August 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.

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 United States Virgin Islands are involved in the project through the Small Islands Voice Internet-based global forum; correspondents from the Virgin Islands have directly participated in the forum.

 

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