Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Extract from the: 1998-1999 Programme
  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Environment and development in coastal regions and in small islands


Background   02052 Launched in 1996, the project has successfully fostered the joint planning and implementation of interdisciplinary activities, in close collaboration with the Natural, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, Education and Communication Sectors. Subregional pilot projects integrating several of the following key themes have been developed: freshwater management, coastline stability, biological diversity and ecosystem productivity conservation. The projects at Jakarta (Indonesia), Essaouira (Morocco), Dakar (Senegal) and the Rio de la Plata estuary (Argentina, Uruguay) have contributed to the development of intersectoral and interdisciplinary methodologies as well as expertise for dealing more adequately with problems facing coastal cities. Training in interdisciplinary methodological approaches for the integrated coastal region and small island management was also organized. In 1996, a meeting of experts in natural and social sciences provided strategic guidance for the further consolidation of the project activities which will continue to strive towards environmentally sound, socially equitable and culturally appropriate development of coastal regions and small islands.
     
Main lines of action

Consolidating pilot project activities
  02053 Pilot project activities focusing on environmental problems in coastal cities, freshwater security, environmental and sociocultural transformation, community-based management, biological diversity loss and coastal erosion will be consolidated with a focus on maintaining an appropriate balance between scientific-technical, socio-cultural and education-communication dimensions. Efforts will centre on strengthening sociocultural aspects related to rural-urban migration in coastal areas and small islands, traditional management and knowledge of coastal resources. The pilot projects will be interlinked in order to facilitate the exchange of information and experience, broaden the application of the findings, foster public awareness and build capacity and partnerships. Priority will be given to Africa and LDCs in particular in coastal towns subject to marine erosion, where pilot projects will pay special attention to societal impacts related to natural and human-induced coastal erosion and coastal biodiversity conservation through cultural practices. In the small island developing states (SIDS) of the Caribbean, Indian and other oceans, priority topics will include demographic and sociocultural change, impact of tourism, coastal erosion and local management of freshwater resources and biodiversity
     
Education and training for integrated coastal management   02054 The interregional network of UNESCO Chairs on subjects pertinent to integrated coastal management will be further developed. Through this network, capacity-building in interdisciplinarity will be promoted by developing computer-based learning modules, training programmes and participatory field research. Public awareness and education will be fostered through community radio projects and the Associated Schools’ flagship projects in the Caribbean and other seas. Cross-sectoral ties will be strengthened among key institutions at national, regional and international levels and with local communities and NGOs.
     
Wise practices for sustainable management of coastal zones and small islands   02055 Steps will be taken to elaborate a set of wise practices for the sustainable development of coastal regions and small islands on the basis of a critical assessment of management practices, including local knowledge and skills and the pooling of lessons drawn from pilot project theme activities and other integrated coastal management initiatives. As part of the elaboration process, a ‘UNESCO Virtual Forum’ will be set up and natural and social scientists, NGOs, decision-makers and representatives of the civil society will be encouraged to contribute actively. The forum will address certain key issues such as improving environmental and sociocultural indicators for monitoring sustainable coastal development, developing capacity to better account for local ecological and cultural diversity, and broadening the understanding of sociocultural factors underlying conflicts over access to and use of coastal resources.
 
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