Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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CSI info 6


At a regional meeting for Latin American and Caribbean countries, held in Caracas, Venezuela, 15-19th November, 1982, the representatives of the smaller Caribbean islands requested assistance from UNESCO to help with the problems they were experiencing with beach erosion, especially as it affected their vital tourist industries. In response to this request the ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean Islands’ (COSALC) project was started. The overall goal of the project is to develop the in-country capability within the small island countries/territories of the Caribbean to measure, assess and manage their beach resources within an overall framework of integrated coastal management.

The project is jointly sponsored by UNESCO, under its Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and Small Islands (CSI) endeavour, and the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program (UPR-SGCP). The islands currently involved in the project are:Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

After a series of in-country consultations in 1985, the project focused on two main areas: awareness activities and the establishment of beach monitoring programmes on the islands. The beach monitoring activity fulfilled two major functions: firstly it provided a database which was needed for the management of beach resources and the search for solutions to erosion problems, and secondly it provided a mechanism for continual training in beach dynamics and erosion control methods and for technology/information transfer. At a regional workshop (1996), the project was further focused and, to strengthen its transdisciplinarity, three main programme areas were developed:

This report outlines the work undertaken by the COSALC project in the three areas during 1996 and 1997. While annual reports have been produced for each year for limited distribution to the participating countries/territories, the present report attempts to combine and consolidate the activities undertaken over the above two year period. (All the specific activities undertaken in 1996-1997 are itemized in Appendix I). This report is not a technical one, the specific results and outcomes of many of the activities are to be found in other, more substantive reports referenced in the text.

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