Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

CSI info 15


This project has resulted in the building of institutional capacity in the field of beach management, such that the beach change monitoring programmes in nine of the eleven countries/territories are now more firmly established, and seven are sustainable in the sense that they are likely to continue beyond the life of this project. In most islands, several persons from environmental and planning agencies are involved in the programmes.  Furthermore, islanders now have the skills, training and tools for beach change data collection, analysis, interpretation and application. 

However, while environmental and planning agencies, as well as NGOs and schools in some of the islands, have been involved in the activities, little success has been achieved in bringing agencies responsible for public works on board.  Thus, this is an area where further efforts are required in the future. 

Furthermore, technology is never static, and new skills and tools need to be developed to interface the beach-monitoring databases with geographical information systems.  Some islands are already moving ahead in this area and other regional initiatives may be able to provide assistance in this area. 

The dialogues and discussions on the wider field of beach management have been especially enlightening on many issues.  Ways to follow-up on some of the recommendations made at the workshops need to be pursued.  One of the most interesting concepts related to ideas of coastal stewardship and the need to involve all of civil society in looking beyond individual needs to the good of the country. 

7.1 Recommendations

  1. When considering potential follow-up to a regional project such as this one, it is important to consider every country/territory individually, particularly as regards the stage they are at with their monitoring programmes and the type of further assistance needed.  Based on the issues discussed and the recommendations made at the workshops, several specific follow-up actions are listed below:

Some of these activities will be carried out by the countries/territories themselves, but some may require additional assistance. 

  1. Further development of the skills and technologies used in beach-monitoring is required.  For example most of the countries/territories have developed or are developing skills in geographical information systems (GIS), and an interface needs to be developed so that the beach change databases can be easily utilized with GIS.

  2. Enhance the sharing of information relating to beach management within the region.  There is a considerable source of practical knowledge and information in the islands about beach changes and the types of erosion mitigation methods that have worked or not worked.  New mechanisms and activities need to be developed, and existing mechanisms need to be fully utilized, to enhance that knowledge base and to share it within the region and with other small islands. Some suggestions follow:

  1. One of the many interesting ideas emerging from the workshops related to the need to provide for the equitable sharing of the region’s limited beach resources.  Such concepts lie at the heart of integrated coastal management, but are very difficult to implement in practice.  The ideas discussed, such as those relating to collective responsibility, coastal stewardship, civic and national pride need to be further developed to see if they can provide a framework and/or be translated into working tools.  As a first step towards this goal an inter-regional workshop, sponsored by CSI, on ‘Furthering Coastal Stewardship in Small Islands’ was held in Dominica, 4-6 July 2001.


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