in coastal regions and in small islands
CSI info 15
7. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
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
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
Provision of additional beach-monitoring equipment and training to the Fisheries Division staff in Barbuda, so that beach monitoring in that island can be carried out on a more regular and frequent basis than at present;
Training of students at the Hillsborough Secondary School in Carriacou in the use of the ‘Beach Profile Analysis’ software, in order to complement and enhance their data collection activities;
Decentralized workshops on ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Beach Management’ in Dominica, so as to determine concerns and plan action at the district level;
Sensitization campaign on sand mining issues in Montserrat;
Extending the monitoring to other islands in the St. Vincent Grenadines, in particular Mayreau;
Involving high school students in monitoring activities in the Turks and Caicos Islands;
Holding a workshop/discussion forum on beach management with senior decision-makers and government ministers of in the Turks and Caicos Islands and preparing a framework beach management plan;
Further training in short environmental video preparation and broadcast (Anguilla, Grenada, and St. Lucia).
Some of these activities will be carried out by
the countries/territories themselves, but some may require additional
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.
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:
Meetings, workshops and conferences (e.g. the Conference on ‘Managing Beaches in the Caribbean-Investing in our Future,’ 18-21 June 2001, Puerto Rico);
Electronic (e-mail) networks;
Internet-based discussion fora, such as the ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ forum (user name = csi, password = wise).
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.