in coastal regions and in small islands
Coastal region and small island papers 9
Lotu Uele, in his opening address, compared the relationship between
small-island nations, currently experiencing the effects of changing global
climate patterns, and larger countries considered responsible for the
exacerbation of these climatic shifts – with schoolyard bullying. Land is very
precious to small-island societies and is often an emotional issue. In order to
continue the fight to safeguard the islands, help is required to train local
people to preserve coastal areas, to ensure that the small-island voice is heard
and also to draw international attention to the conservation of small-islands’
fragile environment. (The full address is included in Annex
Edna Tait, Director of the UNESCO
Apia Office, informed the participants that the Apia Office, through its
Pacific-wide mandate, serves more than a third of the area of the globe,
including the 16 independent states of the Pacific region. All sectors of UNESCO
are represented in Apia.
Dirk Troost, Chief CSI,
pointed out that this meeting was held at the midway point between the Barbados
+ 5 meeting (1999) and the start of UNESCO’s
Strategy (2002–2007) (see paragrapgh 100). Thus this meeting presented an
opportunity to help shape the world’s island agenda as well as to plan for the
years ahead. Samoa was proposed as a venue because of the existence of an ongoing
pilot project, the excellent support provided by the Director and staff of the
UNESCO Apia Office,
and in recognition of the work of the Samoan Ambassador to the United Nations,
Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, in profiling small
island developing states (SIDS) and the Alliance
of Small Island States (AOSIS) in the United Nations.
Tupae Esera, Secretary-General of the Samoa National Commission for UNESCO,
assured those present that the Pacific was pleased to take part in and host
global activities such as this meeting, especially in the light of the urgent
concerns relating to the environment of small islands, in particular low-lying
islands. He stressed the need to encourage governments of the region to listen
to these concerns and commit to positive actions. He stressed that the CSI
programme has been drawing considerable attention to Samoa through its pilot
project, which involves students, the Curriculum Development Unit of the
Department of Education, and the National University of Samoa.
coastal practices for sustainable human development in small island states:
needs and approaches – Dirk
programme of action developed in 1994 at the United
Nations Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing
States, hosted by Barbados, was an important milestone, followed by the
Nations Special Session of its General Assembly in New York (Barbados + 5)
in 1999 to assess progress. Six priority problem areas were prioritized during
the latter meeting: climate change and rising sea levels, natural and environmental
disasters and climate variability, freshwater resources, coastal and marine
resources, energy, and tourism.
evolution of CSI
involved linking all five UNESCO
programme sectors (Culture, Natural and Basic Sciences, Social and Human
Sciences, Communication, Education) in a programme of intersectoral action to
achieve wise practices.
activities are continually evolving, as pilot projects expand and new chairs and
university networks are established. During a CSI planning workshop in 1996,
participants emphasized the need to develop ways to reduce conflicts and tension
between top-down and bottom-up approaches, local and global levels, sectoral and
intersectoral action. The 1998 workshop of pilot
project leaders (UNESCO-CSI, 2000) resulted in the initiation of the
internet-based ‘Wise Coastal
Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ (user name = csi, password =
CSI mission statement
proposed for the 2002–2007 term is ‘Towards sustainable living in small
islands and coastal regions’. Through integrated, interdisciplinary and
intersectoral approaches, it is proposed to (i) elaborate ethical codes of
practices, tailored for specific domains and/or stakeholder groups, which
promote equitable resource sharing, and are based on wise practices for
sustainable human development; and (ii) support SIDS
and other island groupings in determining their own agendas for human security
and sustainable development.
Pilot project nomenclature, evolution and criteria:
projects, by definition of the word ‘pilot’, are precursors of (often)
larger projects, so the stage at which the CSI
projects change from pilot projects to implementation projects is still
blurred. The re may be a need to develop another name for the pilot projects
or two categories of projects. The pilot projects have evolved as part of a
plat form for cross-sectoral action to elaborate wise practices. Their
evolution has been influenced by three main factors: (i) presence of
colleagues in a nearby UNESCO
office; (ii) a global cove rage; and (iii) the needs/activities in a
specific member state. Some CSI
projects were inherited. However, now the selection of new pilot projects
needs to be more structured, and perhaps limited because of personnel and
Expanding the geographical sphere of influence of
a pilot project:
Ways to expand the influence of a pilot project beyond the local area, as
well as the concept of transferability of wise practices we re discussed.
This was also one of the reasons for inviting participants from the Indian
Ocean to this meeting.
Need to develop synergy with other projects:
Further and continued interaction is necessary, particularly with other
United Nations (UN) and
Global Environment Facility
(GEF) projects, and the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional
Seas Programme. The WiCoP
forum is one way to achieve this and already wise and unwise practices from
are included in the forum and on the CSI website.
and advancing wise coastal practices: project assessment and inter-project
exchange – Gillian
three main CSI
modalities of pilot projects, university
chairs/twinning networks and the WiCoP
forum were discussed, and while an entry point can be made through any of the
three modalities, tangible action on the ground will start and finish with the
pilot projects, hence their critical importance. There are now more than 20
pilot projects, and some date back to the 1980s.
until this year (2000) the pilot projects have been working in relative
isolation. A pilot project leaders’ meeting was
held in 1998, a smaller regional meeting was held in Bangkok in July 2000, and
this present meeting is the third such meeting. Such meetings are invaluable,
yet they are costly.
project and university chair summaries, which are being posted on the CSI
website, are the first step in a process designed to bring the projects
together. Thus, the projects and chairs provide a much wider, more comprehensive
of the ideas advanced at the Bangkok meeting was to conduct regular
inter-project assessments and evaluations, not to rate a particular project but
the project activities. Assessments can be conducted by leaders of other
pilot projects; utilizing the list of wise practice
characteristics and other criteria.
is willing to support exchanges between the pilot projects, perhaps combined
with an individual’s other travel activities, and such exchanges should be
viewed as a learning process for both of the projects involved – to advance
the home pilot project as well as the one being visited. Such exchanges could
also be combined with assessment activities.
Evaluation as an external exercise or an
‘externally assisted’ exercise:
There were different views; some thought that personnel closely associated
with one particular project may not be able to provide an objective
evaluation of that project, while others thought the evaluation should
include outside persons working with the local project people. The value of
looking at a project with ‘fresh eyes’, i.e. from an external
perspective, was emphasized.
Differing perspectives should be balanced:
Evaluation must take into account the local people’s view of the project
activities as well as the project leader’s perspective.
Network of pilot project leaders:
This does not exist yet, but such networks exist within other project
activities, e.g. among World Heritage managers who network amongst
themselves with minimal input from UNESCO
Suggestions to revise the CSI approach:
These included adding a fourth component – wise practices implementation
– to the three existing CSI
modalities (pilot projects, university
chairs/twinning networks and the WiCoP
livelihoods for artisanal fishers through stakeholder co-management in the
Portland Bight Protected Area, Jamaica – Peter
is the Jamaican Government’s policy to ultimately protect 25% of the
country’s land area, and while the government retains the ultimate authority,
management is undertaken by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Portland
Bight with its rich terrestrial and marine bio-diversity is one such
protected area where co-management is
being implemented. There are six stakeholder councils, respectively
addressing fisheries, watersheds, tourism, industry (pollution), enforcement and
civil society. A management plan has been prepared and one of the goals is to
develop community nature and heritage tourism. A Block B GEF
grant has recently been negotiated, with co-financing from the Inter-American
Development Bank. (See pilot project summary and list of related WiCoP
articles, Annex 6.1.)
Concept of co-management: In Jamaica, the government sees co-management
as handing over management responsibilities for a protected area to an NGO
without any provision for funding. But this is a limited view since
co-management must include the representation and involvement of all
stakeholders, including the government, not just the delegation of
authority. A legal framework for co-management does not exist in Jamaica,
but is being developed as the Portland Bight project progresses.
Physical planning and the implementation of plans:
While many plans have been prepared in Jamaica, stakeholders have often not
been involved in their preparation and implementation has been lacking.
Local community involvement in eco-tourism:
The question was raised whether local groups fully understand and/or are
competent to conduct ecotourism activities. While the answer may be negative
at the moment in the Jamaica case, training with the support of the Jamaica
Tourism Product Development Company will provide for such competency.
The social cost of tourism: The impact of large numbers of visitors on
local communities is a serious issue. The nature of the impact differs among
regions, e.g. the Caribbean is already strongly influenced by North American
culture through television and local communities overseas, while some
Pacific island nations have been less affected by such influences.
Coastal Marine Productivity program (CARICOMP): sustaining coastal biodiversity
benefits and ecosystem services – June-Marie
project started in 1989 when
it was decided to develop standardized methods to monitor mangroves, seagrass
beds and coral reefs in the Caribbean region. Data collection started in 1992,
and is undertaken on a voluntary basis by a number of institutions around the
Caribbean, including laboratories, marine parks and NGOs.
Lessons learnt include the need to start monitoring at a very basic level and
the necessity to develop ways , within such a multilingual group, to make all
members feel like equal partners. (See pilot project summary,
Involvement of local people in monitoring:
This is not done within CARICOMP because of very sophisticated measurement
methods, which require trained scientists. Experiences with monitoring conducted
by less-experienced personnel, e.g. university students, have yielded poor
results. However, there are other monitoring programmes working with CARICOMP,
e.g. Reef Check, which involve communities.
Information availability: CARICOMP
information is made available by the
site directors to their communities. Eventually a website will be established to
make information available, e.g. relating to coral bleaching episodes.
– a CSI
project or a natural sciences project:
The question was raised whether CARICOMP
is more of a natural sciences project
than an intersectoral CSI
project, and while this may be the case at the moment,
the project holds potential for application to community and governmental needs,
and thereby becoming an intersectoral CSI
San Andrés, Colombia – June Marie Mow
The Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Old Providence and Santa Catalina (CORALINA ) is a government institution created in 1993 after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992), and is one of Colombia’s 33 autonomous corporations set up to manage natural environmental systems. The institution started work in the San Andrés Archipelago in 1995 and conducts baseline surveys for resource management, monitoring, environmental impact assessments (EIA), as well as issuing environmental licenses. The archipelago is home to an on-going GEF project for marine protected areas, and has recently been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. CORALINA also works closely with NGOs.
coastal and fisheries resource management through stakeholder participation,
local knowledge and environmental education, Arcadins coast, Haiti – Jean Wiener
is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere and its government
is in a state of flux. The pilot project
has concentrated on the development of educational materials and the strengthening
of stakeholder groups. However, with the political and economic situation there
is general mistrust and the concept of ‘community good’ is suffering. This was
highlighted in a recent WiCoP
forum (user name = csi, password = wise) contribution ‘When
vested interests hijack the goals of stakeholder groups/Haiti’. Links with
other pilot projects are being established, e.g. there was a
fishers exchange between Haiti and Jamaica in 1998, and through co-operation
with the COSALC project, beach
monitoring is being established in Haiti. (See pilot project summary and list
of related WiCoP
forum articles in Annex 6.3.)
Poverty and fisheries management:
In Haiti, people understand the consequences of over-fishing and other
unsustainable resource extraction practices, but the poverty level is such that
they feel they have no choice but to pursue such practices. The contrast between
fishers and farmers was highlighted as an educational tool for fisher
communities: fishers are reminded that those who just take from the sea without
giving anything back will eventually deplete their resource, unlike the farmer
who takes from the land but also nourishes it with labour, seeds, fertilizers.
The mood of the country: In Haiti there is extreme pessimism at the
moment, exacerbated by the absence of a stable government at both the local and
national levels, as well as an economy on the verge of collapse. This increases
environmental degradation, e.g. as the price of propane rises, so does the rate
of deforestation to provide charcoal.
for people and human settlements, southern coast al area of Havana Province,
Cuba – Antonio Diaz Tablada
pilot project in Cuba focuses on the south coast of Havana Province, which
consists mainly of wetlands and where problems facing the coastal settlements
include flooding during spring tides, erosion and pollution. A preliminary
diagnostic study of the area has provided an integral vision of the zone, and
prepared the way for capacity building and the establishment of a database.
Future work will focus on sociological factors and stakeholder involvement. (See
pilot project summary, Annex 6.4.)
Public involvement in the planning process:
The need to fully involve the public and communities in all aspects of the
planning process, right from the beginning, was emphasized.
beach resources and planning for coastline change, Caribbean islands –
project, which started in the mid 1980s, has concentrated on developing capacity
in the small islands of the Caribbean to effectively manage beach resources.
Starting initially with beach erosion, the project established monitoring
programmes within government agencies, NGOs and sometimes schools, so that
islanders could understand the changes taking place on their beaches and begin
to develop solutions to those problems. The challenge now facing the project is
to develop ways to convince senior decision-makers of the need, indeed the
necessity, to implement some hard decisions, such as controlling beach sand
mining and beachfront development. (See pilot project summary and list of
related WiCoP forum articles in
Integration of ‘coastal development set-back distances’
into planning legislation: This is taking place in the islands slowly as the
countries are adopting new planning legislation. Once the laws have been passed,
coastal development setback guidelines can be included in the regulations.
Transparency in implementation: This is especially important so that people
can see that laws and regulations bind everyone.
Data quality control: This is a major concern, especially when
monitoring is carried out by different and diverse groups. A routine for data
quality control has been included in the beach analysis software routines.
Cycles of erosion: Even though the databases cover as long as 12
years in some cases, it is difficult to distinguish cycles beyond the seasonal
cycle because every beach behaves differently, and the influence of hurricanes
may interrupt other cycles .
Education for sustainable village living, Saanapu and Sataoa villages, Upolu Island, Samoa – Peter Varghese, Asipa Pati, Asofou Lau So’o
project seeks to strengthen the value of wetlands as viewed by local
communities. One project component focuses on education among schoolchildren
based on the ‘feel, touch and find-out’ approach; an activities book, a
mangrove inventory and teachers workshops are preparatory steps prior to
incorporation of the activities into the national school curriculum. Traditional
management practices are the second project component and a survey is being
conducted to document traditional knowledge relating to the mangrove areas. (See
pilot project summary and list of related WiCoP
forum articles in Annex 6.6.)
Importance of village councils: These are very powerful and highly respected
institutions in Samoa; 80% of the land in Samoa is under customary ownership and
village council authority.
Use of the mangroves: Tidal waters and the mangrove areas have been
exploited by the village people for a long time, and hence they exercise
authority over these areas. (The concept of individual ownership of land is
foreign to many Pacific island communities).
Clearing of mangroves for development:
This remains a problem in many islands. A mangrove buffer zone is to be
incorporated into the legislation in the Seychelles.
Cultural and religious values: Ways in which Christian and other religious
and cultural values can strengthen conservation need to be explored.
Confronting nature versus working with nature:
The message given in western-style education is often to ‘confront nature’
whereas in the local (Pacific) system, the rule is to ‘work with nature’.
Awareness about mangroves: This has increased as a result of various
projects and education efforts.
development in the Motu Koitabu urban villages, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
– Haraka Gaudi
livelihoods of the Motu Koitabu people living in several urban villages within
the National Capital District of Port Moresby are increasingly under threat from
large developments. The Motu Koitabu are the traditional landowners of the area
and have not been properly compensated for the take-over of their land for
development purposes. The situation is such that the younger generation
represents a ‘time bomb’ and serious unrest could result at any time. This
pilot project focuses on raising the level of public awareness about
environmental issues among the village people and youth groups. (See pilot
project summary and list of related WiCoP
forum articles in Annex 6.7.)
Compulsory acquisition of land: The Government of Papua New Guinea acquires land for major development projects, and often – since land ownership is in dispute – there is no compensation given to the traditional landowners. This is an especially severe problem in the National Capital District of Port Moresby, where the needs of a rapidly growing urban population tend to override the needs of the minority traditional landowner communities.
perspective on wise coastal practices – Yimnang Golbuu
archipelago, which has a very diverse underwater environment and several unique
species, is now facing serious problems from tourism and industrial development.
Control over land and marine resources is under the jurisdiction of the
country’s 16 states, not the national government. The major problems relate to
a lack of land use planning and inadequate enforcement. The way forward must be
to develop local capacity. (See country summary in Annex
Social dimension: The problems illustrate the need for capacity
building in social sciences; indeed there is a need for all types of expertise.
resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localizing
sustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines - Gerthie
project has three main phases: preliminary studies; implementation of various
activities e.g. fish farming, sustainable tourism, education; and the
development of an empirical model. In an area where most people rely on farming
and/or fishing for their livelihood, the project considers ecotourism as a
complementary livelihood, not a sole livelihood. One of the major lessons learnt
was that communities want a much greater part in environmental protection and
tourism development; and are willing to take a major role in enforcement
activities, as manifested by the citizens’ apprehension of a commercial
fishing boat illegally fishing within the municipal waters of Ulugan Bay. (See
pilot project summary and list of related WiCoP
forum articles in Annex 6.9.)
Support of the communities (barangays):
While the chairpersons of the five barangays (smallest administrative governing
unit in the Philippines) were supportive of the project, some of the
had interests in commercial fishing and private enterprises. The barangays have
also asked for more training in human and civil rights, thus they will know what
options are available if corruption takes place.
Knowledge leads to good governance:
If the public are knowledgeable about their rights, this can then lead to good
local governance. An active citizenry and the media can also act as checks on
Apprehension of a boat caught fishing illegally:
The case was eventually dismissed in court on the basis of insufficient evidence
showing that the fishers were caught in the act of fishing (despite the fact
that the boat’s nets were down). However, the case is under appeal, and this
process may take more than a year.
Illegal fishing in the Seychelles:
On average, three boats are caught fishing illegally every year. However, it is
very difficult to manage a large marine area, and in the Seychelles local
fishermen are used as the ‘eyes of the ocean’.
Environmental training of public prosecutors and magistrates/judges is
needed in most regions: Some attempt has been made to do this in the
Philippines, through the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (1994) and
through an ongoing Asian Development Bank/World Bank project. CORALINA in San
Andrés has prosecutors trained in environmental law. CORALINA also has the
power to enforce the law and did in fact close down two hotels for several
months because of inadequate sewage disposal.
Control of polluters: In the Seychelles, existing hotel operators
are progressively reducing pollution levels over a five-year period and new
hotels have to include proper treatment in their start-up costs.
Harassment suits: These are becoming increasingly common, e.g. in
Jamaica, the government instituted fishing quotas, and the commercial sector
then sued government individuals (the case is still in court). The responsible
minister then closed the fishing season. The fear of such suits may act as a
deterrent for small organizations as well as government departments to take
appropriate action regarding environmental violations.
A moral or a legal issue: The rich are harassing the poor and those who
help the poor. This is a moral matter, not a legal matter.
coastal management for sustainable development in coastal regions and in small
islands, University of the Philippines – Rebecca
Chair is laying down a foundation for integrated learning, and is trying to
integrate community training with student education. There is a strong linkage
between the activities of the Chair and the pilot project in Ulugan Bay. The
openness and flexibility of the Environmental Sciences programme, in particular
the involvement of non-academics in the Chair activities, has been instrumental
in its success to date. There are too many studies about the poor, and too few
by the poor or done in collaboration with the poor; this is one of the issues
the Chair is trying to address. (See university chair summary and list of
related WiCoP forum articles in
Approach of the Chair: The Chair is an example of a sensitive
approach that works within existing structures, by training graduates, some of
whom may become future managers, and through its work in community service.
Integrated approaches: There is a strong tendency among academics to
stay within their department, so an integrated approach is new to some.
New diploma course in environmental studies:
This is scheduled to start at the University of Samoa next year. Samoa has an
interest in learning more about the experiences of the University of the
Philippines in setting up an Environmental Science programme.
Flexibility in the university programme:
This is necessary to include topics that may evolve from current field projects.
In order to address issues on sustaining the efforts of students and faculty,
the Chair needs to shape a research agenda which includes training, in
collaboration with the implementers and stakeholders of the field projects.