the early part of 1994 the people of Old Providence and
Santa Catalina, two small islands in the south western
Caribbean and part of the San Andres Archipelago, carried
out their own process for strengthening community involvement
in planning and decision-making. They hoped that their
work would lead to an improved quality of life for them
and their children, as well as creating a stronger community
community visioning process began when it became known
that permits had been issued for two foreign development
projects on the island of Old Providence. Community members,
drawn from NGOs, church groups, community groups, local
politicians and the Ministry of the Environment worked
together for eight months. The result was a Municipal
Development Plan that was adopted as the development policy
for the islands.
the island community sought to realise their vision and
to implement their plan, which included a small scale,
locally owned ecotourism industry, they have come up against
many obstacles including a lack of air access and a 'boycotting'
of the island by the national tourism industry, combined
with air crashes and hurricanes.
the beginning of 2005, the subject of community planning
was discussed on the Small
Islands Voice Global Internet Forum, and in particular
response referred to this initiative in Old Providence
and Santa Catalina.
a result of the interest generated, it was decided to
assess the community visioning process in Old Providence
and Santa Catalina in the second half of 2005. A local
organization, the Providence Foundation, carried out the
assessment, see their brochure.
Invitations were sent out to the community and the results
have been compiled in a report.
of the most important outcomes of the assessment is that
the island community is embarking on a new visioning process
to plan collaborative action in the face of changing circumstances.
other islands interested in starting their own community
visioning process, a bilingual (Spanish
and English) booklet has been prepared in the form
of a powerpoint presentation detailing the steps required
to undertake a community visioning process.