IDB and B’dos sign agreement to further enhance coastal zone management program

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Barbados recently signed a non-reimbursable Technical Cooperation for Capacity Building for Ecosystem Services Valuation and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Best Practices Dissemination totalling US$600,000.

The Technical Cooperation is associated with the US $30 million Coastal Risk Assessment and Management Program loan that is being implemented and is intended to enhance resilience to coastal hazards, including those associated with climate change. The program’s overall objective is to build capacity in integrated coastal risk management in Barbados by explicitly incorporating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in development planning, control, and monitoring of the coastal zone.

The coastal zone of Barbados is the country's main economic asset as it supports important sectors such as tourism and fisheries. Since 1983, the IDB has provided support in integrated coastal zone management to Barbados in an effort to safeguard the island's tourism industry. The best known of these coastal zone management projects are the Richard Haynes Boardwalk on the South Coast and the West Coast Board Walk. Barbados today has one of the most comprehensive coastal and marine management programs in the Caribbean and is a regionally recognized best practice model.

The coastal zone of Barbados is the country’s main economic asset as it supports important sectors such as tourism and fisheries. Since 1983, the IDB has provided support in integrated coastal zone management to Barbados in an effort to safeguard the island’s tourism industry. The best known of these coastal zone management projects are the Richard Haynes Boardwalk on the South Coast and the West Coast Board Walk. Barbados today has one of the most comprehensive coastal and marine management programs in the Caribbean and is a regionally recognized best practice model.

The Technical Cooperation is being supported by Barbados’ Ministry of Environment and Drainage through its Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU). The CZMU is contributing in-kind approximately US$150,000 in technical and logistical support. This program will be implemented during the next twenty-four months.

The general objective of the Technical Cooperation is to strengthen capacity for risk-based Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Barbados. The specific objectives of the program are as follows: enhance capacity of the CZMU in coastal planning using an innovative spatial analysis tool for mapping and valuing ecosystem services, the application of which would inform the updating of the national ICZM plan; and to document and disseminate best practices and lessons learned in ICZM, coastal planning and in enhancing coastal resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) / low lying coastal states (LLCS) including the Barbados model.

With the aid of the IDB, Barbados has also established the legal and institutional frameworks needed to protect its coast, including the establishment of the CZMU as the provider of a permanent Coastal Zone Management function fully integrated in public administration, and the approval of a Coastal Zone Management Act and of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan.

As a result of this collaboration, the CZMU has also acquired the technical know-how to assess, monitor, and manage complex physical processes that shape Barbados’ shoreline and contribute to the scenic beauty and recreational value of its beaches. The CZMU has also implemented coastal infrastructure works that have successfully controlled coastal erosion, stabilized beaches, improved public coastal access, and provided tangible economic and social benefits, both to Barbados’ international tourism product and to local Barbadians.

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