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IWC7 Update: Best Practices  for Coastal Zone Management Lauded

IWC7 Update: Best Practices for Coastal Zone Management Lauded

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Efforts of the Coastal Zone Management Unit of Barbados were lauded as best practices for the Caribbean region, as it employed contemporary solutions to safeguard against coastal erosion.

Edison Alleyne, Barbados Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage (Photo from BGIS)

Edison Alleyne, Barbados Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage (Photo from BGIS)

Edison Alleyne, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, said Barbados was one of the few countries in the western hemisphere to develop and implement a national policy for sustainable development. Alleyne said this as he addressed delegates to the 7th Biennial Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Conference (IWC7) at Hilton Barbados on 29 October 2013. Barbados’ capital city of Bridgetown is this year’s host for IWC7. The conference theme is “Economic Valuation as a Tool to Bridge the Science–Policy Gap.”

Alleyne told delegates that the Government of Barbados remains committed to ensuring that the island’s coastal waters are maintained at acceptable international standards. He added that the country’s partnership with GEF was important because it allowed Barbados to be exposed to regional and global best practices in the areas of infrastructure development and institutional strengthening.

“The theme of the conference seeks to enhance the discussion by bridging the gap, so to speak, between economics and science,” said Alleyne. “I believe this will secure the step needed in the debate—from reducing problems to delivering solutions.”

Site visits during IWC7 touched on coastal resource management (Photo from IW:Learn)

Site visits during IWC7 touched on coastal resource management (Photo from IW:Learn)

Alleyne added that neither developed nor small developing countries could answer the environment and development questions in isolation.

“The deliberations, strategies and outcomes of this conference should be relayed to other relevant agencies, with a view to improve coordination and better policy cohesion between the various sectors such as fisheries, international transport, agriculture, and tourism,” he stated.

Dr. Denis Lowe, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, added that Barbados was ready to focus on issues that have long-term sustainability implications.

“The issues of wastewater treatment, land degradation, and agriculture—these are all currently occupying the attention of the government,” he said.

Lowe added that the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, suggested that there was a need for a valuation agenda for the wider Caribbean region.

A little brook empties into the sea (Photo from IW:Learn)

A little brook empties into the sea (Photo from IW:Learn)

Areas identified by CERMES for future valuation work in the Caribbean include looking at the economic benefits derived from the economic value of the culture and food security benefits of small-scale fisheries, and the economic contribution of Caribbean reefs and other coastal ecosystems to climate change mitigation and adaption. Download a presentation related to this topic prepared by IWC7 by Robin Mahon, Lucia Fanning, and Patrick McConney.

The conference is organized jointly by GEF and the United Nations Development Programme. It aims to facilitate cross-sectoral and portfolio-wide learning and experience sharing. It seeks to solicit advice from the existing GEF IW portfolio on burning issues, and to assist in building participant capacity in key management and technical areas. Participants sum up progress achieved and also look to the future of programming within and beyond the GEF IW focal area, with a special emphasis on reviewing the economic valuation of international waters and the links between economic valuation and science, as well as mechanisms for linking both to policy making.

Conference participants in attendance include project managers and leaders from government ministries, transboundary basin commissions, the private sector, civil society, donor agencies, the GEF Secretariat and its partners such as the Asian Development Bank.

DOWNLOAD: “Facilitating Regional Governance Arrangements in the Wider Caribbean Region.” PowerPoint Presentation delivered during IWC7 by Mahon and McConney of CERMES, Barbados; and Fanning of the Marine Affairs Program in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Photos and story from the Barbados Government Information System, IW:Learn, and CTKNetwork.org

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