Proyecto Piloto (Barbados)

Upscaling Sustainable Resource Management in Coastal Watershed Communities of Barbados' National Park and System of Open Spaces

Conset Bay Pilot Project


Background

Conset Bay and its surrounding communities are situated on the East coast of Barbados in the parish of St. John and lie on the southern boundary of the National Park Land Use Plan for Barbados (Physical Development Plan 2003). These communities include families who have lived there for generations, many of whom have strong linkages to the fishing industry, and some are also small scale farmers (Cumberbatch and Simmons 2010). The freshwater streams that flow through the area not only add to the aesthetic but community members recall times when they would go cray fishing in them.

This project follows on from ongoing and past initiatives conducted in these Conset Bay coastal fishing communities, in particular the Sustainable Fishing Educational Exposition in Conset Bay (2009-2010) hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Drainage. Through previous stakeholder consultations, the communities’ close ties to both the terrestrial and marine environments was realised, as these communities expressed their concerns about the impacts of land use affecting marine habitats and productivity.

In efforts to upscale sustainable resource management in the area, UNEP and the Ministry of Environment and Drainage of Barbados, in conjunction with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) from University of the West Indies (UWI) are cooperating on a pilot project entitled “Upscaling Sustainable Resource Management in Coastal Watershed Communities of Barbados’ National Park and System of Open Space” in the context of the project “Strengthening National Capacities for Sustainable Resource Management in Latin American and the Caribbean”.

Project objectives

  • To improve the management and monitoring of near-shore marine and terrestrial natural resources within coastal watershed areas
  • To enhance the capacity of the local fishing community to participate in sustainable fisheries governance and management
  • To institute systems for project management, reporting and information dissemination

Expected project outputs

  • Draft/Preliminary Conset Bay Watershed State of the Environment Report
  • Presentation of findings of an institutional assessment and strengthening initiative for the Conset Bay fishing community
  • Draft Local Sustainable Fisheries Code to Promote Responsible Fisheries Development and Management
  • Preliminary proposal with the interventions needed to address the challenges from Conset Bay and future steps

Progress

  • Designation of an institutional focal point
  • Establishment of a multi-stakeholder governance mechanism to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the project activity at country level, under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Drainage
  • Design and implementation of a stakeholder engagement and communication process to support the project’s implementation
  • Identification of the environmental aspects and related challenges impacting socioeconomic development in the Conset Bay watershed
  • Identification of policy, institutional and legislative mechanisms that address challenges identified
  • Institutional assessment of past and current fishing community cooperative models and recommendation of an appropriate organisational model to support the current and future sustainable fisheries development and management efforts to the Conset Bay Fishing Community
  • Adaptation of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as the basis for a consensus building approach to establish a local Sustainable Fisheries Code
  • Preparation of relevant dissemination material through a project website, radio programme and development of outreach material
  • Identification of the interventions needed to address the environmental and socioeconomic challenges from the Conset Bay watershed and the means to ensure their implementation and long-term sustainability.

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