Unit head urges coastline care
Barbados must protect its coastlines if the tourism industry is to remain a major source of foreign exchange.
That was the caution from acting director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr Lorna Inniss, yesterday.
“Our economy is based principally on coastal tourism, unlike countries like Dominica where they have mountains, beautiful waterfalls, rivers and lakes . . . . We don’t have that kind of inland tourism; all of our tourism tends to be coastal. Therefore, a successful coastal zone management programme is required if we want our economy to do well,” he said.
Inniss said the unit was trying to achieve sustainable development.
“We want there to be coastal development, but we want to have a strict regulatory system in place that ensures that the economic development that occurs in the coastal zone is compatible with the health of ecosystems, that it is equitable for locals who may be using the coastal zone and for visitors coming to our shores . . . and, of course, that there are financial returns for the country,” she said.
Inniss made the comments as she spoke to the media at Brandon’s Beach about efforts to help preserve the island’s coast.
“We have now implemented a series of projects and programmes designed to build out a mature coastal zone management programme that would address all of the issues that would arise in the coastal zone area of Barbados,” she said.
In 1983, a coastal conservation project unit was established to determine the causes and issues associated with beach erosion. According to Inniss, the project exceeded that and also examined all of the coastal areas, pollutants, vegetation, trees, inlands, coral reefs, sea grass beds and sand dunes and had put Barbados’ coastlines in good stead.