Management of the coastal zone in Small Island Developing States; coastal defences and sustainable tourism
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Barbados, as with many Small Island Developing States has a tourism-dependent economy. Climate change and its effects pose a great threat to the coastal tourism facilities the island has to offer, particularly vulnerable are beaches. The government of Barbados recognized the threat many years ago resulting in the creation of policies and frameworks, and government units. These were created to implement measures that can immediately minimise the islands vulnerability and ensure long-term sustainable development. This thesis attempts to address the issue of climate change in the Small Island Developing State of Barbados by assessing the measures implemented through Integrated Coastal Zone Management. It aims to assess the effectiveness of the Coastal Inventory conducted by the Coastal Zone Management Unit on behalf of the Barbadian Government, and the Projects of the Coastal Infrastructure Program that were implemented to improve and maintain the coastal zone. These projects where aided by funding from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Barbados. Both hard and soft defence measures where used to create what is considered an effective long-term defence solution. The Coastal Inventory was found to be an extremely effective method to monitor changes in the coastal zone, however it must be conducted as per the set timeframe to ensure the coastline and its features receive adequate protection. The projects were found to have improved the areas of the coastal zone in question, through improved facilities, lateral beach access and reduced erosion after the construction of hard and soft engineering measures. Through the acceptance of negative aspects of previous policies, the Government of Barbados, is using innovative techniques to ensure the work carried out by the Coastal Zone Management Unit helps to combat the threat posed by climate change. Action to prevent further damage to the coastal zone and to preserve the natural environment is necessary to ensure both sustainable tourism and sustainable development of the island is achieved.