Coastal and Marine Management and Education in the Southeastern Caribbean
The island of Tobago, located in the Southeastern Caribbean, has a small population with limited expertise and resources to tackle the challenges of sustainable development. The reality, like in so many other small island developing states (SIDS), is that the loss of ecologically fragile resources upon which the local population depend is outpacing the present response time to implement effective management regimes.
The Buccoo Reef Marine Park (BRMP) has been established as one management tool for the marine and coastal resources of Tobago. Yet despite the restricted area status, the reef continues to be adversely affected by intense tourist activity and pollutant discharges.
In support of the BRMP, and in collaboration with the Buccoo Reef Trust (BRT), ICRAN has developed a project to strengthen coral reef management, monitoring, outreach and education programmes in the region, through a generous grant from the UN Foundation.
The project will engage stakeholders and encourage support for the long-term management needs of the park, whilst garnering support for the creation of new MPAs and the sustainable use of resources in Tobago. The exchange of best practice, and uptake of effective actions within the region will also be encouraged through the provision of high level education and research opportunities, and exchange programmes.
Through an innovative collaboration with the private sector (C. L. Financial Ltd.) project actions will be supported beyond the life of the project, and the sustainability of the BRT's outreach, education, research and management activities will be ensured.
An exciting new film showcasing Marine Protected Areas in the Southeastern Caribbean, produced earlier this year (2010) by the Buccoo Reef Trust as part of the ICRAN project �Coastal and Marine Management & Education in the Southeastern Caribbean�, is now available to view on YouTube. Check out Sanctuaries of the Caribbean at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMKKkpLreXw or play below...
The World Resources Insitute launched the results of their pilot analyses on economic valuation on coral reefs in the Caribbean on June 13th in Tobago. The report, Coastal Capital - Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs in Tobago and St. Lucia and the working documents are available for download below. In addition, the economic valuation methodology, and tools for implementing coral reef valuation are available from the web site http://www.wri.org/project/valuation-caribbean-reefs.
On Friday 13th June BRT organised an International Year of the Reef event with about sixty participants from government, NGOs, the tourism industry, some school kids and the media. It was an excellent event in terms of presentations, level of interest and discussion. TV and print media were present. The report was launched at this event where results were well received, and considered highly useful to help enforce regulations related to development, environment and the Buccoo Reef Marine Park. A summary report for decision-makers was also developed and launched at the IYOR event on Friday the 13th, aimed at improving water quality and reducing fishing pressure on the reef.
Economic Valuation workshop
Training was provided to government agencies, NGOs and the private sector from Trinidad & Tobago and St. Lucia in the two coral reef valuation tools developed under this project; the first on tourism and recreation; the second on reef-associated fisheries. The tools were very well-received and several participants are planning applications of the tools.
As well as the provision of training, demonstrations were given on application of the tools and the results presented. The tourism tool was applied for Charlotteville in northern Tobago and the fisheries tool for all of Tobago. This demonstration impressed upon people how much information is needed to do a valuation and many of the complexities of valuation.