BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday January 30, 2012 – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said the country is being viewed as a champion of coastal best practices in light of a Coastal Risk Assessment and Management Programme that would be undertaken here with the support of the Inter American Development Bank.
The conservation project, which he said is the first of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean, will deliver a comprehensive evaluation of the risks and vulnerabilities of Barbados to storm surges and tsunamis.
Stuart explained that the information gathered would be provided to agencies within the National Emergency Management System that can be used to implement additional mitigation measures and hazard response procedures, inclusive of evacuation routes from the coast.
“This new programme is being viewed with great interest globally as Barbados will be one of the first countries to incorporate coastal risks into a mature and successful integrated coastal zone management programme,” the prime minister said at a ceremony on Sunday.
“The Coastal Zone Management Unit’s technical team must be commended for the conceptualisation and development of its components. As a result, Barbados as a small island developing state is now a champion of coastal best practices at the regional and international levels and coastal states across the globe are seeking technical assistance and advice from our coastal experts.”
The country has already signed a US$30 million loan with the IDB to support the programme.
The IDB has provided at least 11 loans totaling US$180 million and 15 technical cooperation grants totaling US$7.1 million to Barbados.