Integrated Coastal Zone Management and its potential application to Antigua and Barbuda.
Coastal resources are an essential asset for many nations, particularly small island nations, whose dependency upon coastal resources is especially high. Antigua and Barbuda has a population of approximately 85,000, of which a high percentage either resides at or engages in business along the coast. With fishing and tourism being key economic sectors, there is a high dependency on a healthy coastal environment. Here we investigated current coastal management in Antigua and Barbuda. We conducted an extensive survey of local stakeholders and reviewed lessons learned from similar island nations. We found that many activities in Antigua and Barbuda are currently being conducted unsustainably, with negative impacts on the coastal environment. The current sectorial-based management approach is disjointed, top-down, involves inadequate stakeholder participation, and is poorly enforced. However, all stakeholders surveyed expressed a willingness to participate and were keen for a more inclusive, holistic management approach. We present suggestions for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Antigua and Barbuda and proposed a six-step implementation processes. A successful approach needs to be government-led but with willing and committed participation of stakeholders. A review of the current legal framework and sustainable financing are necessary pre-requisites for any ICZM, but particularly small island nations.
Area of Interest: Antigua