The Shades of Blue
Upgrading Coastal Resources for the
Sustainable Development of the Caribbean SIDS.
UNESCO Office for the Caribbean
Published by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
7, Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France
© UNESCO 2010
All rights reserved
The designations employed and the presentation of
material throughout this publication do not imply the
expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of
UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city or area or its authorities or concerning
the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The authors are responsible for the choice and the
presentation of the facts contained in this book and for
the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily
those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.
Compiled by Pedro Monreal
Typeset by Kerrian Hutchinson-Mitchell
Printed by Valbees Printers Limited
Printed in Jamaica
Table of Contents
• Coastal Resources and Sustainable Economic Development in Caribbean SIDS: an overview.
Dennis Pantin and Marlene Attzs
• The Impact of Climate Change on Small Island Environments in the Caribbean: the Challenges Ahead.
• Sustainable Management in Small Coastal Communities in the Caribbean: Policy Lessons from Case
Michelle Mycoo and Judith Gobin
• Capacity Development for Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Focus on Coastal Zone Management.
• A Feasibility Study on the Use of Structural Mitigation to Reduce the Economic Vulnerability of Caribbean
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to Natural Disasters.
Jason M. A. Alexander
• An Examination of the Contribution of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in Poverty Reduction
Efforts and Environmental Management in Soufriere, St. Lucia.
Donna Devika Ramjattan
• About the Authors
The Caribbean Sea and its coastal resources hold the key to the sustainable economic development of Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) of the region. Coastal resources are clearly identified by policymakers, scholars, and by
the population at large as a critical factor in the economy, society, culture and politics of Caribbean SIDS and
therefore there is much interest, opinions and passion around the topic which is a mobilizing subject matter in the
This publication was prepared in the framework of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences (SHS) Strategy on
Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which is coordinated and implemented by the UNESCO Kingston
Cluster Office for the Caribbean in Kingston, Jamaica.
The initiative is carried out in consultation with other programmes in the Kingston Office, in particular the Natural
Sciences Programme, and in coordination with the UNESCO Cluster Office in Havana. The initiative reflects the
Social and Human Sciences programme efforts to strengthen the linkages between social and human sciences and the
sustainable development agenda in Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean as part of UNESCO’s
contribution to the achievement of the UN Millenium Development Goals and Programme of Action.
In the Mauritius Declaration for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States (January, 2005) SIDS reaffirmed the continued validity of the
Barbados Programme of Action as the ‘blueprint’ for the fundamental framework for the sustainable development of
Small Island Developing States, eradicating poverty and improving the livelihoods of their peoples by the
implementation of strategies which build resilience and capacity to address their unique and particular vulnerabilities.
The Mauritius Declaration reaffirms the principle that achieving sustainable development will require holistic
approaches at all levels and integrated programmes that take account of the economic, social and environmental
aspects' which are the pillars of sustainable development. There is an urgent need for research and dialogue on a
framework for sustainable development of SIDS which puts people actively into the picture, shows how the
economic, social and environmental 'pillars' interact, incorporates culture and recognizes the effects of global action.
Following up the Mauritius Meeting, the Social and Human Sciences programme presented two strategic lines as
vehicles for piloting an integrated framework for action. The thematic focus for the Caribbean strategy is coastal
resources and for the Pacific, poverty, women and youth. Each presents a hub and entry point for further research and
dialogue on social transformation themes such as gender and youth equity, participation in decision-making,
migration and poverty. Two main categories of activities are included in the Strategy for the Caribbean: a research
programme, and a policy-oriented outreach agenda. Throughout all phases of implementation of the initiative,
particularly during the development of the research programme, the Social and Human Sciences Strategy for the
Caribbean will make extensive use of techniques of participatory research.
The UNESCO SIDS Caribbean Programme was launched at a Regional planning meeting on UNESCO SHS Strategy
on Caribbean SIDS, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (May, 2006) which was followed up by a Call for Paper
Proposals that could be used to compile a comprehensive document to be presented before policymakers in key
meetings and fora, as well as to provide the framework for the design of the research programme of the strategy. The
Second Meeting of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences SIDS Strategy for the Caribbean was held on Salvador
de Bahia, Brazil, (May, 2007) concurrently with the 32nd Conference of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA).
It was attended by a selected group of scholars who assessed and offered suggestions on essential aspects of the
design of the research programme and the process of its implementation. Participants at the meeting focused on three
topics: main research areas; potential research groups and modalities of collaboration; and capacity-building areas for
junior social and human sciences researchers.
This publication is made up of five chapters. The first presents an overview of the UNESCO Strategic Response to
the issue of promoting sustainable development in the SIDS. The second chapter on Coastal Resources and
Sustainable Economic Development in Caribbean SIDS: An Overview by Dennis Pantin and Marlene Attzs
analyses the pivotal role of Caribbean Coastal Resources (CCRs) in the Caribbean economic development and
captures this in the ‘source, sink and threat’ functions of the resources. These three areas - source, sink and threat -
relate to the use of the CCRs as the main ingredient in the Caribbean tourism product, the role of CCRs in the
assimilation of land and marine waste and the threats to or from CCRs due to climate change and global warming.
The authors conclude that, notwithstanding the challenges to sustainable economic development in the Caribbean
using CCRs, there are at least seven reasons why sustainable tourism may be the most efficient and effective way of
managing Caribbean CCRs to achieve regional sustainable economic development.
The third chapter, The Impact of Climate Change on Small Island Environments in the Caribbean: the Challenges
Ahead, by Rawleston Moore presents an evaluation of climate change, considered by the author as the most serious
environmental and developmental issue facing the small islands in the Caribbean. The small islands of the Caribbean
will have to address the impacts of climate change and global warming. These impacts will affect the social and
economic fabric of countries in the region, and require substantial financial and economic resources to address. The
reality may also be that in some instances some countries in the region may not be able to adapt to climate change.
Caribbean countries must, therefore, invest inwardly, and adapt for themselves. The cost of implementing adaptation
activities and policies now will be cheaper than putting measures in place in the future. The author proposes that for
adaptation to be effective, climate change must be considered a cross-cutting issue in the region. Climate change and
adaptation can no longer be seen as an isolated environmental issue, it must be viewed as integral to the development
process. The fourth chapter, Sustainable Management in Small Coastal Communities in the Caribbean: Policy
Lessons from Case Studies, by Michelle Mycoo and Judith Gobin is an analysis that seeks to distil policy lessons in
sustainable management derived from studies in two coastal communities, namely Praslin in St. Lucia and Sarteneja
in Belize. The studies were based on the premise that in small coastal communities in the Caribbean sustainable
management remains a challenge largely because of the gaps in policy formulation and implementation. The chapter
first presents a contextual framework of the case studies and the methodological approach adopted. This is followed
by an examination of opportunities, constraints and threats to sustainable management in relation to the case studies.
The last section of the paper distils the policy lessons learnt in addressing the opportunities, constraints and threats
to sustainable management in the context of small coastal communities of the Caribbean.
The fifth chapter, Capacity Development for Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Focus on Coastal Zone