An­dros master plan nears com­ple­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - EARTH TODAY -

THE SUS­TAIN­ABLE De­vel­op­ment Master Plan for An­dros in The Ba­hamas is near com­ple­tion, fol­low­ing more than a year of work on the project un­der which it is be­ing pro­duced.

It is to guide the de­vel­op­ment of the is­land up to 2040, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion, among other things, likely cli­mate-change im­pacts – the likes of which was re­cently felt as Hur­ri­cane Matthew pum­melled An­dros, as else­where in The Ba­hamas, leav­ing in its wake despair and ex­ten­sive dam­age.

The plan, mean­while, charts a course for an An­dros that is de­vel­oped on the strength of its nat­u­ral as­sets, in­clud­ing the world’s third-largest bar­rier reef, vast cop­pice and man­grove forests, and the high­est den­sity of blue holes in the western hemi­sphere.

With fund­ing from the In­terAmer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank to the tune of US$900,000, the “Ecosys­tem-based De­vel­op­ment for An­dros Is­land” project is led by the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter.

The project has three com­po­nents:

Data col­lec­tion on ecosys­tem ser­vices and the anal­y­sis of al­ter­na­tive fu­ture de­vel­op­ment sce­nar­ios;

Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and outreach; and

The de­vel­op­ment of a master plan with in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for An­dros.

The first two com­po­nents were un­der­taken by the Nat­u­ral Cap­i­tal Project at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity in the United States, and the SEV

IIICon­sult­ing Group of The Ba­hamas re­spec­tively.

French en­gi­neer­ing firm BRL In­generie (BRLi), with sup­port from The Ba­hamas-based Blue En­gi­neer­ing, is lead­ing the work on the pro­duc­tion of the master plan.


“The master plan iden­ti­fies pub­lic and pri­vate in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, pol­icy rec­om­men­da­tions, land and sea zon­ing guide­lines, and other man­age­ment ac­tions to guide sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the is­land, both for its peo­ple and its en­vi­ron­ment,” said BRLi team leader and coastal and marine zone man­age­ment spe­cial­ist Fran­cois Car­nus.

The master plan, now in draft, has been in­formed by con­sid­er­a­tion for eight ar­eas iden­ti­fied by lo­cal stake­hold­ers as es­sen­tial to their fu­ture de­vel­op­ment: cli­mate and coastal re­silience; ed­u­ca­tion and ca­pac­ity build­ing; food and wa­ter se­cu­rity; health and well-be­ing; land ten­ure se­cu­rity, land use plan­ning and en­force­ment; liveli­hoods and in­come equal­ity; trans­porta­tion for peo­ple and goods; and strength­en­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

To date, the project has pro­gressed with in­put from a wide cross sec­tion of stake­hold­ers through pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions and the Tech­ni­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (TAC). Those stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing the mem­bers of the TAC, in­clude lo­cal com­mu­nity res­i­dents, non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions, busi­ness in­ter­ests, and pol­i­cy­mak­ers.

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