Barbados Coastal risk management programme to be launched BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC: The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) is to assist Barbados undertake a coastal risk assessment and management programme aimed at building resilience to coastal hazards in general and, in particular, climate change, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has announced. Speaking at the official opening of the opening and re-naming of the South Coast Boardwalk in honour of former government minister and physician Sir Richard Haynes on Sunday night, Prime Minister Stuart said that as a result of the new programme, there will also be new roles and responsibilities in respect of hazard mitigation that will go beyond the ambit of the Coastal Zone Management Unit and include the Town and Country Planning Office and the Department of Emergency Management. "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 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," he said. Prime Minister Stuart said his administration is establishing an institutional framework for the management of climate change across all impacted sectors, including agriculture, health and energy. The Prime Minister said that through this project, the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) is currently working on incorporating coastal climate change adaptation technologies and methods, as well as disaster risk reduction considerations into integrated coastal zone management processes. He told the ceremony that the project - the first of its kind to be undertaken in Latin America and the Caribbean - will deliver a comprehensive evaluation of the risks and vulnerabilities of Barbados to sea level related hazards such as storm surges and tsunamis. He said it would also provide valuable information for agencies within the National Emergency Management System, which can be used to implement additional mitigation measures and hazard response procedures, inclusive of evacuation routes from the coast. Prime Minister Stuart said that that construction would begin soon on the Holetown Waterfront Improvement Project that will stabilise beaches on the West Coast. He said that other diagnostic studies will be conducted and comprehensive institutional strengthening is envisaged by institutions across Government, with responsibility for various aspects of coastal management and disaster risk reduction.