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Coastal management and you
Q: What does Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) mean to us?
A: ICZM is a dynamic process involving all stakeholders, taking into account pertinent social, economic and environmental issues and has, as its objective, sustainable development and management of the coastal zone. Some people advocate that the entire land mass of Trinidad and Tobago should be considered a coastal zone.
What does the IMA mean to me?
The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) has assisted the Government of Trinidad and Tobago with developing marine and environmental policy for over 30 years. Researchers, with the aid of support staff, have worked in almost every area of the marine and environmental field: from chemistry, geology, ecology, fisheries and aquaculture to marine and environmental law and policy. Together with input from the public, the IMA intends to champion the development of a National ICZM Programme. In this regard, the IMA hosted a workshop entitled, “Integrated Coastal, Watershed and Water Resources Management” in January 2011, at the Carlton Savannah Hotel.
The workshop, funded by the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), and facilitated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was designed to inform agencies with responsibility for watershed and water resources management in Trinidad and Tobago of the concepts and practices of ICZM. Participants included members of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Committee of the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA), Tobago House of Assembly and the National Energy Corporation.
What is IWRM?
Integrated Water Resources Management promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources so that our economic and social welfare are maximised equally while maintaining vital ecosystems.
At this workshop, Dr Clement Lewsey, Director, International Programs Office (IPO), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) saw it as important that we Trinbagonians address the degradation of coastal and marine resources which has reached the point where action needs to be taken. He expressed confidence that ICZM will work in Trinidad and Tobago and suggested that, indeed, it must work.
Dr Lewsey expressed the belief that citizens of this country no longer live with their backs to the ocean, and that they are now aware of the importance of the ocean and its relationship with the land.
Do we believe in visions?
At this January 2011 Workshop the following suggestions for a vision statement came from the floor:
• Predicting the future of the coastal zone by managing it now;
• Promoting a healthy and productive coast to meet the needs of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago; and
• Preserving the future of the coastal zone by protecting it now.
Can anyone suggest a vision for coastal zone management, a simple snapshot of the future?
If so, you will have this opportunity because the Director of the IMA announced plans for hosting another workshop in July 2011 for you the public, the NGOs and other stakeholders.
Can we move this ICZM wave forward?
Participants were asked to share the information from the January 2011 workshop with their colleagues and encouraged to visit the IMA’s Web site to see summaries of the report on the workshop and send comments to the IMA. The Director of the IMA expressed the hope for emergence of some sort of multi-sectoral committee or taskforce that will assist in taking the process forward. You are the wave that can make ICZM move forward.
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