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Sustaining Caribbean Coastal Areas

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Presentation on theme: "Sustaining Caribbean Coastal Areas"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustaining Caribbean Coastal Areas
Population, Health, and Coastal Resource Management Roger-Mark De Souza Population Reference Bureau

2 The Case of Small Islands
“Small island developing States … are ecologically fragile and vulnerable. Their small size, limited resources, geographic dispersion and isolation from markets, place them at a disadvantage economically and prevent economies of scale. For SIDS the ocean and coastal environment is of strategic importance and constitutes a valuable development resource.” - Agenda 21, Chapter 7, para

3 Some Key Points… Role of population dynamics
Health impacts in coastal areas Management strategies Lessons from community based project

4 What Are Coastal Zones? Coastlines 120 miles wide
From low-tide mark inland and extending seaward Includes ecosystems near shore: barrier islands, mangrove swamps, salt marshes, seagrass beds, coral reefs Includes marine fisheries

5 Importance of Coastal Zones
Provide region with food and materials for new medicines Protect coastal settlements from storm damage Generate income from tourism Fragile and vulnerable biodiversity

6 Importance for Caribbean
Steep slopes and rapid changes in topography create small, scattered ecosystems Small size of ecosystems Concentration of population and activities in small areas intensifies stress conditions High frequency and variety of natural disasters Close coupling of terrestrial, coastal and marine systems results in fast-spreading impacts among systems

7 Human Causes of Change in Coastal Zones
Population Dynamics Economic Growth Technological Change Earth’s resources provide energy and raw materials for human activities, and these activities, in turn, have an impact on Earth’s resources and systems. These are some of the ways that humans interact with the environment — and these types of interaction have always existed. Let’s explore the three main components of population dynamics and talk a little bit about how these components interact with environment and health variables. Political-Economic Institutions Attitudes and Beliefs

8 Population, Health, and Coasts
Human Health Perspective Size Composition Distribution When we talk about “population” these are the characteristics we need to consider: -Size -Distribution of a population -Composition Environmental Health Perspective

9 Population Balancing Equation
Pt+1= Pt + (Births - Deaths) + (Inmig. - Outmig.) Natural Increase Net Migration Gross migration is the total number of people moving into or away from a place. Net migration is the gain or loss in population that results.

10 Population Doubled in 50 years

11 Migration Trends Net migration usually more significant than natural increase High emigration rates — safety valve Usually a significant return flow Trinidad and Tobago — 85 percent to 98 percent

12 Distribution and Composition
60 percent of the Caribbean population lives less than 100 kilometers from a coast 30 percent of the population is under age 15 7 percent is over age 65

13 Future Population Trends
Declining fertility Declining mortality Increasing life expectancy Low population growth

14 Population in 2010 Stable or decreasing population under 25
Increase by about 13 percent of population 25-64 Labor force population = 65 percent of population Greatest increase in year old group People 65+ will constitute 10 percent of total population Source: Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (

15 Population Pressures All capital cities in insular Caribbean are on coasts Coastal areas identified with principal industrial complexes, trade centers, and resort tourism enclaves Source: GEO (UNEP) Latin America and the Caribbean – Environment Outlook – p 39

16 Impacts on Coastal Zones
Residence in coastal zone Sewage and waste disposal Clearance of mangroves and littoral forest for human habitation Increased pressure on local fisheries Erosion, siltation, floods, storms Increasing development fueled by remittances

17 Temporary Populations…
“The region is moving from the production and sale of primary materials such as sugar, cotton, and fruits to the sale of tourism services based on sun, sand, and sea.” — State of the Environment Report, UNEP

18 Tourism 100 million tourists visit Caribbean each year
Is about 12 percent of LAC’s gross domestic product Concentrated along the coasts 43 percent of combined gross domestic product of Caribbean and one third of export revenues For 2005, scuba-diving tourism could generate some US$1.2 billion in income Source: Environment Outlook – GEO – UNEP – p42

19 Impacts of Tourism 70,000 tons of waste are generated
Increasing popularity of yacht and cruise ship destination produces more waste Inadequate collection systems in ports to deal with solid waste produced by visitors Havana Bay has concentrations of 70 micromoles per liter of nitrogen from ammonia and between 0.7 and 2.5 micromoles per liter of phosphorus, causing eutrophication of certain areas

20 Types of Pollutants Toxic chemicals Sewage Agricultural nutrients
Nonbiodegradable litter Sediments Pollution from maritime transport and oil production and pollution

21 Sediments and Pollution
Sediment load in coastal waters more than 10 million tons per year Excessive fertilizer use furthered algal population growth and eutrophication in coastal lagoons Between 80 percent and 90 percent waste waters discharged without treatment Region’s mangrove ecosystems are being affected Up to 65 percent of Mexico’s mangroves lost Source: UNEP – GEO – Latin America and Caribbean – Environment Outlook p 43

22 Some Positive Trends Islands with fewer people and little fishing pressure have reefs in good shape Bonaire, Cayman, Turks and Caicos, parts of Bahamas Sometimes diving tourism promoted awareness of reef conservation Two-thirds of coral reefs in Caribbean are at risk, one-third are at high-risk (Bryant et al., WRI).

23 Two-thirds of Reefs at Risk
Low High Medium Two-thirds of Reefs at Risk Most reefs off Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Barbados highly threatened All reefs of Lesser Antilles are at risk Source: World Resources Institute

24 Ecosystem Health Fisheries depletion from bycatch
Negative ecosystem impacts from types of fishing gear and blast fishing Exploitation and loss of food supply Poor management Exotic species Loss of marine fauna Unhealthy coastal habitat

25 Major Causes of Disease
Sewage from untreated or poorly treated domestic waste Bathing in or ingesting sewage-contaminated water can cause ear, eye, and skin infections, cholera, infectious hepatitis, pneumonia Children under age 5 are particularly affected Chemicals and heavy metals caused by runoff of pesticides and industrial effluents that become stored in seafood Most dangerous are ones like mercury that persist in marine environment and accumulate in food chain

26 Current Coastal Management
Independent stand-alone coastal manage-ment units (legislation) Coastal zone divisions (large, comprehen-sive management agencies) Fragmented management systems (piecemeal regulation and legislation) Implied recognition of vulnerability of coastal zone to sea level rise need for regulation of pollutants UN, State of the Environment – The Caribbean, p. 15.

27 Integrated Coastal Management
Management of coastal zone as a whole in relation to local, regional, national, and international goals Considers community needs and relevant practices in given locality fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, manufacturing industry, waste disposal, and tourism Balance between competing uses of water and natural resources, hoping for long-term environmental health and productivity

28 Key Elements of ICM Multiple stakeholders Strong scientific foundation
Early public participation Community and local management Networking at regional and national levels Capacity building Strong extension services Reliable data and indicators to measure success

29 Ideas to ponder — How to…
Manage coastal issues in an integrated way Address population factors and human needs Educate public and raise awareness Involve communities in protection and management Create social and economic incentives

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