Barbados

Location

Bridgetown
Barbados
13° 5' 60" N, 59° 37' 0.12" W



Capital Based Focal Point:

Ministry of Housing, Lands and the Environment (Environment Division)
Tel.(212)551-4303

Capital City: 
Bridgetown
Languages: 
English, Bajan
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Net enrollment ratio in primary education 93.8 95 93.3 93.90000000000001 93.3 93.7 96.2 97 MDG Database
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 10.7 10.7 10.7 10.7 13.3 13.3 13.3 13.3 10 10 10 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) World Bank
Category: Land
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Agricultural land (1000 Ha) 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 3.95 3.95 3.95 3.95 3.95 3.95 3.95 3.95 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 734 706 666 767 785 905 978 Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2008. 2008 World Development Indicators Online. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at: http://go.worldbank.org/U0FSM7AQ40.
Category: Demographics
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Country population 251,656 251,331 251,470 251,955 252,596 253,251 253,890 254,543 255,203 255,872 World Bank
Population annual growth 0.334421 0.129228 0.0552903 0.19268 0.254087 0.258972 0.252001 0.256868 0.258953 0.261801 World Bank
Maternal mortality ratio (modeled estimate, per 100,000 live births) 50 62 64 World Bank
Category: Indices
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
HDI - Human Development Index 0.775 0.78 0.785 0.788 0.787 0.788 UNDP International Human Development Indicators - Calculated based on data from UNDESA (2009d), Barro and Lee (2010), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010b), World Bank (2010b) and IMF(2010a).
Category: Economy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) 18,240 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 0.01 0.05 0.14 0.77 1.07 0.06 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 102,000,000 118,000,000 109,000,000 113,400,000 109,300,000 140,000,000 140,000,000 140,000,000 168,000,000 UN Data
Category: Energy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Electric power consumption (kWh) World Bank
Combustible renewables and waste (metric tons of oil equivalent) World Bank
Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total) World Bank
Category: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), thousand metric tons of CO2 (CDIAC) 1,188 1,221 1,228 1,192 1,272 1,316 1,338 1,346 MDG Database (CDIAC Data)
Category: Freshwater
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Improved water source (% of population with access) 100 100 100 100 100 World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change

Barbados submitted its First National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2001.

Barbados, the most easterly of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, is a 430 square kilometer island state located in the Caribbean. The island is non-volcanic, composed of underlying sedimentary deposits capped by a layer of coral up to 90 meters thick. Barbados enjoys a tropical, oceanic climate. Despite the island’s good fortune of averting any direct hits by storms, there has been a general increase in recorded air temperature over the last forty years of 0.5-1.00°C. The impacts of climate change in Barbados are expected to cause atmospheric temperature increase, sea level rise and its attendant impacts of erosion, inundation and saline intrusion, and changes in weather patterns in Barbados. The sugar industry, which provides about 2% of the country’s GDP, and the tourism sector, which contributes about 15%, are extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Barbados’ First National Communications to the UNFCCC, 2001
Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010

Natural and Environmental Disasters

Barbados embraced the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy in 2003, which focuses on promoting and accelerating disaster risk reduction initiatives. The Emergency Management Act was promulgated in 2006 to provide the legislative authority to mainstream the CDM.

A number of challenges exist for disaster risk management in Barbados. Weather can be extreme: 58 severe rainfall and wind events of a significant nature were documented from 1955-2000. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of these natural hazards and disasters, and thus has the potential to affect shoreline stability, the health of coastal and marine ecosystems, the tourism industry and private property in general. To address these disaster vulnerabilities, 30 voluntary district emergency organizations have been established through which the community disaster management programme is facilitated.

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010
The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, 2004

Waste Management

As a party to the Vienna Convention on the Ozone Layer and the Basel Convention, Barbados has enacted waste management programmes and regulations as well as specific pieces of legislation for different hazardous materials. The Environmental Management Act has been drafted to address issues the legislation omits.

In Barbados, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are the two major Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. The waste sector contributes 98.61% of the total CH4 and 13.5% of N2O emissions on average. To address this problem, Barbados constructed a wastewater treatment plant and pumping station for the south coast of the island in 1997. In addition, there is a sewage treatment plant for the capital, Bridgetown, to handle wastewater from commercial and residential buildings in the city. Infrastructural improvements of household waste collection have also recently occurred.

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010
The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, 2004
Barbados’ First National Communications to the UNFCCC, 2001

Coastal and Marine Resources

 

Barbados has established the legal framework for coastal zone management through the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1998. A range of regulations and legislations have been developed on this basis. In addition, the development of a Barbados Beach Management Plan was completed in 2008.

Coastal and marine ecosystems are essential to Barbados’ tourism-based economy. Other important sectors, such as the fisheries industry, rely heavily on coastal resources.  With tourism accounting directly and indirectly for approximately 39% of GDP in 2008, 50% of total export earnings, and employing up to 44% of the labor force, losses to coastal ecosystems services and the public and private infrastructure that depend on them represent significant threats to the resilience of the economy. The health and status of coastal and marine ecosystems in Barbados are showing signs of stress. For example, 80% of the country’s fringing reefs have been reported as seriously degraded. Bank reefs have decreased from 37% to 23% over a decade. Shoreline erosion rates are estimated at 15 meters per 100 years. 

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010
The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, 2004
Barbados’ First National Communications to the UNFCCC, 2001

Freshwater Resources

Barbados has a Draft Policy Framework for Water Resources Development and Management, a National Water Conservation Plan and an Emergency Drought Management Plan. There are also specific management policies addressing the linkage of freshwater with the agriculture sector.

Barbados is one of the world’s fifteen most water-scarce countries. The total annual water resources of Barbados are estimated at 59 million cubic meters in an average year, and approximately 45 million in a drought. There is little surface water on the island, with small surface streams found primarily in the Scotland District. With respect to water quality, 96-98% of households in Barbados are connected to the public water supply system with the remaining 2-4% having available access. A progressive irrigation scheme has been established in Barbados to address the freshwater issue in agriculture, which is likely to assist in the reduction of water wastage.

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010

Land Resources

Barbados‘ Physical Development Plan (PDP), amended in 2003, is a comprehensive document that coordinates public and private development efforts with an emphasis on sustainability, including guidelines for land use and Environmental Impact Assessments. The Town and Country Planning Act provides for the orderly and progressive development of land, ensures water rights and legal security of tenure for individuals, and preserves the amenities of the land. The Land for Landless Farmers Programme has been developed since 2001. The Agricultural Protection Bill is currently being drafted.

Barbados has approximately 430 km² of land space, with a population of over 275,300 people. It is the most densely populated country in the western hemisphere. Land is a scare and valuable commodity. Thus, integrated assessments of the socio-economic and environmental potential of land resources have been recommended in the Environmental Management and Land Use Planning for Sustainable Development Project of 1998. Mining activities of certain land and onshore resources are found in Barbados, including the mining of limestone, coral, sand and gravel, carbonaceous deposits, and onshore reserves of oil and gas. The exploitation of these land resources supports the country’s construction sector. Specific legislation has been developed regarding this exploitation but has not yet been enacted.

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010
The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, 2004

Energy Resources

Barbados has enacted energy resource management policies. In addition, Barbados is also developing waste-to-energy policies and facilities on the island.

Currently, petroleum products service 75% of Barbados’ energy needs. All petroleum fuels are imported, since Barbados no longer has a major oil refinery. An initial investigation has been conducted in Barbados to introduce renewable energy for electricity production to the country, and Barbados is now in the process of building a Renewable Energy Centre. The target is that by 2012 the contribution of renewable energy to the island’s primary energy be in excess of 30%. Right now, the main renewable energy sources are bagasse and solar water heaters. These contribute approximately 15% to the island’s primary energy supply. It is estimated that there has been a recent 30% local increase in demand for solar water heaters. Barbados boasts the second largest concentration of solar water heaters, surpassed globally only by Israel. Solar water heaters were introduced in the 1970s and there are now approximately 40 000 units in use in the country with more than 30,000 for domestic use.

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010

Tourism

Barbados has a Sustainable Tourism Policy for tourism resources management. Barbados has developed the Tourism Vulnerability Country Assessment (VCA). The Tourism Development Act has been established. Integrated plans for emergency management and tourism management have also been conducted. A new Tourism Master Plan is under development

Barbados has an estimated 4.9 km² of bank reefs and an estimated 1.4 km² of fringing reefs. These coral reefs and their associated flora and fauna attract tourists for recreational dives. The sandy beaches, fringing reefs and relatively calm waters have become the focal points of Barbados’ important tourism industry. The tourism sector largely supports the success of the Barbadian economy, and would be threatened by any increase in sea level. To avert this risk, golf course tourism has become more encouraged, and extensive construction of top class courses has begun on the island as another possible option in the country’s tourism strategy.

Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010
The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, 2004

Biodiversity

 

Barbadoshas established its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The country submitted its Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2006. In addition, the Integrated Gully Ecosystem Management Plan provides biodiversity management guidelines to the country. Alien/exotic species management guidelines have also been drafted.

Barbados' biodiversity conservation policies are formulated via an integrated approach through sectors such as agriculture, health, fisheries and tourism. There is also relevant legislation such as the Cultivation of Trees Act, the Trees Preservation Act, the Town and Country Planning Act, the Soil Conservation Act, the Fisheries Act of 1998 and associated fisheries management regulations. 

Barbados Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2005
Barbados MSI+5 National Assessment Report, 2010
The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, 2004
Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Barbados Barbados' first national communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Strategy Description 2001
NBSAP - Barbados Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategy Description 2006
NSDS - Barbados The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy 2004
10 Dec 2011 | SIDS Policy and Practice
January 2002: The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened from 7-11 January 2002 in Singapore. Hosted by the Government of Singapore, the meeting was organized by the office of the AOSIS Chair, and coordinated and assisted by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Unit of the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Approximately 120...
10 Dec 2011 | SIDS Policy and Practice
September 2003: Representatives from seven Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and the South China Sea (AIMS) Island countries gathered from 1-5 September 2003 in Cape Verde, together with representatives from other countries and numerous intergovernmental, international, regional and national organizations. Participants heard presentations on national assessment reports, describing achievements on sustainable development in the AIMS region, challenges for implementing the Barbados Programme...
10 Dec 2011 | SIDS Policy and Practice
8 August 2003: The Pacific Regional Meeting for the Review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place from 4-8 August 2003 in Apia, Samoa. Organized by the SIDS Unit of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the regional preparatory meeting sought to review the progress achieved in ensuring positive long-term development of SIDS in the Pacific region and prepare a regional position for the...
External Resources: 

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