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Integrating fisheries into the national development plans of Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Ten years on from Barbados

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The development and effective introduction of strategies designed to ensure the ecologically and economically sustainable utilization of coastal and marine resources is perhaps the major challenge for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In response, the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) called upon the SIDS to implement appropriate coastal and marine strategies and, crucially, ensure that such strategies were integrated into sustainable national development plans (NDPs). This article examines the extent to which contemporary NDPs and donor support programmes have incorporated the fisheries sector — arguably the most important coastal/marine resource for many SIDS — into such documents. Applying an assessment methodology, originally developed to identify levels of environmental mainstreaming within World Bank country assistance strategies to NDPs and donor support programmes, we are able to identify those SIDS who have most effectively integrated the fisheries sector into such documents. Comparison with data indicating the importance of the sector to the national economy (in terms of generating foreign exchange, employment generation and/or supporting domestic protein consumption levels) enables us to pinpoint those countries with substantial fisheries sectors, but a correspondingly lower than expected degree of sectoral mainstreaming. We suggest that the January 2005 review of the BPoA offers an opportune moment for such countries to redress these omissions.

Keywords: Country assistance strategies; Country strategy papers; Fisheries; National development plans; Poverty reduction strategy papers; SIDS (Small Island Developing States)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth (UK) 2: Development Planning Service of the Fisheries Department at FAO Headquarters in Rome

Publication date: February 1, 2005


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