The Inter-American Development Bank approved today a $17 million loan to Barbados to support shoreline preservation and management.
The resources will be used to stabilize the shore and control erosion, restore coastal habitats, improve public coastal access and strengthen the institutions responsible for coastal management.
Coastal infrastructure and beaches will be enhanced for local and tourist use at Rockley to Drill Hole; Woman's Bay; Crane Beach; Holetown Beach and Welches Beach.
Investments in restoring and protecting ecosystems will be made at Holetown Beach and Walkers Savannah. Works will be undertaken to encourage safe and increased access to the waterfront at Bay Street Old Hospital Jetty and the Tent Bay Boat Access.
The Coastal Management Unit and the Ministry of Physical Development and Environment* will be strengthened through staff training and technical assistance for the preparation of a strategic plan and a public education strategy.
For the past 30 years tourism has been the backbone of the Barbados economy. The IDB loan will respond to the country's strategic focus of enhancing environmental infrastructure and natural resources management and will bring about significant environmental and economic benefits derived from recovery of impacted ecosystems, improved access to beaches, higher land values, shoreline stabilization, improved recreation amenities and upgraded of institutional capabilities.
The loan is the largest the IDB has approved for the Barbados for coastal preservation, which has been supported by the Bank through loans and grants for the past two decades, including a $3.6 million loan for technical cooperation approved in 1994.
The current loan is for a 20-year term, with a four-year grace period, at the variable interest rate, now 6.97 percent. Local counterpart funds total $7.2 million.