United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Government of Barbados
Statement on Land Issues
Inter-governmental Preparatory Meeting
For the 17th Session of CSD
February 17th 2009
Madam Chair
The planning and development of land resources involves a wide range of
stakeholders especially for a country the size of Barbados where the main
issues of concern relate to competing demands from numerous sectors
namely ? residential, tourism, agricultural and industrial. Having limited land
area has resulted in an early recognition that careful management measures
would have to be put in place.
Some of those measures have included:
? A Land for Landless Farmers Programme which started in
2001 and has progressed steadily, whereby available public and
private lands are allocated to farmers for livestock, root crops,
vegetables and orchard production. This programme has had
multiple benefits including bringing idle lands into production,
enhancing food security for the country and providing livelihoods for
? The Enactment of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1968
[Amended 2003] provided for land and water rights and legal
security of tenure for all individuals irrespective of gender.
? The integrated assessment of the socio-economic and
environmental potentials of land resources has been examined in
detail under the Environmental Management and Land use Planning
for Sustainable Development Project, 1998.
? Long-term conservation and rehabilitation programmes to
arrest land degradation were put in place to protect the fragile soils
in the vulnerable Scotland District area, while good agricultural
practices including hedge row establishment and environmentally
friendly agronomic practices are utilized in other farming zones.
and lastly
? There are specific programmes for empowerment of
people living in poverty and for their increased access to land
and land tenure arrangements. This has been facilitated
through the Urban Development Commission Act and the Rural
Development Act 1995. These acts provide for the improvement
of social amenities, assistance to small farmers and other small
entrepreneurs and the establishment and development of
cottage industries in urban and rural areas of Barbados.
Strategic urban planning approaches aimed at managing urban
growth, limiting urban sprawl and reducing the number of
people living in poverty in urban and rural areas comes under
the mandates of the Urban and Rural Commissions
Madam Chair
Various sectors of the government of Barbados share the responsibility
for conducting national research on the local land resource systems.
The use of information systems including Geographic Information
System (GIS) though expensive is being utilized for integrated planning
and management of land resources. Specifically they are being used to
identify land vulnerable to slippage and land degradation and also helps
to identify some subsurface drainage systems.
There is presently a significant challenge in identifying activities on land that
could affect the underground water supplies. In some cases Special
Development Area legislation will be required to curtail such activities. There
is also the need for a comprehensive land use study to be implemented to
assess the change in land use patterns over the last decade.
The Government of Barbados is hopeful that emerging from CSD 17, we will
be able to identify partners with whom we can share our experience in
sustainable land management. We also hope to identify opportunities for
capacity development and technology transfer in the area of land
management monitoring and information systems.
I Thank you.