There are no smoke-stack and pollution-generating industries. Tourism and financial services are the backbones of the economy.
It is critical for small, open islands like Barbados to protect their environment; generate benefits for the local population; create amazing spaces for all to enjoy, and also protect its sensitive environment.
A number of key investment projects have helped Barbados to increase the quality of life for its citizens, add value to its tourism sector, sustain the economy, and protect the environment. While there are many such initiatives, here are three intelligent investments in Barbados worth mentioning: The South Coast Sewage System; the ABC Highway; and the South Coast Boardwalk.
At the cost of US$24 million funded in part by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) in 2007, the Barbados Boardwalk is “a boon to conservation, recreation and tourism”, according to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). The Boardwalk stabilises and remediates the beaches along the south coast of Barbados suffering climate change impacts such as erosion. This has led to an amazing location for locals and visitors to enjoy for walks and jogging; added tremendous real estate value to the properties along the south coast; encouraged the formation of more beach areas and accompanying beach bars, not to mention the protection of the beach and natural environment.
The ABC Highway, named after famous Barbadian (fondly known as Bajan) politicians – Grantley Adams, Errol Barrow and Hugh Cummins, at an investment of hundreds of millions, opened up the middle of the island, relieving traffic from the narrow and worn coastal roads, as well as creating access to dwelling opportunities away from the coast. It provided easy access from the Airport to the Deep Water Harbour at Bridgetown, the University of the West Indies Campus, the famous West Coast and more.
As early as the early 1990s Barbados embarked on a massive project to organize its sewage system, investing in the development of a multi-million South Coast Sewage Project that alleviated the sewage strain/effluent in the sea and increased the quality of the water on the South Coast.
And there are other major initiatives and investments. Suffice it to say that it is these types of intelligent and future-oriented investments that add real value to a tourism destination, economy and society. Not to mention that they make Barbados, in Taleb’s words, ‘AntiFragile’.
Other islands and countries will do well to follow Barbados’s lead. Saving Planet Earth is critical for all countries and communities that are not only keen to develop tourism, but that want their residents to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Dr. Auliana Poon
Dr. Auliana Poon is the founder and Managing Director of Leve Global and Exceptional Caribbean.
Auliana loves the Caribbean and believes in its people. Her personal mission is to change the world; to transform our societies. And this is precisely why she has spearheaded Exceptional Caribbean – a continuing mission to elevate tourism, trade and lives.