Sustainable Island Resource Management Zoning Plan for Antigua and Barbuda (including Redonda) (SIRMZP)

National urban policy type
Partial - Territorial Plan
Policy temporality
Long-term
Sustainable Island Resource Management Zoning Plan for Antigua and Barbuda (including Redonda) (SIRMZP)

The primary goal of the SIRMZP is to present a forward‐looking strategic, national spatial development framework that addresses current development issues, and provides a platform for feasible private and public sector development initiatives, that will reflect local cultural values and aspirations over the next twenty (20) years. Further, it is designed to serve as a revised Draft National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) that meets the criteria of the Physical Planning Act (2003).

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Institutionality

Formulating Institution

Prepared by GENIVAR Trinidad & Tobago, in association with Ivor Jackson & Associates and Kingdome Consultants Inc., both of whom are based in Antigua and Barbuda (Executive Summary)

Elaboration process

This Sustainable Island Resource Management Zoning Plan (SIRMZP) for Antigua and Barbuda (including Redonda) has been prepared under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment and the Development Control Authority (DCA) as a component of an internationally funded project entitled “Demonstrating the Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Island Resource Management Mechanism (SIRMM)”. The Plan has the dual responsibility of meeting the requirements set out for a development plan in the Physical Planning Act 2003 (PPA 2003) administered by the DCA, as well as serving as a Sustainable Island Resource Zoning Management Plan (SIRMZP), that integrates the recommendations of ecological studies that are designed to ensure the long‐term maintenance of ecosystem functions, protection of critical habitats, and the sustainable use of natural resources.

A Core Zoning Plan Committee (CZPC), which comprised of members from a broad cross‐section of government departments and agencies, as well as Non‐Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders, was established by the MoE to serve as the steering committee for the project. In addition to regular meetings, the Committee organized two (2) workshops that:
Promotes the development of a network of cohesive mixed‐ use settlements that offer a range of housing options that respond to different income levels and living preferences while providing ready access to local commerce, public services and facilities; 1. Identified key planning issues and opportunities; and 2. Explored alternative futures via a Visioning Exercise. (Executive Summary)

During the consultation phase that took place in September 2011, stakeholders and the general public had the opportunity to review all aspects of the Sustainable Island Resource Management Zoning Plan (SIRMZP). 
(Planning Approach pg.8)

Executive Body

As most governance issues are related to institutional structure and management rather than spatial configurations, governance is primarily dealt within the following section, which discusses Land Use and Development Control Policies. This Section deals exclusively with the spatial components of SIRMZP governance.
It is recommended that four (4) distinct hierarchical planning entities be recognized: community, parish, nation and region. This SIRMZP evidentially is at the national level. It should be complemented by plans at the parish level and community levels that are consistent with the overall national thrust yet go into much more detail concerning local planning issues. In addition, the major watersheds should be used for planning and review purposes by the DCA. Figure 6.16 shows the existing parish boundaries in Antigua. A single planning unit is recommended for Barbuda due to its relatively small population and the communal land ownership system in Barbuda that is in place.

Panorama

Main challenge

The development challenges that are faced by Antigua and Barbuda are similar to many other SIDS in the region. These include:
• Fragile terrestrial and marine ecosystems such as mangrove wetlands and coral reefs that are endangered by development projects, pollution and misuse;
• A relatively small land mass and population size;
• Vulnerability to external economic and natural environmental events, such as economic recessions, hurricanes and climate change;
• Urban decay in two of the key historic centres (St. John’s  and Parham);
• Pockets of poverty;
• Inadequate physical infrastructure; 
• Extensive poorly located subdivisions that are underdeveloped;
• Insufficient and unevenly distributed housing and social infrastructure;
• Ribbon development along rural highways which contributes to traffic congestion; an incomplete highway network;
• Conflicting land use activities, especially among housing, tourism and agricultural activities; and
• Land degradation due to uncontrolled grazing; and limited institutional capacity to manage the development process due to the presence of weak and fragmented land use and development control mechanisms.

(1.0 Introduction pg.1)

Implementation tool

Operating instruments

The application and modification of the plan is facilitated by its presentation in GIS format, a format that allows the zones to be laid over maps depicting a wide range of additional social, economic, and biophysical phenomena to reveal patterns that may then be taken into account in social and economic development plans.

Action against climate change

Mitigation

c)Hierarchy of Settlements
Similar to Decentralization, the Hierarchy of Settlements will only be effective in conserving ecosystems and Classes II and III agricultural lands if measures are taken to halt the unbridled spread of settlements in areas best suited for maintenance as natural areas, landscape, scenery, flood mitigation and biodiversity.

(5.3.1 Maintain and Enhance Ecosystem functions, pg.106)

Adaptation

Building setback from beaches, coastlines, minimum ground floor elevation

(Table 6.2 Land Use Suitability Model: Environmental Risk, pg.122)

Resilience

In Antigua and Barbuda, the key environmental concerns include the freshwater system, fringe mangrove, sea grass beds, coral reefs, sand dunes and forested areas, all of which are essential to sustain flora and fauna and protect against natural disasters such as land slippage, coastal erosion and hurricanes. In addition, it is important to ensure that resource‐based industries, such as tourism, fishing, and agriculture do not exceed the resilience of ecological systems.

(Goal 1: Maintain and Enhance Ecosystem Integrity, pg.12)

Focus

Main goal

The primary goal of the SIRMZP is to present a forward‐looking strategic, national spatial development framework that addresses current development issues, and provides a platform for feasible private and public sector development initiatives, that will reflect local cultural values and aspirations over the next twenty (20) years. Further, it is designed to serve as a revised Draft National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) that meets the criteria of the Physical Planning Act (2003). (Executive Summary).

Cross-cutting principles

1. Development of a strong sense of community and high quality of life;
2. Development of a competitive mix of economic activities, including tourism, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, and international business services;
3. Implementation of sustainable development processes that seek to make an appropriate balance between social, economic, and biophysical imperatives;
4. Protection of critical ecologically sensitive areas;
5. Promotion of economic activities that rely on the country’s extensive environment resources, such as agriculture and fishing;
6. Respect for the natural and built heritage of Antigua and Barbuda;

7. Development of cohesive, mixed‐use settlements and tourism areas with effective infrastructure, that provide a range of housing options within walking distance of local commercial and community facilities; and
8. A collaborative ‘bottom‐up’ approach to development that involves individual residents, community groups, as well as private and public stakeholders. (Executive Summary)

Strategic objectives

The Vision was expressed in the following five (5) key planning goals that have guided the development of the spatial plan:
1. Promote Efficient & Effective Governance
2. Maintain & Enhance Ecosystem Integrity
3. Foster Economic Development & Engaging Livelihoods
4. Enhance Liveability
5. Improve Accessibility 

Action Strategies

Short Term Actions
1.1 Deposit SIRMZP with Minister.
1.2 Adopt SIRMZP
1.3 Enhance capacity of DCA
1.4 Develop terms of reference for an integrated GIS that incorporates a permit tracking and development monitoring facility
1.5 Prepare crown agricultural and grazing plan
1.6 Implement settlement restructuring policy
1.7 Strengthen core settlement areas
1.8 Develop squatter regularization and slum improvement plans
1.9 Prepare and implement preliminary plan for Barbuda port area
Medium Term Actions
21. Prepare drainage plans for each of the major watersheds
2.2 Prepare water, sewerage, and drainage plans for Antigua and Barbuda
2.3 Prepare roadway improvement plans
2.4 Improve ferry service to Barbuda
2.5 Prepare energy plan
2.6 Develop environmental conservation and education program and projects
2.7 Prepare environmental and conservation tourism plan for Redonda

2.8 Prepare Parish and community Physical Plans

Monitoring and tracking

Representative sample of Cities

National Centre: St. John’s (Antigua).

 

Secondary Centre All Saints (Antigua), Codrington (Barbuda).

District Centre: Parham (Antigua), English Harbour/Falmouth (Antigua), Bolans (Antigua), Old Road (Antigua), Freetown (Antigua), Willikies (Antigua). 

 

Technical Instruments

Geographical Information System (GIS) that has been developed to support the assessment of land use capability will continue to be a useful tool. In particular, the GIS may be used to monitor the effectiveness of the Plan, assess the appropriateness of new project proposals and evaluate future development strategies. In this way, the Plan may keep pace with shifting needs and aspirations and have a lasting contribution on the sustainable development of Antigua and Barbuda.

(Planning Approach pg.8)