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1. Introduction

1. This report presents the findings and recommendations of a Country Mission to Antigua & Barbuda which was conducted 13 October to 23 November, 1991. The mission was a fifth in a series being undertaken for the Tropical Forests Action Programme (TFAP) in nine countries of the eastern Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

2. In Antigua and Barbuda, the mission was supported by the German Institute for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), ODA-UK and FAO in recruiting a multi-disciplinary team of eight international consultants covering a range of specialities (Appendix I).

3. The aims and objectives of the mission were to identify the principal causes of deforestation and to facilitate preparation of a 20-year forestry development plan which would ensure that:

i) appropriate land use policies are put in place to protect and conserve the national forest estate;

ii) all existing natural forests are managed in perpetuity on a sustained yield basis in accordance with sound environmental management techniques;

iii) optimal use is made of reforestation and agroforestry techniques to provide environmental protection where required on both State and private lands and to assist in the rural development process;

iv) high priority is given to the identification and legal protection of special biological interest, through the establishment of legally constituted Nature Reserves;

v) primacy of forest conservation, sustained yield management and protection of the environment are the overwhelming responsibility of the forest manager in seeking to optimize the utilization of products from the forest;

vi) provision is made for the protection of wildlife and for forest recreation facilities in the form of legally constituted National Parks.

4. The exercise was carried out with the close collaboration and active participation of national counterparts (Appendix I) from relevant public agencies and representatives of the private sector and NGOs. Working papers were prepared for circulation and for use as reference documents. These papers were used by the author in synthesising the main report in which the situation of Antigua and Barbuda was analyzed according to the five TFAP priority areas (see regional overview document). Based on these analyses, and group discussions of the major issues during the mission, strategies and action programmes were developed to attract technical assistance and investment with the aim of optimising the contribution which forestry and tree cover can make to sustainable social and economic development of the country.

5. The report, therefore, represents a National Forestry Action Plan (NFAP) for Antigua and Barbuda. The NFAP recognises the limitations of the country's economy but stresses the long-term benefits of environmental management and development. The Government endorsed the proposals before they were presented to the public for discussion at a National Round Table held in June, 1991. The active and meaningful feedback generated allowed the draft NFAP document to be strengthened and made available to the international community for consideration of technical and financial support. It is hoped that this International Round Table will be convened towards the latter half of 1993.

6. Reference should also be made to related documents:

Regional Overview of the CARICOM/FAO Tropical Forests Action Programme in the East Caribbean. CARICOM/FAO/BDDC-ODA, July 1993.

Forestry development initiatives at the regional/subregional level - regional project proposals 01-05.

The Status of Mangrove Conservation in the CARICOM Islands of the Eastern Caribbean. Report to the Commission of the European Communities as part of the TFAP for the Caribbean Region. P. Bacon, 1991.

Report on Forest research - special report as part of the TFAP process. C. Buford Briscoe, 1991.

Map 1. General map of the East Caribbean region showing the location of Antigua and Barbuda

Source: Country Environmental Profiles. CCA/IRF/USAID

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