The national plan which will govern the appropriate use of land in Dominica for the next 20 years was presented on April, 26th to stakeholders.
The project was conceptualized in 2010 and approved for funding by the Caribbean Development Bank in 2013.
Now four years later, according to Chief Physical Planner, Kevin Rolle, the final draft is complete.
“The National Physical Development Plan will show the areas that are designated for different uses. Through consultation we brought all the different agencies together; all their plans together [to see] how we would like to see Dominica develop and move forward and this has been put together in the National Physical Develop plan,” Rolle said.
The plan comprises two phases. Phase one was the preparation of the National Land Use Policy which ran from December 2013 and was completed in May 2014. This process involved consultation with government departments and agencies and a few private sector organizations and individuals.
The policy was approved by Cabinet in May 2015 and that cleared the way for the commencement of the National Physical Development Plan which is phase two.
Dillon Consulting Limited is the consultant for the plan. Senior Land Use Planner and Project Manager of Dillon Consulting, Rory Baksh commended the Government of Dominica for initiating the new physical development plan.
“It really demonstrates how much of a leader Dominica is in the Caribbean in terms of thinking about its future and working with citizens and a wide variety of stakeholders to help shape the plan for the betterment of the country for the next two decades,” he noted.
Baksh revealed that although the creation of a plan for Dominica is challenging, the plan will address all areas of physical development.
“We’ve come to realize that there is really approximately 12% of Dominica that is unconstrained and available for development. The country needs to think very carefully about what it does with that 12% because that 12% is the most valuable of lands for growth and settlement and we want to make sure that we are optimizing it.”
He said further that TS Erika gave a gave a clear indication of the effects of climate change on the island. Baksh said it is important to think about land use and ensure that investments in infrastructure and other facilities are placed outside of high risk areas.
He noted that the response from stakeholders during the series of consultations was admirable.