Tobago represented at Socio-economic monitoring (SOCMON) workshop, Barbados

Socio-economic information is critical for effective coastal management as there is a close link between how people use coastal resources and their socio-economic situation. Therefore, understanding the socio-economic context of reef users (e.g. Buccoo and Speyside) is essential for assessing, predicting and managing reef use.

It was in recognition of the above that Mr. Barry Lovelace of the Buccoo Reef Trust and Dr. Arthur Potts of the Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries, THA , attended the SocMon training workshop held in Hastings Barbados on July 14th – 16th.

SocMon is a set of guidelines for establishing a socio-economic monitoring program at a coastal management site in the Caribbean. Participants from 13 Caribbean countries including Colombia and Mexico were trained to use the SocMon guidelines.

The guidelines provide a prioritised list of socio-economic indicators useful to coastal managers as well as the questions for data collection and the tables for data analysis. Already, plans are being made to collect socioeconomic data on the Speyside community using the SocMon guidelines, in an effort to inform decisions regarding the implementation of the management plan for the proposed Marine Protected Area and to determine strategies for integrating stakeholders in the management process.