National Land Use Policy and Physical Development Plan – Dominica

Based on a strong planning framework, the island nation of Dominica is positioned to make wise investments in infrastructure, increase resiliency to climate change and encourage controlled and sustainable development.

Dominica is small volcanic island known as the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean.  Over 20% of the island is protected through National Parks, Marine Reserves, and Forest Reserves including Morne Trois Piton National Park which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These protected areas help to safeguard the island’s biodiversity, including endangered species of sea turtles and parrots.

The hilly topography, volcanic activity, and location of the island in the hurricane belt, mean that Dominica is vulnerable to multiple natural hazards. Going forward, the intensity and frequency of natural disasters are expected to increase as a result of climate change.

Dillon has been working closely with the Physical Planning Division of the Commonwealth of Dominica to establish a National Land Use Policy and National Physical Development Plan for the country. This project will help Dominica address competing land use pressures from agriculture, tourism, settlement, and infrastructure, as well as climate change impacts. Dominica is one of the first countries in the region to adopt a National Land Use Policy and Physical Development Plan.

Dillon led an extensive stakeholder engagement process through each phase of the project. Over numerous workshops and meetings, citizens from all parts of the nation helped shaped the vision through direct input based on Dillon’s community assets-based approach, and our desire for the vision to accurately represent the values and aspirations of the people of Dominica.

The National Land Use Policy and Physical Development Plan:

  • Reinforces protection for conservation areas and proposes a new reserve area and buffer zones to further protect natural features
  • Provides long-term protection for agricultural lands
  • Directs development towards areas that are at lower risk of natural hazards
  • Encourages tourism development from the perspective of low-volume, high value tourists who will value the natural environment that is being protected in Dominica
  • Identifies and prioritizes the investments that are key to implementing the framework
  • Recommends strategies for institutional strengthening and capacity building.

The first draft of the National Physical Development Plan was presented to stakeholders in April 2016. The final draft was completed in November 2017.

Project Details

Project Partner: Commonwealth of Dominica
Business Unit: Community Strategies
Service Offering: Community Planning