New Category : Environment

State Minister for Disaster Risk Management, Leon Lundy takes in a full DAY ONE of Official Visit to Abaco

Fri, Feb 23rd 2024, 09:33 AM

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the Ministry of Disaster Risk Management, the Hon. Leon Lundy, began a two-day Official Visit to Abaco with an initial stop at the Office of the Prime Minister, Abaco.  

The Office is located in the Government Complex in Marsh Harbour.

Mr. Lundy, who was appointed to the role in January, 2024, was greeted by Mr. John. H. Pinder, Member of Parliament for South and Central Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, and Mr. Kirk Cornish, Member of Parliament for North Abaco, and follows on the heels of a similar mission to Grand Bahama over the February 15-16 period.

Grand Bahama and Abaco are considered to be in the "Hurricane Belt '' having experienced more hurricanes than any other area in this region.

Abaco, in particular, has experienced more major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher) than anywhere else in the region over the past 175 years according to data collected and assessed over that timeframe.  During the stop at the Office of the Prime Minister, State Minister Lundy met with officials across the government sector, including those involved in disaster risk management and planning on-island, in addition to key stakeholders.

The visit will also provide State-Minister Lundy and his delegation with an opportunity to conduct personalized assessments on the ground ahead of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season which officially begins June 1 and ends November 30.

State-Minister Lundy was accompanied to Abaco by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Risk Management, Dr. Marcellus Taylor; Mr. Alex Storr, Chairman, Disaster Reconstruction Authority (D.R.A.); Mr. Aarone Sargent, Managing Director, Disaster Reconstruction Authority; Captain Stephen Russell, Director, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and Mr. Cyprian A. Gibson, Deputy General Manager, Water and Sewerage Corporation.

A full schedule was executed on Day One by the State-Minister and his delegation that also included technical experts from a cross-section of government ministries, corporations and departments. The schedule consisted of visits to the Spring City Debris Management Site; visits to the Water and Sewerage Treatment Plants in Spring City and Marsh Harbour; site inspection of the Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre under construction in Central Pines, in addition to site visits to the Disaster Reconstruction Authority's new office and warehouse facility located off the Don McKay Boulevard, and a visit to Central Pines Homes, a collaboration between Discovery Land Company and the Disaster Reconstruction Authority.

Mr. Lundy's visit to the Spring City Debris Management Site included stops at Inspection of the Clean Air Burning Site, the Metal Sorting Site and the demobilization site for the removing, recycling and relocating of non-biodegradable materials.

The day concludes with a Town Hall Meeting at the Agape School Gymnasium, Marsh Harbour.

The visit concludes Friday, February 23, with visits to the Abaco Cays.

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the Ministry of Disaster Risk Management, the Hon. Leon Lundy, began a two-day Official Visit to Abaco with an initial stop at the Office of the Prime Minister, Abaco.   The Office is located in the Government Complex in Marsh Harbour. Mr. Lundy, who was appointed to the role in January, 2024, was greeted by Mr. John. H. Pinder, Member of Parliament for South and Central Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, and Mr. Kirk Cornish, Member of Parliament for North Abaco, and follows on the heels of a similar mission to Grand Bahama over the February 15-16 period. Grand Bahama and Abaco are considered to be in the "Hurricane Belt '' having experienced more hurricanes than any other area in this region. Abaco, in particular, has experienced more major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher) than anywhere else in the region over the past 175 years according to data collected and assessed over that timeframe.  During the stop at the Office of the Prime Minister, State Minister Lundy met with officials across the government sector, including those involved in disaster risk management and planning on-island, in addition to key stakeholders. The visit will also provide State-Minister Lundy and his delegation with an opportunity to conduct personalized assessments on the ground ahead of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season which officially begins June 1 and ends November 30. State-Minister Lundy was accompanied to Abaco by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Risk Management, Dr. Marcellus Taylor; Mr. Alex Storr, Chairman, Disaster Reconstruction Authority (D.R.A.); Mr. Aarone Sargent, Managing Director, Disaster Reconstruction Authority; Captain Stephen Russell, Director, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and Mr. Cyprian A. Gibson, Deputy General Manager, Water and Sewerage Corporation. A full schedule was executed on Day One by the State-Minister and his delegation that also included technical experts from a cross-section of government ministries, corporations and departments. The schedule consisted of visits to the Spring City Debris Management Site; visits to the Water and Sewerage Treatment Plants in Spring City and Marsh Harbour; site inspection of the Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre under construction in Central Pines, in addition to site visits to the Disaster Reconstruction Authority's new office and warehouse facility located off the Don McKay Boulevard, and a visit to Central Pines Homes, a collaboration between Discovery Land Company and the Disaster Reconstruction Authority. Mr. Lundy's visit to the Spring City Debris Management Site included stops at Inspection of the Clean Air Burning Site, the Metal Sorting Site and the demobilization site for the removing, recycling and relocating of non-biodegradable materials. The day concludes with a Town Hall Meeting at the Agape School Gymnasium, Marsh Harbour. The visit concludes Friday, February 23, with visits to the Abaco Cays.

BAMSI graduates its first cohort of Flats Fishing and Nature Tour Guide certification trainees

Thu, Feb 8th 2024, 02:08 PM

“Soar Higher”, and “Reel in Your Success” were the charges given by the Honorable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister ofTourism, Investments and Aviation to the nation’s first cohort of graduates in the BahamasAgricultural and Marine Science Institute’s (BAMSI) flats fishing and nature tour guide certification programs on Monday, January 29th, 2024. The graduation ceremony, which took place at the BAMSI Campus in North Andros, celebrated the accomplishments of forty trained and newly certified guides.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister told the graduates that they were about to goon record as being among the first guides in The Bahamas to be awarded national certificationin their areas of expertise. He pledged that this would be accomplished via assistance from theTourism Development Corporation (TDC) while informing the audience that our countrybenefitted from an estimated one hundred sixty-nine million dollars (US $169,286,031.00) ineconomic output from flats fishing in 2018. He further stated that through nature guiding, TheBahamas stands to gain equally from the multi-billion-dollar global birding and burgeoningnature-based tourism markets world-wide.

Tourism Industry Travel Trends indicate that there is now a sustained upsurge in interest by ecoconscious Millennials and younger travellers in nature-based experiences that integratesustainable environmental and heritage activities for travellers, and in regenerative travel,which allows them to give back to the destinations they visit, thus boosting expenditure directlywithin local communities.

The tourism minister said that a major goal of his ministry is to expand ownership of the tourismindustry to local entrepreneurs who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to sustainablytake their nature-based tourism businesses to the next level. In attendance at the graduationceremony were several high-level government officials including the Honorable Leon Lundy,M.P., South and Central Andros and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister; theHonorable Leonardo Lightbourne, M.P., North Andros and The Berry Islands and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Family Island Affairs; Senator, Tyrel Young, ExecutiveChairman, Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute; Senator, Randy Rolle; and Dr.Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, President, Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute.

The Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation Act) (Flatsfishing) Regulations,established in 2017, requires all flats fishing guides in The Bahamas to be certified andlicensed, and as the premier tertiary institution for marine science, the Bahamas Agricultureand Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is considered well positioned to deliver the certification.

The nationally accredited certification courses offered by BAMSI in flats fishing and nature tourguiding were made possible due in part to cash and in-kind contributions provided by theBahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation (MOTIA) in collaboration with CompeteCaribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Additional technical, financial, and in-kind support was received from Audubon Society of theAmericas as well as other corporate businesses, government and non-governmentalorganizations represented on the National Steering Committee of the Andros CommunityBased Tourism Cluster Project.

The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute’s Youth Employment Andros ClusterScholarship Program was launched byMemorandum of Agreement and in strategic partnershipwith MOTIA and CTO in the frame of the CCPF-funded Andros Community-Based TourismProject. As a result, subsidized training has focused almost exclusively on flats fishing trainingand certification of the youth in Andros; however, with the conclusion of the Project, the trainingand certification programme will now be open to the general public.

For detailed information on the programmes and listing of flats fishing and nature tour guidegraduates, please contact the Dr. Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, President of BAMSI.

“Soar Higher”, and “Reel in Your Success” were the charges given by the Honorable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation to the nation’s first cohort of graduates in the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute’s (BAMSI) flats fishing and nature tour guide certification programs on Monday, January 29th, 2024. The graduation ceremony, which took place at the BAMSI Campus in North Andros, celebrated the accomplishments of forty trained and newly certified guides. In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister told the graduates that they were about to go on record as being among the first guides in The Bahamas to be awarded national certification in their areas of expertise. He pledged that this would be accomplished via assistance from the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) while informing the audience that our country benefitted from an estimated one hundred sixty-nine million dollars (US $169,286,031.00) in economic output from flats fishing in 2018. He further stated that through nature guiding, The Bahamas stands to gain equally from the multi-billion-dollar global birding and burgeoning nature-based tourism markets world-wide. Tourism Industry Travel Trends indicate that there is now a sustained upsurge in interest by ecoconscious Millennials and younger travellers in nature-based experiences that integrate sustainable environmental and heritage activities for travellers, and in regenerative travel, which allows them to give back to the destinations they visit, thus boosting expenditure directly within local communities. The tourism minister said that a major goal of his ministry is to expand ownership of the tourism industry to local entrepreneurs who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to sustainably take their nature-based tourism businesses to the next level. In attendance at the graduation ceremony were several high-level government officials including the Honorable Leon Lundy, M.P., South and Central Andros and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister; the Honorable Leonardo Lightbourne, M.P., North Andros and The Berry Islands and Parliamentary  Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Family Island Affairs; Senator, Tyrel Young, Executive Chairman, Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute; Senator, Randy Rolle; and Dr. Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, President, Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute. The Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation Act) (Flatsfishing) Regulations, established in 2017, requires all flats fishing guides in The Bahamas to be certified and licensed, and as the premier tertiary institution for marine science, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is considered well positioned to deliver the certification. The nationally accredited certification courses offered by BAMSI in flats fishing and nature tour guiding were made possible due in part to cash and in-kind contributions provided by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation (MOTIA) in collaboration with Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Additional technical, financial, and in-kind support was received from Audubon Society of the Americas as well as other corporate businesses, government and non-governmental organizations represented on the National Steering Committee of the Andros CommunityBased Tourism Cluster Project. The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute’s Youth Employment Andros Cluster Scholarship Program was launched byMemorandum of Agreement and in strategic partnership with MOTIA and CTO in the frame of the CCPF-funded Andros Community-Based Tourism Project. As a result, subsidized training has focused almost exclusively on flats fishing training and certification of the youth in Andros; however, with the conclusion of the Project, the training and certification programme will now be open to the general public. For detailed information on the programmes and listing of flats fishing and nature tour guide graduates, please contact the Dr. Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, President of BAMSI.

Ministers underscore environmental awareness and conservation values to students in Andros on World Wetlands Day

Tue, Feb 6th 2024, 01:42 PM

The Hon. Vaughn P. Miller, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, the Hon. Zane Lightbourne, State Minister for the Environment, along with government officials led by the Bahamas Forestry Unit, encouraged environmental awareness and conservation values during a visit to Fresh Creek Primary and Central Andros High schools on World Wetlands Day (celebrated February 2nd). Both ministers underscored the significance of wetlands to the students of grades 5 and 12.

A symbolic gesture of commitment was made through tree planting ceremonies of hibiscus and grape trees at the primary school, and poinciana at the high school.

The presence of Danielle Hanek, Acting Director, Forestry Unit; Marlon Leary, Island Administrator, principals, and staff highlighted the collaborative effort.

The officials also toured the high school campus, connecting with teachers and students specializing in technical subjects including engineering, economics and agriculture. The students were happy to interact with the ministers. Some were given mini prizes for their participation.

This initiative not only celebrates World Wetlands Day but also fosters a sense of responsibility for the natural environment among the younger generation.

World Wetlands Day is a day to give voice to wetlands around the globe. It is an opportunity for all nations and people to come together to spur awareness, appreciation and action for wetlands. World Wetlands Day has been a United Nations International Day since 2022. It is celebrated every 2 February since 1997 by Parties to the Convention on Wetland and marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands — adopted in 1971 as an international treaty.

The Hon. Vaughn P. Miller, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, the Hon. Zane Lightbourne, State Minister for the Environment, along with government officials led by the Bahamas Forestry Unit, encouraged environmental awareness and conservation values during a visit to Fresh Creek Primary and Central Andros High schools on World Wetlands Day (celebrated February 2nd). Both ministers underscored the significance of wetlands to the students of grades 5 and 12. A symbolic gesture of commitment was made through tree planting ceremonies of hibiscus and grape trees at the primary school, and poinciana at the high school. The presence of Danielle Hanek, Acting Director, Forestry Unit; Marlon Leary, Island Administrator, principals, and staff highlighted the collaborative effort. The officials also toured the high school campus, connecting with teachers and students specializing in technical subjects including engineering, economics and agriculture. The students were happy to interact with the ministers. Some were given mini prizes for their participation. This initiative not only celebrates World Wetlands Day but also fosters a sense of responsibility for the natural environment among the younger generation. World Wetlands Day is a day to give voice to wetlands around the globe. It is an opportunity for all nations and people to come together to spur awareness, appreciation and action for wetlands. World Wetlands Day has been a United Nations International Day since 2022. It is celebrated every 2 February since 1997 by Parties to the Convention on Wetland and marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands — adopted in 1971 as an international treaty.

AOSIS Calls For Ambitious New Action Plan At SIDS4

Mon, Jan 29th 2024, 11:12 AM

United Nations stakeholders note it is more critical than ever before for the international community to devise a strong action plan for small island developing states (SIDS) when leaders converge this May at the Fourth International Conference on SIDS (SIDS4). A major milestone in preparations for the SIDS4 is underway, as UN Member States are currently participating in the first Preparatory Committee Meeting for SIDS4.  

The Preparatory Committee is meeting from 22 to 26 January 2024 to engage in negotiations on anew ten-year programme of action for SIDS, to be adopted during SIDS4in Antigua and Barbuda from 27 to 30 May 2024.

These vulnerable countries continue to face significant challenges to their sustainable development, worsened by impacts from climate change and issues such as food-price volatility, and external financial shocks.

Building on the SAMOA Pathway, the new programme of action will set out a comprehensive development agenda for SIDS over the next ten years. Drawing on the outcomes of regional and interregional preparatory meetings, it will define SIDS’ development priorities and the support required from the international community to make the SIDS-led, SIDS-focused agenda achievable.  

In recognition of their unique vulnerabilities to external shocks and stressors, the international community designated SIDS a special case for environment and development, but after thirty years of this recognition and targeted action the situation remains unchanged.

Co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee, H.E. Caroline Schwalger, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, and H.E. Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations, reminded Member States of the gravity of the work ahead of them and reiterated their commitment to steward negotiations toward an ambitious, action-oriented outcome.  

Chair of AOSIS, H.E. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Pa’olelei Luteru of Samoa, stated:

“AOSIS advocates for a new and more responsive UN for SIDS. This will be essential to deliver a robust 10-year outcome. SIDS’ survival is at stake. Our people, natural environments, and overall sustainable development is under threat.  The development challenges we are facing are far outpacing our ability to respond. We are seemingly going from one event to another, without the time or ability to recover and regrow.  We are running out of time and running out of space to maneuver. 

We sit here with you today with a single request: decide that the development of SIDS and our resilient prosperity provides a collective good, and let us act on that decision throughout the preparatory process for the Fourth Conference and the decade of action to come.”

Strong political commitment to the aspiration of SIDS was evident in the 42 statements from UN Member States and 22 statements from UN entities and other stakeholders. They highlighted the need for urgent action to address the impacts of climate change– which are existential for many SIDS – to build resilience, reform the international financial architecture to enable SIDS to access sufficient and sustainable finance, and alleviate the impact of external shocks.  

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Stavros Lambrinidis, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations said the EU will “engage constructively in the negotiations on the SIDS4 outcome document” and that the EU is “committed to achieving strong, concrete results for the SIDS for the next ten years.”  

Speaking on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), H.E. James Larsen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations said “CANZ extends our unwavering support for the upcoming process to agree a new programme of action that delivers meaningful outcomes for SIDS.”  

Negotiations on the outcome document will continue ahead of the Second Preparatory Committee meeting on 1 to 5 April 2024.

United Nations stakeholders note it is more critical than ever before for the international community to devise a strong action plan for small island developing states (SIDS) when leaders converge this May at the Fourth International Conference on SIDS (SIDS4). A major milestone in preparations for the SIDS4 is underway, as UN Member States are currently participating in the first Preparatory Committee Meeting for SIDS4.   The Preparatory Committee is meeting from 22 to 26 January 2024 to engage in negotiations on anew ten-year programme of action for SIDS, to be adopted during SIDS4in Antigua and Barbuda from 27 to 30 May 2024. These vulnerable countries continue to face significant challenges to their sustainable development, worsened by impacts from climate change and issues such as food-price volatility, and external financial shocks. Building on the SAMOA Pathway, the new programme of action will set out a comprehensive development agenda for SIDS over the next ten years. Drawing on the outcomes of regional and interregional preparatory meetings, it will define SIDS’ development priorities and the support required from the international community to make the SIDS-led, SIDS-focused agenda achievable.   In recognition of their unique vulnerabilities to external shocks and stressors, the international community designated SIDS a special case for environment and development, but after thirty years of this recognition and targeted action the situation remains unchanged. Co-chairs of the Preparatory Committee, H.E. Caroline Schwalger, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, and H.E. Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations, reminded Member States of the gravity of the work ahead of them and reiterated their commitment to steward negotiations toward an ambitious, action-oriented outcome.   Chair of AOSIS, H.E. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Pa’olelei Luteru of Samoa, stated: “AOSIS advocates for a new and more responsive UN for SIDS. This will be essential to deliver a robust 10-year outcome. SIDS’ survival is at stake. Our people, natural environments, and overall sustainable development is under threat.  The development challenges we are facing are far outpacing our ability to respond. We are seemingly going from one event to another, without the time or ability to recover and regrow.  We are running out of time and running out of space to maneuver.  We sit here with you today with a single request: decide that the development of SIDS and our resilient prosperity provides a collective good, and let us act on that decision throughout the preparatory process for the Fourth Conference and the decade of action to come.” Strong political commitment to the aspiration of SIDS was evident in the 42 statements from UN Member States and 22 statements from UN entities and other stakeholders. They highlighted the need for urgent action to address the impacts of climate change– which are existential for many SIDS – to build resilience, reform the international financial architecture to enable SIDS to access sufficient and sustainable finance, and alleviate the impact of external shocks.   Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Stavros Lambrinidis, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations said the EU will “engage constructively in the negotiations on the SIDS4 outcome document” and that the EU is “committed to achieving strong, concrete results for the SIDS for the next ten years.”   Speaking on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), H.E. James Larsen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations said “CANZ extends our unwavering support for the upcoming process to agree a new programme of action that delivers meaningful outcomes for SIDS.”   Negotiations on the outcome document will continue ahead of the Second Preparatory Committee meeting on 1 to 5 April 2024.