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Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  5/15/2012 
Promoting Environmental Sustainability
71. Internationally, The Bahamas actively participates in various climate change negotiations to advance the important objectives of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting climate systems. Most recently, The Bahamas participated at the 17th UN Durban Conference (COP 17) on Climate Change held in South Africa where The Bahamas affirmed her commitment to capping global emissions and the necessity to increase funding to developing Countries for adaptation and mitigation efforts.
72. Locally, the National Climate Change Committee fosters public awareness on climate change and is currently preparing the Second National Communication.
73. The National Biodiversity Committee encourages public understanding of the importance of the conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity, and facilitates the maintenance and use of local knowledge.
74. The Bahamas is a participating Country in the Caribbean Challenge, which is a regional initiative that aims to meet the goals of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity, by establishing 20% of coastal and marine habitats as protected areas by 2020. The Bahamas Government pledged $2 million dollars for national efforts towards this initiative.
75. A newly enacted Forestry Act in 2010, established the Forestry Unit and focuses on the protection of trees, management of forest reserves and the conservation of forests in The Bahamas.
76. The Bahamas is strengthening measures for proper planning and zoning through the revamped Planning and Subdivisions Act. The Act attempts to assure that in approving development, key components of the environment such as wetlands, sand dunes, sensitive lands, and structures of public or culture interest, are protected.
77. The Bahamas has also engaged in sustainable infrastructure projects, enhanced her policies protecting fragile ecosystems and contributes to strengthening regional capacity on climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions for the Caribbean.
78. The Government of The Bahamas has undertaken the major task of further infrastructural development in the Country with the aim of sustaining natural resources. An example would be the Road Improvement Program, which was designed based on a sustainable approach and with a focus on helping New Providence Island withstand the impact of Climate Change, such as flooding, and costal erosion along the roads.
79. The Bahamas is also dealing with Climate Change, through partnerships, and education and awareness. Most recently, in July, 2011, The Bahamas hosted a Regional Workshop for Coral Reef Managers, in conjunction with the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). The Workshop focused on the vulnerability of coral reefs to Climate Change, and aimed to answer questions about why and how they must be protected. Forty (40) reef managers from eleven (11) Caribbean Countries participated in the Workshop.
80. The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resource has also joined other Countries like Palau, Honduras and the Maldives in banning shark fishing in their waters, along with the sale, import or export of shark products. This in effect creates a more than 200,000 sq km sanctuary for sharks within The Bahamas territorial waters.
81. The Nature Conservancy, Bahamas Environment, Scientific, and Technology (BEST) Commission, Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and the Department of Marine Resources are participating in the Global Environment Facility Full Size Project (GEF FSP) focused on incorporating Climate Change and mangrove conservation into conservation planning, in The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. This GEF FSP is a five year Project, developed in part to help achieve The Bahamas’ goal of twenty percent (20%) conservation of her near-shore marine resources by 2020.The Project will also focus on tourism impact on coral reef health.
82. In September, 2011, The Bahamas hosted the UNESCO Experts Meeting on the effects of Climate Change where approximately 85 participants, inclusive of five Heads of State, national education representatives, curriculum development experts, representatives of school and education networks, scientists and Climate Change experts focused on Climate Change education for sustainable development. A key goal of the conference was to develop a road map to guide and promote education as a vehicle to enhance adaptation to Climate Change in the context of sustainable development.
83. In 2008, The Bahamas acceded to the Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wildlife to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, 1990.
Paragraphs: 57, 67 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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