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Bahamas praised for conservation efforts

During a visit to The Bahamas last month, a team from marine protection group Mission Blue praised the country for its continued commitment to ocean conservation through the 20/20 Caribbean Challenge. 

Monday, June 4, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012

The Bahamas has drawn praise for its conservation efforts from an international body charged with protecting the marine environment.

A team from Mission Blue arrived in The Bahamas last month and were welcomed by Minister of the Environment Kenred Dorsett, as well as members of the Bahamas National Trust and Nature Conservancy.

Mission Blue founder Dr Sylvia Earle congratulated the Minister on country’s commitment to protect at least 20 per cent of its marine environment by 2020—part of the 20/20 Caribbean Challenge.

The Nature Conservancy’s Northern Caribbean programme director Eleanor Phillips explains: “Countries are challenging other countries to protect their marine ecosystems 20 per cent by 2020. This increases the level of protection within countries.”

Since it was launched in May 2008, nine Caribbean countries have signed up to the challenge, which also established the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund to earmark resources for marine conservation.

Conservation is particularly key for The Bahamas, according to Phillips who says almost every aspect of life in the country depends on the sea.

“I grew up on the water, fishing and diving for conch,” she says. “I have always known there was a beautiful world down there. The level of inspiraton you get looking at the diversity of life under the water is amazing.”

“We talk a lot about the diminishing rainforests around the globe, but we need to focus on our reefs. We live off the sea; it is sustaining our livelihoods.”


The world's growing demand for oil and the rapid depletion of reserves have forced major oil companies to look offshore. Significant deep-water discoveries have led to increased focus in areas off the coast of Brazil, West Africa, and in the Gulf of Mexico as major discoveries on land are becoming less common.

Captain Gwendolyn Ritchie, captain Gail Saunders and captain Frances Smith are the first women to be promoted by Bahamasair to Dash 8 aircraft captain status. Pictured: Pictured sitting in the cockpit of a Dash 8 aircraft at the Lynden Pindling International Airport from left are: captain Frances Smith; captain Gwendolyn Ritchie; and captain Gail Saunders. (BIS Photo / Letisha Henderson)

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