ROMAULD S. FERREIRA, M.P.
MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND HOUSING
SUSTAINABLE BLUE ECONOMY CONFERENCE
26TH – 28TH NOVEMBER, 2018
Marine Protected Areas
In 2014, The Bahamas established the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund legislation, 2014, and committed $BSD 2 million to the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund. We announced the significant expansion of our marine protected areas system to at least 10% protection, increasing the marine protected area inventory by 11 million acres. In 2015, we successfully achieved this goal. Since then the Government of the Bahamas committed to advancing the declaration and legal establishment the remaining 10% of marine protected areas. This would represent forty-three (43) newly proposed marine protected areas, covering more than 8.1 million acres of clear, blue ocean. This new commitment will assist The Bahamas to meet its target as a member of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative to set aside 20% of marine protected areas by the year 2020 and the goal as envisioned by SDG 14.
Marine Pollution – Plastics Ban and New Management of the New Providence Landfill
In an effort to address solid waste which can affect our oceans, in April of this year, The Bahamas committed to banning selected single-use plastics and Styrofoam by 2020. Among the selected single use plastics for eradication are plastic bags, straws, food utensils, Styrofoam food containers and cups. In addition to the ban, and in furthering our efforts to curb marine pollution, legislation will be introduced, making the release of plastic balloons into the air illegal. Draft legislation for the ban will be circulated to the public by early 2019. The enactment and coming into force of this legislation is expected on 1st January, 2020.
AS we are all stewards of the earth, and realizing the health of our environment and oceans is inextricably linked to the health of our planet, we have embarked on an inclusion public education and outreach campaign, targeting all sectors of the society. We are engaging youth and women, civil society and the private sector. In fact, our Private sector partners have taken the lead, by replacing many of their single use PLASTIC AND styrofoam products with more environmentally friendly alternatives. Additionally, The Bahamas will become a signatory to the Clean Seas Campaign launched by United Nations Environment Program by the end of this year. We look forward to a successful Conference and to the sustainability of our global ocean.