Grand Bahama Launches ‘Mission for Mangroves’ Initiative to Boost Eco-Tourism and Sustainability

Minister Ginger Moxey 1024x682 1
Minister Ginger Moxey

Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas, has taken a significant step towards environmental sustainability with the launch of the ‘Mission for Mangroves’ initiative. Announced on November 20, 2023, at Pelican Bay Resort, this tourism-based program invites visitors to participate in mangrove restoration efforts on the island.

The Hon. Ginger Moxey, Minister for Grand Bahama, introduced the keynote speaker, Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper, who expressed his enthusiasm for the program’s strong connection to the country’s tourism. Minister Cooper emphasized the importance of mangroves to the Bahamian ecosystem and economy, stating that without them, there would be no sustainable ecosystem or tourism.

The unique aspect of ‘Mission for Mangroves’ is its design as a tour that allows tourists to actively engage in environmental conservation by planting mangrove seedlings. The tours will be led by taxi drivers and tour guides trained as Stewards of the Environment (SOTES) by various environmentally focused organizations in The Bahamas.

Minister Cooper challenged the organizers to expand the initiative to other family islands, citing the growing global interest in sustainable tourism. According to research, 76 percent of travelers consider sustainability important. The initiative embodies the government’s commitment to responsible governance and sustainability, empowering tourism sector professionals to deliver exceptional environmental tour experiences.

Minister Cooper highlighted the project’s alignment with the Glasgow declaration for climate action in tourism, emphasizing its role in cultivating environmentally responsible nature-based tourism experiences. The initiative not only supports local hospitality entrepreneurs but also offers visitors a chance to appreciate the mangroves’ wonders.

He stressed the importance of bridging the gap between the Prime Minister’s international climate change advocacy and the local understanding of its significance. The Mission for Mangroves Project symbolizes the government’s commitment to sustainability, fostering collaboration, and ensuring sustainable finance.

The project’s launch in Grand Bahama aligns with the island’s experiences of environmental challenges and the need to strengthen tourism products around sustainability. Minister Cooper expressed optimism about the program’s potential impact, viewing it as “sustainable tourism on steroids” and an opportunity for Grand Bahama to lead in eco-tourism initiatives.

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