Participants discussing the environment, at the Third Meeting of the Caribbean Constituency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Tuesday, April 8 at the British Colonial Hilton. (BIS Photo/Tim Aylen)
NASSAU, Bahamas - The Bahamas has committed to build political support and financial sustainability for protected national treasures in the region, the Third Meeting of the Caribbean Constituency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was told.
This commitment was made by His Excellency Ronald Thompson, Ambassador for the Environment and permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, as he officially opened the GEF meeting Tuesday, April 8 at the British Colonial Hilton.
“As your representative on the GEF Council, The Bahamas would encourage all members of the constituency work to further our efforts to maximise our resources to achieve sustainable environment for generations to come,” Mr. Thompson said.
The Global Environment Facility is one of the primary financial mechanisms of the United Nations Multilateral Environmental Agreements. It focuses on supporting programmes under key central areas of the environment including, biological diversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, ozone depletion and persistent organic pollutants.
The Bahamas serves as the GEF Council Member representing all countries in the Caribbean region. Through the GEF, The Bahamas and the Caribbean have benefited over the past decade from a number of United Nations Conventions on the Environment and the National Agenda 21, on sustainable development.
Mr. Thompson said The Bahamas looks forward to continuing to represent the Caribbean needs at the GEF Council, taking the unique requirements of the constituency in the upcoming council meeting April 21 to 25, 2008.
“Noting that our constituency has a significant number of Small Island Developing States we know first hand that addressing the adaptation to climate change and its related issues are priority,” Mr. Thompson said. “As a result, making resources accessible and using those resources wisely will greatly impact the way in which our region develops over the long term.”
Through regional projects such as the Integrated Watershed and Coastal Area Management and National Biosafety Framework projects, “we have been able to foster greater collaboration among our countries in addressing common environmental threats and concerns,” Mr. Thompson said.