BNT asks for Bahamians to stand for protection of Lighthouse Point
By Bahamas National Trust
Sep 3, 2018 - 10:13:49 AM
(Photos are courtesy of BNT)
New Providence, Bahamas – Eleuthera, named ‘Freedom’ - world famous for its naturally beautiful beaches - is in danger of having Lighthouse Point, perhaps the most significant undeveloped area left on the island, commercially developed as a cruise port by Disney Cruise Line. If the proposed development is allowed to move forward, Eleutherans believe that access to this sacred ground will eventually be blocked for locals, and that its rural, untouched beauty will be replaced by over-crowded beaches, large cruise ships, and infrastructure to support thousands of visitors on a regular basis.
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is standing with the residents of the island, One Eleuthera Foundation, other notable NGO’s and thousands of Bahamians and visitors to implore the Government not to allow the modification of this area from its pristine condition to a mega cruise ship pier and private beach facility.
“The BNT, as an advisor to the Government of The Bahamas on matters related to the environment, must give advice that we feel is in the best interest of the country,” said Geoff Andrews, BNT Deputy President. “We recently met with Disney representatives, and while we appreciate the update they provided us regarding their plans, we at the BNT feel strongly that the best use of the Lighthouse Point area is as a National Park- for all Bahamians, visitors and future generations to enjoy.”
The members of the BNT, its Board and staff understand that along with the gift of our beautiful archipelago comes a huge responsibility, and that we are all tasked with the protection and preservation of these natural treasures and the ecosystems which depend on them. The campaign to save Lighthouse Point seeks to ensure that that the famed point and its surrounding areas can be protected and used for smart and sustainable development.
“Lighthouse Point National Park can become a legacy park for the people of The Bahamas — providing a sustainable development model for Eleuthera and the wider Bahamas,” said Eric Carey, BNT Executive Director. “Protecting and preserving access to this unspoiled site and ensuring that it is always open to all residents to enjoy would also strengthen Eleuthera’s identity as a pristine destination and showcase The Bahamas as a global leader in sustainable development.”
BNT notes the statement made by the Minister of Tourism indicating that a portion of the site at its very tip would not be approved for development, while at the same time suggesting that the cruise ship port could still be accommodated on another part of the site. The BNT, its partners, and supporters do not accept that a sustainable model as proposed by the BNT can coexist with a cruise port development. “We appreciate the gesture of the partial protection of this national treasure’,” said Andrews, “but leaving the door open to the unsustainable development of the surrounding areas is a scenario that our members, thousands of Bahamians and many Eleutherans strongly oppose.” The Bahamas National Trust is hopeful that the government will live up to its commitment to protect The Bahamas’ natural resources and end the practice of supporting the selling off of our environmental assets for massive over use, and instead consider more sustainable options.
To stand up with Eleuthera, over eight NGO’s and so many others, Andrews asked Bahamians and visitors who love our country to sign the ongoing petition on the #SaveLighthousePoint website or visit Change.org at https://www.change.org/p/dr-hon-hubert-alexander-minnis-save-lighthouse-point
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