Pictured (left to right) are Earlston McPhee , Ministry of Tourism , Krista Sherman , BNT GEF FSP Coordinator and Gareth Doherty, Harvard Graduate School of Design at the Small Island Developing States Conference.
The Bahamas National Trust recently concluded a three year pilot demonstration project in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park through funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Full Size Project (FSP) on “Tourism and Coral Reef Health”. One of the key objectives of the project was the development of a sustainable tourism model (STM) for the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and its surrounding communities. The sustainable tourism model was completed in 2013 through a consultative process with a diverse group of stakeholders and experts who have expressed a strong desire to see it implemented in the Exuma Cays.
Krista Sherman, the GEF FSP Coordinator for the Bahamas National Trust introduced the STM to government officials, local, regional and international tourism experts, and environmental professionals at the Small Island Developing States Conference – “Tourism as a Key Sector for Development in Island States” on February 19th, 2014. The STM is tool for monitoring and managing tourism in the ExumaCays Land and Sea Park, in order to maintain healthy, biodiverse habitats and create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and growth throughout the Exuma Cays. Krista Sherman noted, “The Government of The Bahamas and the Ministry of Tourism have an opportunity to reaffirm the country’s position as a leader in innovative tourism management through the adoption and implementation of the first sustainable tourism model created in The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean”.
The STM selected for the Exuma Cays is an Integrated Monitoring and Adaptive Management System (IMAMS) and is comprised of three parts. The STM formed part of activities funded under the $2.2 million GEF FSP, administered by the Bahamas Environment Science Technology (BEST) Commission of the Ministry of the Environment and Housing. The project was designed to assist The Bahamas to meet its commitment under the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA), with the main objective of establishing a sustainable national marine protected area network in The Bahamas. For more information about the GEF FSP pilot demonstration 3 project and the STM, please contact Krista Sherman at the Bahamas National Trust (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our website (www.bnt.bs) to download the entire STM report.