Bahamas receives 3-million deposit and BPAF officially opens new office

TNC supported the country’s sub account in the CBF Endowment

The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) warmly welcomes the deposit of USD 3 million as an early transfer to the CBF Endowment Bahamas Sub-account from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). This deposit is part of TNC’s original pledge of USD 5 million to capitalize a sub-account for The Bahamas’ benefit. Previously, as another early transfer, USD 750 thousand had been deposited into The Bahamas sub-account. The Conservancy is one of the founding donors of the CBF and, more than a donor, has been the CBF incubator during its nascent years.

In The Bahamas, CBF has been working with the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund – BPAF, who is targeted to become the CBF partner in the country after fulfilling the CBF’s eligibility requirements and signing the Partnership Agreement. When this happens, BPAF will be able to receive annual payments from the CBF from the earnings of the country’s sub-account in the CBF endowment. The Fund is tasked with ensuring sustainable financing for the management of protected areas, other natural resources, and funding climate resilience work in The Bahamas.

BPAF, the first of its kind conservation trust in The Bahamas, officially opened its office on April 26, 2019, with a launch event attended by The Hon. Romauld Ferreira, Minister of Environment and Housing who officially opened the new office. In his address, Minister Ferreira noted that he believes that the Fund is very important especially in the face of climate change, the most existential threat to The Bahamas. He stated that “history will record this moment and say that this was the time when the promise to sustain our natural resources was realized”. He stressed that the opening was the “moment when sustainable financing mechanisms were forged, giving birth to a new era of protected area financing mechanisms in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas”.

Also speaking at the opening, BPAF Board Chairperson, Mrs. Kelley Bostwick-Toote recognised the importance of the deposit and BPAF itself, stating that a failure to manage protected area and implement financing mechanisms is a “failure to secure our future”. Besides TNC and the CBF, the Fund has received financial support from the Government of the Bahamas, the Global Environment Facility via the BEST Commission and the WAITT Foundation. Special thanks were also extended to Mr. Terry White, Principal of New Providence Development Co. Ltd, who donated the office space, and Andbank (Bahamas) Ltd represented by Shulamit Garburg (CEO), for the donation of office furniture

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