The National Wetlands Policy of The Bahamas
The goal of the Policy is the conservation, restoration, and management of wetlands together with sustainable development practices.
The Policy comprises of five objectives:
- Management of human activity on or near wetlands in line with the preservation of wetlands;
- Promotion of recognition and integration of wetland functions in resource management and economic development decision-making;
- Promotion and facilitation of development of wetland stewardship, awareness and education through government initiatives and cooperative relationships;
- Development of a shared vision;
- Meeting The Bahamas' international commitments.
As one of the guiding principles, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be required for all activities in wetlands which are likely to have a negative impact on the wetlands.
The Policy emphasises the importance of partnership and cooperation.
The Policy also outlines strategies for managing the wetlands, for implementing policies and delivering programmes, involving the Bahamian people in wetlands management, working in partnership with local government, ensuring a sound scientific basis for policy and management, and international actions.
The Policy explicitly refers to climate change and rising sea levels, both against which wetlands are the primary defence for the vulnerable groundwater resources.
The Policy also outlines all Act and International Conventions relevant to wetlands.
Lastly, it gives instructions for the implementation of the Policy.
Annex A outlines the guidelines for EIAs. Annex B provides a summary of the National Parks Regulations of The Bahamas National Trust.