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At CGI convening in The Bahamas, new effort launched to restore 1 million mangroves

Climate Change & Disaster Recovery | 4 Minute Read
  • Bahamas Mangrove Alliance launches a new Commitment to Action to plant one million mangroves in The Bahamas by the end of 2025
  • Mangrove restoration is critical to local ecosystems and can help provide resilience against natural disasters
  • Partnership across several community organizations is led by female executives at each group
CGI and its partners took an outdoor walking tour to see the current Conservation Cove by Blue Action Lab projects in action and learn about the importance of three crucial habitats under threat in The Bahamas and how we’re working to save them: coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests. (Photo: Clinton Global Initiative)

 

Leaders from the public and private sectors from across The Bahamas and the Caribbean region recently convened in Freeport for a special convening of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The meeting, Empowering Women and Frontline Climate Leadership in the Caribbean, explored the role that women and youth play in addressing the global climate crisis, particularly as frontline leaders and climate activists.

At the meeting, the Bahamas Mangrove Alliance (BMA) launched The Bahamas One Million Mangrove Commitment – a new program that will have a dramatic impact on the resilience and ecosystem of The Bahamas.

BMA – a partnership between community organizations Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Perry Institute for Marine Science, and Waterkeepers Bahamas – promotes mangrove conservation and restoration in The Bahamas, by harmonizing and scaling mangrove science and restoration nationwide, as well as advocating for mangrove conservation through education and strategic outreach.

Their new commitment was initiated in response to the urgent need for mangrove restoration in The Bahamas following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Through their commitment, BMA will be planting one million mangroves in The Bahamas by 2026 as part of a comprehensive 36-month restoration project, with particular focus on Hurricane Dorian’s most devastating impacts in Grand Bahama Island, Abaco, and New Providence. This initiative aims to enhance resilience against future natural disasters, support fisheries, and preserve biodiversity.

Commitments to Action are specific and measurable projects and programs driving impact in communities around the world and are a defining feature of the CGI model. This commitment by the BMA joins more than 4,000 Commitments to Action that have been launched by members of the CGI community.

“This impressive Commitment to Action by the Bahamas Mangrove Alliance is led by and in communities on the frontlines of the global climate crisis – especially women, who are often most affected,” said Sarah Barton, CGI’s Director of Women & Girls’ Equality. “This effort to restore one million mangroves, which critically impacts resilience and biodiversity in The Bahamas, will benefit local communities and drive progress on global climate targets.”

The commitment will be executed through a multi-faceted approach, leveraging the expertise and resources of the founding partners. PIMS will oversee scientific monitoring and evaluation, while BTT will lead communications efforts and expand nursery capacity. WKB will provide essential nursery support and contribute to restoration training and development.

“Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and the BMA are fired up to partner with the Clinton Global Initiative to launch this ambitious commitment,” said Nina Sanchez, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s Bahamas Initiative Coordinator. “Through collaboration and innovation locally and globally, we can measurably scale mangrove restoration efforts in the Bahamas. We’re excited to become a part of CGI’s powerful network to showcase The Bahamas to the world and attract new global support for the critical work ahead.”

This commitment is anchored in the community, led by local leaders who are experts on the complex ecological systems of The Bahamas.

“Collaboration with local science partners ensures that restoration efforts are informed by scientific research and conducted to maximize ecological benefits,” said Karlisa Callwood, marine biologist and social scientist at PIMS. “Through this commitment, stakeholders work towards safeguarding mangrove ecosystems to benefit nature and communities while contributing to the global fight against climate change.”