Advancing Marine Protected Areas in The Bahamas

Reef in the Bahamas. Photo by Shutterstock

Oceans 5 supports The Nature Conservancy, The Bahamas National Trust, and The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation to ensure an effective marine protected area network in The Bahamas.

Consisting of 700 islands and cays scattered across 259,000 km2 of turquoise and deep blue waters, The Bahamas is known for stunning beauty and diverse ecosystems that host an array of marine wildlife. The Bahamas currently protects ten percent (10%) of its coastal and marine territory. A national stakeholder process is underway to determine the next priority areas to add to The Bahamas National Protected Area System. By the year 2020, The Bahamas aims to develop a network of marine protected areas that covers at least 20 percent of both nearshore and deep ocean habitats.

However, enduring marine protection requires more than simply setting aside acreage. Effective implementation and management of protected areas is also critical to fulfill national conservation targets and mitigate projected climate change impacts. This project will also develop by-laws and management plans for national parks and sustainable finance mechanisms for protected area management.