Future collaboration is expected between the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas after Minister of Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley concludes talks with Bahamian officials at a Climate Change Summit being held in Nassau.
Wheatley is currently in Bahamas attending high-level meetings on a Carbon Credit Legislative and Regulatory Framework and Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.
He will also be engaged in meetings on environmental, social and corporate governance and climate financing. The Minister met and held fruitful discussions with the senior policy advisor on introduction to the Bahamas Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill.
He also met with officials of the Climate Change Advisory Unit on the Bahamas Climate Change and Carbon Market Initiatives Bill, 2022 and tackling the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Article 6, as well as implementation challenges. He will attend the Bahamas House of Assembly today to witness the debate on the merits of this bill.
Discussions were also held with the non-governmental organisation, ‘Beneath the Waves’.
Minister Wheatley said he is observing the best practices and operations in the Bahamas that can be adapted and built upon in the Virgin Islands
“The Bahamas is similar in landscape to the Virgin Islands
and is also a Small Island Developing State that feels the effects of climate change firsthand, although we are not the ones that are the biggest contributors to climate change,” Wheatley said.
“I have visited several of their facilities and spoke with key persons that are directly involved in their fight to preserve their natural resources. I am confident that we are on the right track to mitigate and protect our islands from the growing effects of climate change,” he added.
Since their meetings, the minister said both territories have established key relations and understanding of the climate change struggle each face.
“Now that I have met with key stakeholders and non-governmental organisations, I am reassured that with all that we have in common and our shared goals, that we can collaborate in the fight against climate change by pooling our resources so that each territory will mutually benefit in partnerships going forward,” the Natural Resources Minister stated.
Minister Wheatley will continue to visit various facilities throughout the Bahamas with officials from the Office of the Prime Minister to observe procedures and mechanisms relating to environmental conservation and preservation.