THE Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is working with the San Salvador Living Jewels Foundation, a local conservation organisation, to expand the national parks system to include five areas in the island: Southern Great Lake, Pigeon Creek and Snow Bay, Grahams Harbour, West Coast Dive Sites and Green’s Bay.
In addition to presenting to San Salvador Central High School students, the BNT has held meetings with fishermen, community leaders, senior and local government officials and business owners.
Two of the sites are Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Key Biodiversity Areas - Grahams Harbour and Cays and the Southern Great Lake, important for nesting migratory seabirds and habitats for the critically endangered San Salvador Rock Iguana.
Jermaine Johnson, the BNT’s Education Officer in San Salvador, has made presentations at various schools about the proposed national parks and recently took students from The San Salvador Central High School on a tour, to provide more insight into the ecosystems.
Nicole Brown, of the Caribbean Regional Implementation Team, also participated in the tour, on which the students learned more about the various plants and animals found within the proposed park sites.
“The kids were so intrigued about getting to see all of the things that they were taught about weeks before in the classroom,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s awesome when turtles greet the students as if saying ‘yes, please help to protect me!’”
The CEPF Caribbean islands programme is supporting the BNT’s efforts to strengthen the legal protection status of these important areas. To learn more about the proposed national parks for San Salvador, visit BNT’S website at www.bnt.bs.