THE Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is partnering with Leonard Thompson International Airport (LTIA) to promote national parks and raise funds for nature conservation on Abaco.
The island’s six national parks protect a range of ecosystems from the north to the south, as well as the plants and animals that depend on these habitats for food and shelter.
The BNT has a comprehensive corporate partnership programme to build relationships that will help protect the environment. The Inter-American Development Bank recently costed the BNT’s statutory mandate to manage the national park system at $10m a year. Currently, corporate donations to the BNT nationwide total just over a million a year.
In 2016, the BNT had a total income of just over $3.8m. This amount was made up of a government grant, project support funds from other non-governmental organisations, investment income, proceeds from special events, and private donations.
Airport Manager Vivian Miller has allocated the BNT a key space in the Marsh Harbour terminal for the promotion of Bahamian biodiversity. A cash donation box also encourages visitors to leave their leftover local currency to help support Abaco’s national parks.
“The travelers who pass through the airport all benefit from the use of our natural resources in one way or another, and have a shared responsibility to diminish negative impacts on the environment,” said BNT Chief Park Warden David Knowles.
“The corporate leadership demonstrated by LTIA helps us to raise public awareness as well as money in support of important conservation goals that benefit everyone.”
The island’s protected areas range from the two-acre Black Sound Reserve on Green Turtle Cay to the 20,500-acre Abaco National Park on the southeast portion of Abaco. Others include Tilloo Cay National Reserve, Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park, Fowl Cays National Park and Walkers Cay National Park.
The BNT is a non-governmental, non-profit, membership organisation working to protect Bahamian natural resources through a network of national parks and by promoting environmental stewardship.