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RED CARPET BUT GREEN GOALS: PM says talks held on climate change as Royals arrive – and prince offers help to restore coral

Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis greets Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the Office of the Prime Minister. Photo: Eric Rose/BIS

Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis greets Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the Office of the Prime Minister. Photo: Eric Rose/BIS

Rawson Square on Friday

FRIDAY UPDATE: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued their Royal visit to The Bahamas on Friday – their day included meeting with health care workers who have been on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, and enjoying Junkanoo in Rawson Square. (BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)



By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted to a red-carpet welcome that included live performances and local fanfare in a brief ceremony held at Lynden Pindling International airport yesterday.

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Shortly after the Royal couple touched down at LPIA, they were warmly received by several high-ranking government officials and serenaded by music played by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band.

The Royal couple’s trip to The Bahamas comes after they visited Jamaica and Belize this week as part of a Caribbean tour in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne.

Among those present to greet Prince William and Kate Middleton were Governor General Sir Cornelius A Smith, Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper, Attorney General Ryan Pinder along with the heads of the RBPF and RBDF.

Following yesterday’s ceremony, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis where discussions were held on the impact of climate change and ways to address it.

After the courtesy call, Mr Davis said Prince William is particularly impressed with how the country is leading the charge in the fight against climate change as well as local initiatives implemented like the Coral Vita programme, which aims to restore dying coral reefs in the country.

He said the prince has even committed himself to assisting The Bahamas with restoration of its coral reefs.

“It’s interesting because we did touch on some matters of mutual interest (like) climate change, carbon credits and the fact that it appears from where he was observing that The Bahamas is really punching above its weight in respect to leading the voice on climate change and the existential threat that it has, not just to a small island developing state like ours, but the whole world,” Prime Minister Davis said in an interview released by his office after the courtesy call.

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Eight-year-old Aniah Moss, a grade two student of Xavier's Lower School, presents a bouquet to the Duchess of Cambridge on the Royal couple's arrival yesterday. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff

“He was also very impressed with the Coral Vita programme of restoring coral and he offered to lend whatever assistance he can in our efforts to restore our coral reefs because again that is a significant asset for carbon sink.

“He also congratulated us in being in the forefront in many aspects of initiatives relating to climate change and he highlighted the fact that the Coral Vita programme in Grand Bahama had won the Earthshot award. That was significant because participants from all over the world would have submitted their thesis and other research material and for us to win was a very significant achievement for the country.”

As it relates to the need for climate change funding, Mr Davis said the issue was also discussed with Prince William.

He said he hopes the Duke will help spread the message in that regard, noting that a large part of the country’s debt is due to the effects of climate change.

Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis

“Recalling that the COP26 was held in Glasgow and he was there and we met briefly there and his father and I met and we had several conversations about climate change and how small island developing states like ourselves can access funding to assist in our mitigation and adaptation,” the prime minister added.

Ann Marie Davis

“I think it is really timely that he is here to carry back the message that I gave him in respect to our challenges in accessing climate funding for our adaptation and mitigation against the rise in sea levels and the devastating hurricanes that we are bound to continue to have.

“And what is interesting about that as well in discussing that aspect, I did point out to him that most of (our) debt and we are heavily indebted, and l dare say that that 50 percent of our debt is directly related to the consequences of climate change with hurricanes and the disruption in our economy when we do have hurricanes and we have property damage over the last five or six years in the billions — four or five billion dollars so we can see the challenges that we have and I think he took that on and was very interested in how whatever influence he could have to bring there on the world, particularly the countries that are the culprits in emissions to come to the table to lend assistance.”

This is the first time the Royal couple is visiting The Bahamas.

Their trip will be marked by a number of festivities, which includes a visit to the Garden of Remembrance where frontline healthcare workers will be recognised.

A “Taste of The Bahamas” cultural event is also expected to be held today in Parliament Square, with special performances of the RBPF Band and a selection of Junkanoo groups.

Tomorrow, Prince William and Kate are scheduled to travel to Abaco and Grand Bahama before their departure.

Prime Minister Davis said the Royal Highnesses are very much looking forward to the stay here in The Bahamas.

Similar comments were also articulated by his wife, Ann Marie Davis who was present during yesterday’s courtesy call.

“They’re looking forward to swimming and they’re looking forward to diving and the princess, she was just awesome,” Mrs Davis said.

Jamaal Rolle

Comments

KapunkleUp 4 months, 2 weeks ago

To get that REAL Bahamian experience they should have waited in line for immigration and then customs.

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johnd 4 months, 2 weeks ago

they would still be in line then wouldn't they

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tribanon 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The British Monarchy will end when Queen Elizabeth II is no longer on the throne. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now. Let's just all be grateful slavery did not hang around as long as the British Monarchy has.

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AlternateView 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if this "Taste of The Bahamas" will include fire engine and bamboo shack?

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John 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Was it fair for the Royal Bahamas Policemen to block some protesters and demand others put down their placards? These type visits expect some protests and some protesters. Sometimes that is how the royalty and other heads of state get to know the issues and concerns of the subjects.

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