The Cruise Line Touts Government’s Strict Environmental Regulations
MIAMI, May 15, 2023 – Royal Caribbean International has announced that it will hold an additional public consultation in conjunction with The Bahamas’ Department of Environmental Planning and Protection (DEPP) on June 8 at 6:30 p.m. The consultation will provide the community the opportunity to ask questions regarding its 17-acre Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island as part of the process defined by DEPP.
Now that the company has received ‘approval in principle’ from the National Economic Council (NEC) – subject to appropriate environmental review – it is eager to address the environmental questions raised by the local community. Further details regarding the public consultation meeting will be announced in the coming days.
Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer, Royal Caribbean International, following a recent visit to Nassau, lauded Government’s strict environmental protection and planning policies. He acknowledged that questions already raised by the community would be addressed and that any discussions before NEC’s conditional approval would have been premature.
Once the public consultation period has closed – in line with the DEPP process – Royal Caribbean will publish a detailed Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that outlines how the company will thoughtfully restore the long-neglected stretch of land on the western end of Paradise Island.
“The majority of the 13 acres we have purchased is far from pristine. There are remnants of abandoned and neglected buildings and houses — many built more than half a century ago with no restrictions on infrastructure. Today, what remains are crumbling structures, protruding rusting metal rebar, broken glass, furniture that has been tossed out and exposed to the elements, and debris and trash along with overgrown invasive vegetation,” said Schneider.
While clearing and clean-up will be one of the first steps in creating the beach experience, Royal Caribbean will go above and beyond the requirements of the environmental management process related to land use and marine life by monitoring bird activity, noise levels and regular reporting of coral reef health. Recently, the cruise line released its six environmental pillars for the development of the Royal Beach Club, that go above and beyond any other land-based tourism development in The Bahamas, including: zero waste-to-landfill, 100% renewable energy by 2030, best-in-class wastewater treatment, no dredging and no overwater cabanas, protecting the surrounding habitat, and local environmental monitoring.
“We are looking forward to creating a beach experience that will be a beautiful, environmentally conscientious experience owned in part by Bahamians and operated and enjoyed by Bahamians. The Royal Beach Club will dramatically restore and enhance the western stretch of Paradise Island and we invite others who seem concerned to follow us on our journey of restoration and inclusion,” said Schneider.
Crafted in close collaboration with Government, the Royal Beach Club will feature an unprecedented public-private partnership in which Bahamians will be invited to own up to 49% equity. The new project also will create opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs to manage the vast majority of the experience as well as hundreds of jobs for Bahamians across its construction and long-term operation. The 17-acre beach club will be made up of 13 acres of land owned by the cruise line and 4 acres of Crown Land. The Crown Land will be contributed as equity in the new venture to ensure a share of the profits return to the government and the Bahamian people in a first-of-its-kind agreement in The Bahamas. This, in addition to a new tourism levy, will go into reinvesting in the local community.
Bahamas earmarks $1 Million for Pilot Breakfast Program at 8 Public Schools
#TheBahamas, September 24, 2023 – A pilot programme to provide breakfast to 2,500 primary school students was, this week, announced by the Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training of The Bahamas; the plan is to test the viability and benefits of the program for possible expansion to the entire public education system.
Minister Glenys Hanna Martin labelled it the National breakfast programme; it starts in October and the first of its kind initiative is described as a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister.
“In New Providence, those schools are Columbus Primary, Ridgeland Primary, Sandilands Primary and Albury Sales Primary and in the islands, the schools that are going to be testing this programme are: Rolleville Primary in Exuma; Holmes Rock Primary in Grand Bahama; Cherokee Sound Primary in Abaco and Old Bight Primary in Cat Island,” she said.
Minister Hanna-Martin informed that the purpose of the programme would be to provide breakfast to all students, instead of a select few and to emphasize this, she pointed to the current lunch programme which she says is for targeted students and reiterates that this new programme will be the opposite and will give breakfast three days weekly: Mondays, Thursday and Fridays.
“The reason why those days were chosen is because it’s anticipated or projected that in many families, there may be deficits to access food on a weekend and so the Monday when they return and the Friday before the weekend.”
The meals, which she informed have been designed in consultation with the Ministry of Health are described as hot, nutritious balanced meals.
During a Thursday September 21 press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Hanna-Martin explained the pilot run would help in testing the effectiveness of the programme.
In fact, the minister said the schools were selected based on data as to potential student challenges. The target schools were those with populations below 600 and with attendance rates below 89.2 percent in the primary schools.
“Now, research has shown, globally, that breakfast programmes provide support for struggling families, fuel student health and learning, provide nutritional support for children, lead to better attendance rates and fewer missed days and higher student performance,” said Hanna-Martin.
This comes as the Government has a commitment to do whatever is required to, in this case, ensure that children have access to food while in school, to see that they attend school, the priority, she says, and that children get quality instruction for human development and securing the well-being and future of the nation.
Based on the outcomes after the period for the pilot, decisions will be made regarding expansion of the program.
Furthermore, the minister expressed that they believe the programme has great potential to have long-lasting fundamental impacts of learning and students attendance as well as quality outcomes for children and young people.
Bahamas Development Bank to Bridge Global Funding and National Development
Nassau Bahamas, 18 September 2023- The Finance in Common Summit recently held in Colombia gathered national development banks (NDBs), including The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB), and emphasized the major role they play as a link between international and domestic finance related to project development financing and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) lending.
The event noted that $4-5 trillion is needed annually for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be accomplished globally, private finance will be key to sustainable, inclusive development and NBDs can lead in de-risking and structuring opportunities that are attractive to private financiers. It also stressed that the global focus on SDGs related to factors such as inclusion, climate and gender must consider the unique needs of small island developing states (SIDS) such as The Bahamas.
The Bahamas Development Bank’s Manager of Strategic Development and Initiatives, Sumayyah Cargill, was invited to speak on a panel organized by the European Investment Climate Reform Facility at the summit alongside representatives from Belize, South Africa, and France. President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Hyginus Leon, delivered the keynote address. During Ms. Cargill’s presentation on the impact of technical assistance, she underscored the importance of a strong NDB to progress national economic and social goals.
BDB has positioned itself as the bridge to channel international funding to meet national needs. The bank’s steady growth has resulted in the implementation of necessary structures and increased its capacity to engage with international funders and lead in both packaging projects and bundling smaller projects to attract private financing.
Ms. Cargill said, “SIDS have unique vulnerabilities. We are tasked with building resiliency for the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change while also trying to lift the standards of living for our people. These challenges can be transformed into opportunities with the right investments. However, weak project implementation capacity and a deficit in bankable projects are holding back growth. A well-functioning development bank is a robust mechanism to execute policy driven projects and channel financing to sustainable development. BDB is rising to that challenge with the support of the international community. In the last four years, we have created new policies and programs, integrated the SDGs into operations and have committed to climate and gender equitable financing. We are confident that we have laid a foundation that will see us become a regional leader in innovative, sustainable financing.”
BDB’s improved structuring and increased capacity has been supported by partners such as the Caribbean Development Bank, Green Climate Funds’ readiness program, United Nations Women and Investment Climate Reform Facility.
Highlighting the bank’s recent unveiling of international financing opportunities for creatives, Ms. Cargill added, “long term relationships with multilaterals can have rebounding impact. From our experience, there is a direct line between technical assistance from multilateral to real opportunities for entrepreneurs.
“BDB has far to go but already has a lot to share in many areas. We recognize how important it is for us to not just act as a channel for funding but for mainstreaming SDGs, climate, and gender equitable principles into the wider economy. As a NDB, we are learning to lead in transmitting the values set at the international level because we are that critical bridge.”
BDB is seeking accreditation as the first national direct access entity for the Green Climate Fund, is the national coordinating authority for Build Bank Better, a joint SDG fund project, is a member of the National Climate Change Committee, and was elected to chair the SDG Technical Committee for Economic Prosperity in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Ms. Cargill underscored, “Well-executed technical assistance is a major driver of BDB’s growth. Likewise, partnerships are core to who we are and we remain open to collaborating on solutions to the challenges we face, and to do mutually-beneficial business. Strengthening The Bahamas Development Bank strengthens The Bahamas.”
The Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDB) Manager of Strategic Development and Initiatives, Sumayyah Cargill, stands third from left. Ms. Cargill was invited to speak on a panel organized by the European Investment Climate Reform Facility at the 4th edition of the Finance in Common Summit.
Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination
#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.
The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.
Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”
Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.
He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”
It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.
“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.
The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.
No specific day was provided for the opening.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
News1 week ago
Grand Turk Mother put in Prison; charged with possession of bullet
News1 week ago
TCI Records First Quarter of Negative Growth Throne Speech reveals
Bahamas News1 week ago
PM Davis: Botswana State Visit is ‘the growth of a deeply rooted friendship’
News23 hours ago
Carnival cruise port is open to others Cruise ships — Management
News22 hours ago
Police say DNA confirmed identity of headless body
Bahamas News6 days ago
Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination
Bahamas News6 days ago
OFFICERS ATTEND NATIONAL DAY OF BRAZIL CELEBRATION
Bahamas News1 week ago
Botswana and The Bahamas ink MOU