#TheBahamas, May 30, 2023 – Bahamas’ vulnerability to climate change is alarmingly high as commonly known, and a new book now emphasizes that the country faces greater risks than nearly any other country.
The book, published May 23rd, 2023, is called Sea Change, An Atlas of Islands in a Rising Ocean and it is written by Christina Gerhardt, academic author and environmental journalist.
In her book which features several Caribbean islands as well as locations outside of the Caribbean, she informed that Bahamas’s low elevation, abundant limestone and high population density along coastlines puts the country in a position where it is most at risk from climate change impacts.
This clearly threatens the very existence of the Bahamas as well as other countries in a similar situation. However, The Bahamas is high on the watch list especially since it is “at a high risk of hurricanes and tropical storms because the archipelago sits at the northern end of the Atlantic ‘hurricane alley’,” the book says.
In the introduction, on page 1, Gerhardt expressed this worrying reality by saying “Atlases are being redrawn as islands are disappearing.”
The book builds on projections from Climate Central, a non-profit organization that analyzes and reports on climate science.
On Monday May 22 [will verify this date] The Guardian British daily newspaper published a piece from Gerhardt’s book and it read, “According to a report on the threat of sea level rise in the Caribbean by Climate Central, ‘The Bahamas confront by far the greatest proportional threat: 32 per cent of land [and] 25 per cent of population … are below 0.5 metres [1.64 ft]’.”
It continues, to compare which island are more likely to be affected, The Bahamas topping the charts.
“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s fifth assessment report, the impacts of sea level rise measured in national GDP found that alongside islands in the Pacific – specifically Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru – the island group that would be most affected is The Bahamas. In 2020, Moody’s rating agency said The Bahamas was among the four nations forecast to be hit hardest financially by sea level rise, with an estimated 11 per cent of its residents and 15 per cent of its GDP at risk.”
Gerhardt’s book is in-line with predictions of the Bahamas seeing a 32cm (1.04ft) sea level rise by 2050 and 82cm (2.68ft) by 2100.
Climate Central informed that the majority of Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Spanish Wells is set to be under flood levels by 2050 and Crooked Island, Acklins, Andros and Cat Island will meet the same fate.
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
Beloved Bahamian Obie Wilchcombe dies; shocking, heartbreaking loss for The Bahamas
#TheBahamas, September 26, 2023 – The Bahamas’ Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe made headlines in a completely unexpected way on Monday September 25; the veteran broadcaster and long-time politician, who passed away suddenly in his home island, Grand Bahama.
Reports to our newsroom were that Wilchcombe was found unresponsive and rushed to the Rand Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Office of the Prime Minister informed the prime minister would immediately travel to Freeport, Grand Bahama to be with loved ones of his Cabinet colleague.
The office offered this: Expressing condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and colleagues of Minister Wilchcombe, a true patriot, visionary leader and his cherished friend, the nation’s leader, in his official statement, said he was doing so with the heaviest of hearts.
“Obie’s untimely passing is very shocking and very sad. Even though he has achieved much in his many years of public service, he still had so much more to offer,” Prime Minister Davis said.
The Minister, affectionately called Obie Wilchcombe, was a fierce Member of Parliament who has been serving in politics for about 28 years, starting in 1994, according to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
Not only did he serve as Senator and Cabinet Minister, but he was also the former Minister of Tourism and a National Chairman of the PLP.
“Our party is reeling this morning,” said Minister Fred Mitchell, current PLP National Chairman in a statement, “The party joins in those expressions. We have a deep sense of loss from one we have known over the decades of public life.
On behalf of the PLP, our leader and the entire team, supporters and friends, we can extend condolences to his family.”
Former prime minister and PLP party leader, Rt Hon Perry Christie said, “Obie served with distinction as Minister of Tourism. He was a dedicated servant of the people and a chief steward of our nation’s number one industry for some ten years. Any student of the tourism industry for the period of Obie’s ministerial tenure will be left in no doubt as to the magnitude and importance of his numerous accomplishments in relation to the growth and development of Bahamian tourism.”
In fact, as Tourism Minister, his notable accomplishments, according to party leader and prime minister, Davis included the introduction of sports tourism and the creation of a policy which helped to cement The Bahamas as an ideal film destination; two of the top three films of 2006 were shot in The Bahamas.
Additionally, the late Minister was a sportsman.
Wilchcombe served as former President of the Grand Bahama Basketball Association and the Commonwealth American Football League (CAFL).
His career in journalism is legendary. Having worked with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas as a reporter, anchorman and eventually taking on leadership roles including Deputy General Manager. At the time of his death, Minister Wilchcombe was holder of the Information and Broadcast portfolios of the Davis Administration.
“This is a very sad occasion for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as you’d be aware one of our Frontline soldiers who would have labored very long in the public service Vineyard had passed, we learned early this morning the Honorable Obie Wilchcombe passed away the free national movement wishes is to extend condolences to his immediate and extended family and to members of the Progressive Liberal Party and to members of the journalism fraternity, having lost someone who has played an integral role in the development of this country,” said Michael Pintard, fellow Grand Bahamian and Leader of the Official Opposition, Free National Movement.
From the region, there is also reflection and condolences. From the Caribbean Tourism Organization: The CTO deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.
“The Premier and Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands sends its condolences to the family, friends, government, and people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on the sudden passing of the late Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting, MP.
May his soul rest in peace,” said Hon Washington Misick, TCI Premier.
The death of Minister Obediah Wilchcombe is the first; a cabinet minister dying while still in office has no place in recent memory for many. It will mean a by-election for The Bahamas and a mournful experience when parliament reopens on October 4; Hon Wilchcombe with his vast experience and eloquence was also the Government Leader of Business in the House of Assembly, which is currently prorogued.
Government in talks to address housing situation in Garden Villas, Grand Bahama
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