#TheBahamas, August 18, 2023 – The U.S. Embassy Nassau is excited to announce that Freeport, Grand Bahama has been selected as one of 129 cities across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States to participate in the Cities Forward program. The U.S. government has partnered with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Resilient Cities Catalyst, and the Institute of the Americas to create this flagship urban sustainability initiative.
Freeport has been paired with Coral Springs, Florida to share successes and challenges in priority areas, including but not limited to extreme heat, watershed and water resource management, greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy, mobility/transportation access, green infrastructure and greenspaces for underserved communities, circularity and plastics pollution control.
A collaborative partnership, both cities will provide peer-to-peer exchange, capacity building, and diplomatic engagement, focused on implementing projects that solve critical urban challenges around sustainability, inclusivity, and resiliency.
In June 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the Cities Forward program at the 9th Summit of the Americas, and officially launched the program at the Cities Summit of the Americas on April 27, 2023.
Three key principles will guide Cities Forward. First, it is city-led, with local stakeholders leading the action plan design and local project implementation. Second, the actions taken will benefit the cities’ underserved and underrepresented residents. And third, solutions derived from this program will be environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.
The first phase matched 12 large, medium, and small cities in Latin America and the Caribbean with counterparts in the United States.
The second phase will consist of a multi-stakeholder planning process, training workshops, and networking conferences held in participating cities to help them develop their own sustainability action plans.
In the third phase, Cities Forward will help cities achieve the goals they have set for themselves through tailored connections and partnerships with the private sector, the research and academic community, philanthropies, non-government organizations, development finance entities, multilateral organizations, and U.S. government agencies.
Best practices from phase two will be shared with more than 50 cities across the hemisphere through an online training platform called the Cities Forward Academy.
The selected cities in the Western Hemisphere and their identified pairings are as follows:
- Freeport, The Bahamas + Coral Springs, Florida, United States
- Montego Bay, Jamaica + Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
- Guatemala City, Guatemala + Dallas, Texas, United States
- Cartagena, Colombia + Denver, Colorado, United States
- Cali, Colombia + Baltimore, Maryland, United States
- Fortaleza, Brazil + Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States
- Manaus, Brazil + Stockton, California, United States
- Rosario, Argentina + Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
- Mérida, Mexico + Austin, Texas, United States
- Hermosillo, Mexico + Dubuque, Iowa, United States
- Ambato, Ecuador + Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Renca, Chile + Evanston, Illinois, United States
Bahamas as Caribbean top 2024 Spring Destination
#Bahamas#Tourism, February 23rd, 2024 – The Bahamas has been categorized as the most popular Caribbean destination for travel in the upcoming spring season by travel insurance company Squaremouth, in a new report. It was the only Caribbean nation to make the list for the top 10 destinations. The report is derived from travel insurance purchases made through Squaremouth.
Regional Soldiers head to Jamaica to train for pending Haiti mission
#Haiti#KenyaMultinationalForce#CARICOM, February 22nd, 2024 – About 150 Bahamian soldiers are heading to Jamaica within the next one or two weeks for a joint training with Jamaican soldiers, in preparation for the pending Kenya led multinational force mission to Haiti according to Bahamian Defense Chief Commodore, Raymond King, in reports. Soldiers and security forces from Chile and Argentina will also travel to Jamaica for the training.
King informs that Kenya and Haiti are in the process of signing off on an agreement to allow Kenya to lead the force into Haiti, following advice from Kenya’s High Court which recently deemed Kenya’s decision to deploy police officers to the gang run nation as unconstitutional. This agreement includes a formal request for assistance from Haiti, allowing Kenya to legally intervene on the ground.
Major plans for The Bahamas announced Davis
#Bahamas#Development,February 22nd, 2024 – “Things are changing in The Bahamas,” were the words of Prime Minister Philip Davis as he outlined some of the Government’s plans to improve the nation through a decrease in the cost of living, enhanced security for Bahamians and the expansion of access to opportunities. Davis, who was presenting on February 21st, the Bahamas Mid-Year Review of the fiscal performance for the fiscal year 2023/2024, highlighted a long list of plans for the archipelago.
Here’s the full list stated in Davis’ address :
- A new energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy, including microgrids, and an emphasis on engaging local Bahamian firms and building local professional capacity;
- An expansion of Bahamian ownership in our economy, including support for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, and an expansion of affordable housing –with hundreds of families moving into new homes by this summer;
- A modern and award-winning specialized tourism product, with new investments across our archipelago, and major visibility and branding campaigns in New York, Florida, and the UK;
- Progress on redeveloping downtown Nassau, long overdue;
- New commitments to education, including a Parental Engagement Unit; more teacher training, modernizing the curriculum, classroom enhancements, improving school attendance, and using the Renaissance testing results to design individualized support for students;
- An expansion of technical and vocational training, including certification at the high school level;
- An Empower Grand Bahama micro-grant programme for entrepreneurs; $1.5 billion in investments for Grand Bahama in the pipeline; the Beautiful Grand Bahama programme, in which collaboration has led to safer communities; and Collab Grand Bahama, which fosters partnerships between the government and the private sector to bring change and progress to Grand Bahama;
- Major upgrades to our health infrastructure;
- More support for our athletes and sports programmes;
- We’re on track to pave 65 miles of road in New Providence alone this year;
- Investments in NIB to improve fairness and efficiency;
- A National School Breakfast pilot programme, which is already giving thousands of our children breakfast in their primary schools, and is ready to expand;
- New classes, camps, lessons, and programmes at our Urban Renewal Centres;
- A Youth Guard to strengthen our capacity during national emergencies, and give more young Bahamians a path forward;
- A Task Force addressing unregulated shantytowns in New Providence and Abaco, with other islands to follow;
- The selection and training of new immigration officers;
- Saturation patrols and new investments and collaboration in crime prevention;
- A juvenile detention facility;
- A cadre of officers trained to recognize and manage psychiatric issues;
- Stronger partnerships and new patrol vessels to secure our nation’s borders;
- Major new investments across our Family Islands, including new airports, and road paving in Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Abaco, Long Island; Great Harbour Cay, and Crooked Island;
- The development of our nation’s blue carbon credits strategy; and
- A major investment in agriculture and national food security.
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