The British High Commission Nassau and the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) have had a successful year working together on three projects focusing on preventing climate change. Their joint activity made a positive impact on raising awareness on environmental issues from reefs to mangroves and all the wildlife that relies on their well being.
The UK High Commission supported the development and distribution of BREEF’s Virtual Coral Reef Sculpture Garden Field Trip among Bahamian students in public and private schools throughout the archipelago. The virtual Coral Reef Sculpture Garden classroom shows the coral reefs’ role in providing vital ecosystem services and protecting The Bahamas from hurricanes. This work built on BREEF’s Resilient Blue Bahamas project after Hurricane Dorian about restoring and protecting coral reefs and mangroves that are The Bahamas’ first lines of defence against climate-change fuelled hurricanes.
The virtual the Coral Reef Sculpture Garden classroom project has already reached over 1000 students, and can be used by Bahamian school students who are remote learning. BREEF is now working on a second video to highlight snorkelling and the marine life at the sculpture garden.
BREEF also partnered with the British High Commission and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Sustainable Development Goals Unit on a Commonwealth Day photography contest around the theme ‘Climate Action and Nature’, inspiring young Bahamians to photograph nature-based solutions to climate change. This contest along with the BREEF’s Young Reporters of the Environment photo and essay competition, have helped raise awareness about climate action among Bahamian students.
During BREEF’s ‘Carbon, Corals and Conservation’ Youth Environmental Leadership Summit, author Shane Gross, an award-winning underwater photographer, gave a special presentation on his beautiful book, ‘Bahamas Underwater’. The book, which shows sharks,
turtles and other wildlife in its natural habitat across The Bahamas, received a partial funding grant from the British High Commission Nassau. Gross’ book has already begun inspiring the next generation of underwater photographers.
British High Commissioner Sarah Dickson said, ‘Working with BREEF on marine conservation and other projects has been a great experience. It is obvious that The Bahamas, climate change mitigation and adaptation are really important. Bahamian youth
have a lot of ideas about climate action and we hope to continue working with them leading up to the UK hosted United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in November 2021.’ Casuarina McKinney-Lambert said that ‘BREEF is pleased to collaborate with British High Commission in promoting climate change education, and inspiring meaningful change for a climate-resilient future.’
More photo highlights below: