BNT Statement on Proposed North Andros Mining Project
August 18th, 2022 – Nassau, Bahamas
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) wishes to express its preliminary views on a proposed North Andros mining project by The Bahamas Materials Company.
The Bahamas Materials Company has made presentations to the BNT’s Executive Committee (ExCo) on its project’s planned activity and area of impact. While the BNT is not automatically an anti-development organization, we do not support nor endorse large-scale industrial extractive projects such as mining.
The BNT understands the importance of both foreign direct and Bahamian capital investment in projects intended to build and sustain the Bahamian economy. At the same time, we all agree that projects need to be developed responsibly across the Bahamas but particularly in proximity to National Parks and Marine Protected Areas. We will continue to be guided by this balance and scientific research as priorities for our organization.
The BNT is aware of the general ecological sensitivity of North Andros. The Joulter Cays National Park, while outside the area of impact for the proposed project, is the closest protected area to the proposed project site. Our review of the Environmental Impact Assessment, once completed, would pay particular attention to any activities that may even residually impact this pristine national park.
The BNT has several government representatives on its Council, some from agencies that review and regulate such projects. As such, we will respect and await the due process and offer comment/objection officially to the government at the appropriate time. As far as we are aware, The Bahamas Materials Company’s project has not been given formal consideration by the government. As per the Bahamas Investment Authority and government environmental regulations, if the company advances to that stage, it will at that time be required to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) against Terms of Reference issued by the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection (DEPP). Upon completion of the EIA and the required public review process, the BNT Scientific Team will review and offer professional commentary.
Finally, the BNT notes commentary on social media regarding a board member having business ties to the proposed project. We acknowledge that there is a member of The BNT Council affiliated with the proposed project; and we state for the public record that in accordance with BNT’s good governance policies and procedures, that member of the Council has formally declared their interest in the project to the BNT Council President. Accordingly, the individual has recused themself from all BNT discussions regarding the proposed project.
Media Contact: Leah Carr | email@example.com | (242) 429-7902
About the BNT:
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 32 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.