Protected Area Managers Hone Enforcement Skills During Collaborative Training Course
August 9th, 2023 – Nassau, Bahamas
Thirty-seven participants from five enforcement organizations in The Bahamas graduated after completing a two-week collaborative training course this summer. The “Protected Area Managers Enforcement Training Course,” funded by Blue Nature Alliance and facilitated by The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), sought to equip course participants with important knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate proper management of the country’s protected areas.
The course featured participants from the BNT; The Bahamas Wildlife Enforcement Network (BahWEN); the Department of Environmental Planning & Protection (DEPP); the Bahamas Forestry Department; and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources. Together, all these enforcement and management staff learned vital skills to aid in collectively fulfilling our commitment to protecting the invaluable natural resources of The Bahamas.
BNT Executive Director Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle shared her excitement for seeing the program – which has been years in the making – finally come to fruition. “There is power in numbers and certainly strength in partnerships,” she said. “And it is the BNT’s commitment to continue working with all the respective agencies present. We will play our part in making sure there is support to be able to come together on an annual basis to ensure all of our resource management agencies benefit from this training opportunity.”
For the BNT’s Park Wardens, this most recent training builds on skills they learned earlier this year through other enforcement workshops. Notably, in March Park Wardens from national parks across the country gathered in New Providence for a three-day workshop on Park Bylaws, Fire Safety, and First Aid and CPR. As part of this training, wardens familiarized themselves with the various new legislation created to protect Bahamian biodiversity. They also learned how to effectively communicate these new laws and enforce them within national parks.
Chantal Curtis, BNT New Providence Parks Manager and Parks Planner, said: “We recognize the importance of equipping our wardens with the tools to effectively perform their duties of protecting our national parks. This training would have not been possible without each of the individuals and organizations that supported us, and we’re thankful for their time and resources. It’s inspiring to hear the general consensus that each person from this course feels better informed about the roles of their partner organizations, and better prepared to carry out their important work on both a collaborative and individual level.”
Effective enforcement is an essential component of the BNT’s work. These training initiatives form part of the backbone of a public awareness campaign on National Park Bylaws. Gazetted into Bahamian law in 2022, the National Park Bylaws officially extend the legal authority of the BNT to enforce rules and regulations within national parks, which includes issuing on-the-spot fines for park violations.
More education and outreach components on National Park Bylaws will follow throughout the year.
The BNT thanks the Royal Bahamas Police Force; the Department of Environmental Planning & Protection (DEPP); The Bahamas Wildlife Enforcement Network (BahWEN); the Department of Agriculture & Marine Resources; the Bahamas Forestry Department; Chief Counsellor Shirl Deveaux from the Office of the Attorney General; Dr. Charles Diggiss, President of Doctors Hospital, and the Doctors Hospital Institute of Learning for their support and collaboration in facilitating these workshops.
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.