Bahamas-Australia ties deepening, says high commissioner
Australia is forging closer ties with The Bahamas and government ministers from both countries have had more interactions this year than in any one year in the past, according to Australian High Commissioner Philip Kentwell.
“I think the relationship between The Bahamas and Australia has never been better,” Kentwell said yesterday in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
“ (However), we still have the tyranny of distance and still have certain constraints that we face in terms of how we can best provide guidance and assistance, vice versa.”
Kentwell hosted a ceremony Monday night for coral reef managers from the world’s three largest barriers reefs – Australia, Belize and The Bahamas – in New Providence as a part of a five-day workshop.
The theme of the conference is, ‘Adapting to Climate Change’. It is being held to facilitate dialogue and knowledge sharing between the countries on the effects of climate change to the global reef systems.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GRMBPA), Kentwell said, has similar concerns about the degradation of the world’s reefs as the Bahamas National Trust.
“The Bahamas National Trust is doing some fabulous work,” he said.
“What this workshop is dong this week is building the bridges and exchange of science. And what we are hoping to do through these sorts of initiatives is continue to build the bridges. This comes back to the keen interest Australia has in the impact of climate change on small island states.”
Kentwell emphasized that Australia – a G20 country – can become an advocate on the international stage for The Bahamas and other small island states in the Caribbean and Pacific regions.
“Australia wants to reach out, wants to embrace and wants to share what we can share…in a fashion that will improve the quality of life for citizens everywhere,” he said.