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Bahamas drops on Environmental Protection Index

The Bahamas ranks 98th in the world for its performance on the protection of human health and protection of ecosystem, according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). 

In 2016, The Bahamas ranked 93rd.

According to the index, which is released every two years by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, “Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, The Bahamas and Latvia slipped significantly in environmental performance, largely due to sub-par performance on climate change. All trend analyses are based on backcasting this year’s EPI methods on historical data.”

Data for the index was gathered from international organizations, research institutions, academia and government agencies.

Bahamian environmentalist Joseph Darville described the report as “disconcerting” and “troubling”.

“I pray that the government will take an expeditious look at it and inquire into exactly how this report came about and whether or not it is 100 percent correct as was indicated there that we’re way, way down on the rank level with respect to how we’re dealing with our environment,” Darville said.

“I mean I know in recent times that our government has put in the initiative for many more areas to preserve environmental areas and so on, but apparently that is not being sufficient, it is not being aggressive enough.”

He said it is time that The Bahamas is “more progressive and more assertive” in environmental protections and reform.

Darville said it is distressing that the government is not “applying a concretive effort to educate, prepare and mitigate and all of the other measures that we can be doing now to prepare our nation for the eventuality as a result of climate change”.

“It is a thing that is [not] happening gradually anymore,” he said.

“It’s a rapid deterioration of our environment due what we are causing with our carbon footprint. So, it is incumbent of our government, we live in an archipelagic nation [and] we have 100,000 square miles of ocean right now and the square mileage of the ocean is increasing because the land mass is decreasing due to the rise in the ocean and that’s obvious.”

According to The Bahamas’ profile in the index, it ranks 48th in the world for environmental health; 83rd for water and sanitation; 147th for ecosystem vitality; 174th for climate and energy; and 92nd for water resources.

The index ranked 180 countries.

Jasper Ward

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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