Bahamas Natural Resources Need Protection

Prominent human rights and environmental attorney Fred Smith QC is pushing government to enact environmental protection legislation.

Mr. Smith said such legislation is necessary as the country’s natural resources face continual endangerment to the environment, most recently by two oil slicks.

Mr Smith stated that an independent regulatory body should be created.

The BEST commission manages the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and reviews environmental impact assessments, but it is not a statutory body and is not backed by legislation, thus decreasing its effectiveness.

Mr. Smith was quoted in The Tribune: “The need for environmental, health and safety at work legislation, with teeth, is even more important as thousands of Bahamian workers and upwards of 60,000 Bahamian residents, are exposed to industrial hazards, toxic wastes and other environmental dangers moreso than in the rest of the Bahamas.”

Additionally, Mr Smith has is seeking worker protection legislation. He has called upon Labour Minister Shane Gibson to develop regulations and to appoint a Health and Safety Committee under the Health and Safety at Work Act in Freeport to protect workers.