Advocacy group hits out at Christie administration’s broken promise of a more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development model
The government’s continued support for the controversial “anchor project” policy of national development is the subject of a new video by prominent social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB).
The video, narrated by STB education director Joseph Darville, documents how the current administration promised to create sustainable local economies on each Family Island that would benefit Bahamians, only to revert to the shortsighted old model of mega-resorts owned by wealthy foreign interests.
“Anchor resorts and mega-resorts are continuing to flood our Family Islands, and as more and more invade our shores they are being kept secret from the Bahamian public,” Darville said.
“But hold on, didn’t we hear that Perry Christie and his government had abandoned the anchor project plan? Didn’t they mention something about full-circle economies in the Family Islands? Something must be dead wrong, since all these new developments are like the old failing ones.”
Darville noted that the developers of anchor projects, which are mostly gated and exclusive, arrive in the Bahamas with promises of many jobs. The projects move forward with the full support of local politicians eager to announce new employment opportunities.
Far too many of the projects go bankrupt and fail, he said, but only after destroying the local environment and culture – which the government has a duty to protect for the prosperity of generations of Bahamians to come.
“All these anchor projects are dumped on our Family Islands, they are all the same. Now, they conjure up new buzzwords, like sustainability and full-circle economy, but they are nothing new. And if they have not worked in the past, they will not now, or ever. And yet our politicians keep up this charade, deceiving the public,” Darville said.
He explained that while many of these mega resorts were failing over the years, small sustainable developments throughout the islands have been succeeding.
STB has advocated for a tourism development model based on such smaller scale resorts with a modest environmental footprint. Such a policy, the group says, would not only protect the country’s natural resources for future generations, but also make Bahamian ownership in the industry a realistic proposition.
The new video is part of an ongoing series covering key aspects of the organization’s fight for a better Bahamas. It can be viewed below or on Save The Bays website, www.savethebays.bs, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SaveTheBays, or on the organization’s YouTube channel. Please leave comments and share it with friends.
Founded less than two years ago, Save The Bays has taken The Bahamas by storm. The grassroots effort to protect ecologically significant areas of the archipelago from unregulated development has transformed into a broad-based coalition that is at the forefront of both social and environmental issues. The group is calling for comprehensive environmental protections, oil spill legislation, greater transparency in government and much needed marine species preservation laws.
With more than 17,200 followers on Facebook, STB is the fastest growing, most popular non-profit, non-government organization in Bahamas history on social media.
The group’s petition calling on the government to enact an Environmental Protection Act, a Freedom of Information Act, to stop unregulated development and to take a stance against oil pollution, is also climbing in numbers, with 6,384 signatures so far. To get involved, sign the petition or learn more, visit www.savethebays.bs.
The government’s continued support for the controversial “anchor project” policy of national development is the subject of a new video by prominent social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB). The video, narrated by STB education director Joseph Darville, documents how the current administration promised to create sustainable local economies on each Family Island that would benefit Bahamians, only to revert to the shortsighted old model of mega-resorts owned by wealthy foreign interests. (Photo courtesy of Save The Bays)