NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas must adjust its building practices to enhance its efforts to fight climate change, according to the Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA).
The BCA has formed its own climate and environment committee as it endeavors to be a part of the climate change fight.
Deborah Deal, trustee for the BCA in a recent statement noted that the global statistics for Green House Gas emissions show that the construction industry contributes 38 percent of such emissions.
“Here in The Bahamas, with the fact that we do not manufacture anything and must ship all goods in, those GHGs most likely increase our percentage, not to mention LULUCF which is Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry which creates 70 percent of our overall GHGs. I am sure one would assume the major contributions would be through our energy production and our vehicles but this is not true.”
Deal added, “We have laws in place to protect our environment, land, forests, etc. But they are not abided by. The Forestry Act of 2010, the Forestry Regulations Amendment 2014 and the Subdivision Act of 2010 all speak to how we are to, and not to, clear property, excavate land, cut down hills and deforest our land.”
Deal noted that Prime Minister Philip Davis has recently announced that The Bahamas will be selling its blue carbon credits as a new form of income but noted that this nation must not destroy the areas where our “carbon sinks” are otherwise his efforts are futile.
“The construction industry must be a part of this change and we must adjust our building practices to enhance the work that the country is doing in the fight against climate change and the efforts of this administration. We, as a country cannot go internationally looking for funding to assist us with the much needed infrastructure changes that are necessary to save us as a country and continue in the same fashion as we always have done things,” said Deal.
She added, “The Bahamas Contractors Association is committed to work toward engaging with our own community as well as architects, engineers, subcontractors and suppliers of building materials to adapt our trade to assist the Prime Minister in his mission. The construction industry over the years has supported many persons in this country and given us great opportunities should we chose to take them, it is time we give back.”
According to Deal, the BCA has initiated The Climate and Environment Committee which will commit to educating, training, building relationships and improving our trade so that industry stakeholders can be a part of the change.
“We must be stakeholders and sit at the table to offer suggestions and receive guidance as to how we must not be the statistics that are shown and our mission is to ensure that all persons in the industry are aware of where we are, what our situation is and exactly how we will make the needed difference…for the country, for the Prime Minister and for the Bahamian people. Our goal, by finishing the last part of the Contractors Act of 2016 and having the Board put in place, is to empower the Bahamian construction industry as a whole, for the betterment of all!”