NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld ‘Romi’ Ferreira has challenged Rotarians and civic groups nationwide to enter an environmental competition that could earn them up to $10,000 dollars in prize money from Royal Caribbean International.
Ferreira, an environmental lawyer by profession, announced the competition at the Rotary Club of Southeast Nassau on November 20.
It follows the tabling in the House of Assembly for the second time the most sweeping environmental legislation in the country’s history, ushering in an era of intense scrutiny of how resources are managed and land developed in the face of impending climate change events.
Ferreira has embarked on a road show to introduce phase two of the ministry’s Be A Hero campaign that exposed thousands of students in trips to 19 schools in New Providence.
The current phase takes the get-involved and become a hero campaign to community associations.
“I challenge you,” Ferreira said.
“I make this impassioned plea, get involved. I am so proud of the Be A Hero program and now we are taking it to the next level, moving from schools where we wanted to change the mind-set of young people to sensitize them to the role they can play in caring for their environment to community associations.
“Now, it will be up to you, up to Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis and fraternities and sororities and other church groups and civic organizations to identify a project that you can take on. Post the before and after pictures on all our social media pages, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and become environmental heroes.”
The competition will be judged on January 31.
Civic clubs, neighbourhood associations, church congregations, corporate groups or other organizations can select from one of three categories: designing and building a water feature or cooling station in a public space; cleaning up and beautifying a park; abandoned building; or transforming other eyesore or creating public art from recycled materials, including abandoned vehicle parts.
If using parts from vehicles or other debris that is cluttering an area, the trash has to be hauled away and properly disposed of as part of the new art project.
“All the data in the world cannot teach us ethics,” Ferreira said.
“If we are to combat climate change, we have to look at our total carbon footprint but we can only do that if everyone who is going to be affected or whose children and grandchildren are going to be affected stands up and plays a part. This is our turn and we must do the right thing for future generations.
He added: “This is not our land. We are merely here to protect it for those who come after us.”
For more information on the campaign and how to enter, organizations, clubs and associations can go to Facebook/beahero.