Environmental Sustainability Taskforce Update

October 16, 2021

Following a year of “introspection and strategic planning in 2020,” the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said they have “emerged revitalised, refocussed and with a determined commitment to ‘greater collaboration for greater impact’.

A spokesperson said, “In March 2021, BEST brought Bermuda’s environmental charities together to launch its first large-scale collaborative initiative: Beyond Plastic Bermuda. The new coalition includes Keep Bermuda Beautiful and Greenrock, along with several advocates, and was formed to address the growing severity of our local problem within the global crisis of plastic pollution.

“Beyond Plastic Bermuda’s goal is to target specific ways to support Government’s intended ban on single-use plastics while urging the whole community, individuals and businesses alike, to find ways to do the same. BEST recognises that the changes the community is being asked to make may be challenging, but making changes is critical for the protection of Bermuda’s environment, the global environment and the health and well-being of Bermuda’s future generations.

“For more information on Beyond Plastic Bermuda please follow them on social media: Facebook.com/beyondplasticbermuda or Instagram.com/beyondplasticbermuda.

“BEST continues its work on smaller scale, collaborative initiatives with like-minded individuals in the areas of:

  • “Marine conservation – currently focussed on closely monitoring the proposed shoreside fisheries project.
  • “Education – The ‘Eco Lunch & Learn’ Series – free, virtual presentations on a variety of environmentally-related topics in collaboration with the Bermuda College and available to the entire community.
  • “Managing development – The preservation of open spaces and other protected zonings in line with the stated aspirations of the Bermuda Plan 2018. An extension of this project aims to develop a campaign to inspire greater awareness and support in the community to better understand the costs of unfettered development and the importance of preserving our open spaces, including our beaches. This is especially important in Bermuda, one of the most densely populated places on the planet.

“BEST’s plans include the creation of teams to work on several other projects:

  • “Tracking legislative debates in the House and Senate to allow swifter responses as plans for change emerge.
  • “Monitoring of tourism-related new businesses or activities that may threaten the condition, safety and serenity of our national parks.
  • “Engaging and working with the 2006 Sustainable Development Plan to ensure that the strategies remain active, especially given the dismantling in 2013 of the Sustainable Development Unit that must have worked very hard to compile all that it contains.

Kim Smith, BEST Executive Director, added, ‘Of significant concern to BEST is climate change. We join others who fear the effects of climate change are already at a tipping point. There can be no denying the threat. BEST urges the Bermuda Government to expedite the finalisation, formalisation and sharing of the National plan with the community so that those in position to make a contribution can do so. We must all come together as swiftly as we can to mitigate and adapt to the effects of this new reality.

‘Increased demand for BEST’s assistance and experience has taught us that while we work very efficiently, we simply cannot address all of Bermuda’s environmental issues without your help. There are so many environmental issues competing for our time and attention that BEST and indeed, Bermuda, needs us all now more than ever to get involved and be a part of the solutions needed to preserve and enhance the quality of life we all enjoy.’

“If you are interested in joining one of BEST’s action teams, or provide support on a particular project, please email us on office@best.org.bm. Include details of your area/s of interest or your unique skills and we will work to match you to a project. To learn more about BEST, please visit www.best.org.bm”

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