Eleuthera Jammin’ For Nature
Six figures have been invested in the upcoming Jammin’ For Nature in Eleuthera, as the gathering looks to provide an economic boost while promoting sustainable industry.
The five events on April 21 also seek to highlight the island’s diverse cultural heritage.
“Eleuthera became the magnet because of what it has to offer through culture, heritage and conservation initiatives. For us, this made it the perfect place to highlight Earth Day,” according to Elenor Phillips, director at the Nature Conservancy in The Bahamas.
Shaun Ingraham, co-chairman of the One Eleuthera Foundation, explained how the weekend-filled events are also expected to bring an economic boost to the island.
“These events have not only brought people together, but it also focuses attention on the island’s cultural heritage that will strengthen communities to sustain their livelihoods and benefit Eleuthera and its residents for the future,” he noted. “Persons who work on the island in various industries will reap the benefits of this great Earth Day event. There are a good amount of venues being used and many vendors, artisans, businesspersons and entrepreneurs are contributing to the overall event.”
Bahamian artist Antonius Roberts and American artisan Barbara de Vries will be featured, including casuarina sculptures and beach trash jewellery.
The event’s organizers believe that initiatives will also have a positive impact on the country’s premiere industry.
Heritage tourism is a central component for future sustainability in Eleuthera. Visitors that engage in this type of tourism tend to invest more in their vacation, staying more than two weeks and subsequently pouring more dollars into the local economy.
The One Eleuthera Foundation and the Nature Conservancy are two major players in the Earth Day weekend activities.
Organizations such as Island Journeys, South Eleuthera Emergency Partners (SEEP), Island School, Bahamas National Trust Coastal Awareness, BREEF, the Eleuthera Land Conservancy, the Ministry of Tourism and the Leon Native Plant Preserve also assisted in this venture.
Azaleta Ishmael-Newry, the event’s PR and marking agent, told Guardian Business that more than 50 people are working on the ground and in Nassau to ensure that the inaugural weekend of events, which have the backing of major partners, are successful.
The Nature Conservancy has invested $150,000. Its work through the Eleuthera Land Conservancy and One Eleuthera has also led to the “Shared Vision for South Eleuthera” report, which outlines a number of ideas and suggestions in regards to the development of a sustainable plan for Eleuthera. More information on that report can be found at www.oneeleuthera.org.
Infrastructure development at heritage and cultural sites include signature projects such as the Eleuthera Arts and Cultural Centre, the construction of another Emergency Operations Centre in Wemyss Bight, improving signage at Preacher’s Caves and the implementation of a new nature and conservation trail that was launched this weekend.
“Another encouragement of an event like this is to get people who haven’t been back home for a while or need an excuse to come back home, to come and reconnect with family, friends and the island. We want people to connect their inner soul to Eleuthera,” Ishmael-Newry explained.
The Nassau Guardian
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012