The Forestry Unit was formally established with the Forestry Act, 2010.
To ensure the valuable natural forest resources of the Bahamas are managed in a sustained manner, in perpetuity.
Guided by prudent policy and the provisions of the Forestry Act 2010 and Regulations, the forest resources of the Bahamas will be sustainably managed as a viable renewable natural resource for the benefit of The Bahamas.
To develop the forest resources of the Bahamas to their maximum potential by applying sound, scientific, and sustained yield forest management principles and concepts.
Short, Medium and Long-term Goals
- Short term goals
- Forestry Unit acquiring basic forestry instruments and related equipment and software to undertake forestry related field work, and monitoring exercises.
- FAO (TCP) Forestry project (Abaco) has been launched and is ongoing.
- Official launch/start up of Lindar Industries Sawmill in Central Abaco.
- Monitoring of Lindar Industries sawmill operations in Abaco (BNT Park Wardens in collaboration with Forestry Unit staff)
- Implementation of the MOU and Funding Agreement between Forestry Unit and the BNT. Note that the recruitment of two park wardens for Abaco and Andros respectively has been completed.
- Medium Term goals
- Forestry Regulations to be gazetted.
- The establishment of the National Forest Estate comprising forest reserves, protected forests and conservation forests throughout the Bahamas, focusing initially on the pine forest islands.
- Completion of land use plans for the Family Islands, in this case the Forestry Unit providing assistance to the Department of Physical Planning in producing said plans.
- Implementation of GEF NPFE – Land Degradation Project titled “Pine Islands - Forest Innovation and Integration”.
- Long Term goals
- Preparation of the National Forest Management Plan for the forest resources of the Bahamas, subject to presentation to Cabinet.
- Preparation of forest management plans for designated forest reserves, protected forest and conservation forest areas.
There is the dire need to recruit at least two additional technical officers in the Unit, with a Forestry background and/or basic skills in Geography, Geographic Information Systems, and Environmental Sciences. This is necessary to begin the process of succession planning for the Unit and to increase resource capabilities to effectively carry out the Unit’s mandate.
There is the need for periodic training of staff in various aspects of the forestry sector, particularly in modern forestry technologies, precepts and concepts, such as the use of GPS and GIS technology and use of appropriate forestry software for sustainable forest management. Training has begun in GIS and chain saw usage and will be followed by prescribed burning. In addition to continuing this type of practical training, training will also be sought in specialty forestry courses i.e. natural resource management, urban planning, sustainable land usage, etc.
Procurement of Equipment for the Forestry Unit
Appropriate equipment in the form of computer hardware and software (i.e. ESRI Hardware – ArcGIS Server) and chain saws have been procured. The Forestry Unit is seeking to procure desktops, Workstations, Plotters, GIS Arc view software; acquisition of appropriate satellite imagery for the Family Islands, along with GPS devices and peripherals. Further specialized equipment for field sampling and inventory exercises are also being procured.
Town Meeting - Andros Stakeholder Consultation & Boundary VerificationSee details...