Save the Bays named partner by leading global nonprofit
Affiliation will give local advocacy group access to funding from more than 1,200 environmentally conscious companies and individuals around the world
A reputation for fearless and groundbreaking environmental advocacy has led to Save the Bays being named an official partner of one of the world’s foremost environmental nonprofits – opening the door to funding and support from hundreds of environmentally conscious companies and individuals in more than 40 countries.
One Percent for the Planet is an extensive network of businesses that donate one percent of all profits directly to approved organisations that are addressing critical environmental issues. This partnership will trigger a host of benefits for STB, including visibility on the One Percent website, the ability to use One Percent branding, and connections with businesses around the world that may be interested in supporting the group’s work.
“This is huge,” said Rashema Ingraham, Outreach Coordinator for STB. “One Percent for the Planet is known and respected worldwide. The organisation’s network is extremely wide-ranging, its branding appears on millions of products and services, and 20 percent of all consumers in the United States recognise the logo.
“With this new partnership, STB can take its advocacy on behalf of the country’s precious natural resources to a whole new level. We plan to use the benefits of this affiliation to strengthen our Youth Environmental Ambassadors program, which has already reached thousands of local children; and to increase awareness of the urgent need for sustainable, property regulated development.”
One Percent’s nonprofit partners receive contributions from more than 1,200 member businesses and numerous private individuals in 48 countries around the world. Donors, in turn, have a trustworthy and accessible way to support the environment by donating to organisations such as STB which have been vetted and approved to receive funds.
Founded in 2002, it has already contributed more than $175 million to environmental preservation and the global network continues to grow all the time.
“This is really a game-changer for our organisation,” said STB President Joseph Darville. “We feel it is a just reward for the groundbreaking work we have done in recent years to combat unregulated development and raise awareness of the dangers to our delicate marine and terrestrial environment posed by the scourge of industrial pollution.
“We could not be more pleased to have been chosen for this honour and we thank One Percent for the Planet for recognising the integrity and legitimacy of our work.
They trek through woods and meander through gardens with cameras and notepads in hand. They explore the undersea world and get up close with snakes and birds. They are participants in The Bahamas Youth Environmental Ambassadors (YEA) program. Sponsored by Save The Bays, the program now in its fifth year has trained more than 200 students in Grand Bahama, who are learning today to appreciate the precious and often fragile resources of The Bahamas that they pledge to respect tomorrow.
This year, 33 students are participating in the program that consistently draws more applicants than it has space to accommodate. Participants experience the variety of rich Bahamian ecosystems through first-hand experiences complete with lectures and field trips.
On two Saturdays of each month, facilitators, all of whom have secured leadership training through the Center for Creative Leadership, lead both theory and practical components allowing YEAs the opportunity to learn about these systems then explore them, conducting observatory exercises, making assessments or gathering data on human impact. The program also attracts guest lecturers, and so far the students have learned about sharks and rays in The Bahamas with lectures led by Dr. Tristan Guttridge and Michael Scholl of Save Our Seas Foundation.
For the year, expeditions included treks through Grand Bahama’s most touted green space, Gardens of The Groves; a glass-bottom sailing excursion with shark and coral reefs identification; and personal interactions with a Bahamian boa constrictor. The expeditions complemented three academic sessions that focused on the connectivity of life between animals, trees and humans; a study of sharks and rays in The Bahamas; and the pine forest ecosystem.
“When I reflect on the past five years, I could not be more satisfied with the reception of the YEA program, the enthusiasm displayed by our ambassadors and the overall support,” said Rashema Ingraham, YEA coordinator. “We are always so impressed by the growth of our students at the end of each module. By then, many of them find their voices and become advocates for the environment.”
Ingraham said the entry process is competitive.
“Each fall students are recommended by their teachers and guidance counselors. Students are then selected based on submission of two essays in which they demonstrate their understanding of the essence of Save The Bays and their knowledge of climate change and its effect on coastal communities of which The Bahamas is.”
This year’s program ends with a pinning ceremony in mid-May.
The YEA program is part of Save The Bays’ education mandate.