IHO director visits Bahamas to strengthen maritime capacity

IHO director visits Bahamas to strengthen maritime capacity

At the invitation of the Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IHO Director Luigi Sinapi conducted a high-level visit to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas from 15–19 April. The visit aimed to resume discussions on The Bahamas’ potential membership of the IHO and to review the progress made in the maritime sector of The Bahamas. This visit is part of efforts to further strengthen national capacity in hydrography and improve the current Bahamian Maritime National Policy. The Bahamas is in the race to become the 100th member of the International Hydrographic Organization.

During the visit, there was a strong focus on the importance of building hydrographic capacity to position The Bahamas as a maritime hub in the Caribbean region. Hydrography is essential for obtaining crucial information about the sea’s dynamics, resources, boundaries and natural changes. This knowledge is vital for optimizing ocean activities in The Bahamas, including tourism and safe navigation. Furthermore, it supports sustainable marine management, allowing for efficient use of marine resources, protection of the marine environment, and ongoing monitoring of erosion and sedimentation phenomena affecting the coastline.

The Bahamian authorities expressed their commitment to join the IHO and develop a national hydrographic capacity. A concept note was signed by the IHO director and Jerusa Ali, director general of the Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to identify the way forward. This includes joining the Meso American-Caribbean Sea Hydrographic Commission (MACHC) as an associate member, participating in the IHO Capacity Building Programme, raising awareness about ocean sciences and hydrography, allocating funding for a National Authority and a National Hydrographic Service, and implementing the process to become an IHO member.

IHO director Luigi Sinapi and MFA director general Juresa Ali signing the concept note. (Image courtesy: IHO)
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