The Bermuda Biodiversity Action Plan is a 5-year nation-wide document that provides a framework for focusing resources and addresses the most pressing conservation issues facing Bermuda’s biodiversity, by setting out clearly defined but realistic conservation targets, as well as a series of prioritized, practical approaches for achieving these.Main principles underlying the biodiversity conservation Plan are (i) decision-making should be based on the best available knowledge, taking into account social, cultural and economic issues; (ii) necessity of integrated, holistic and realistic approaches to the planning and implementation of activities; (iii) anticipate, prevent and address the root causes of biodiversity loss rather than just the symptoms; (iv) conservation activities should build on existing programs, projects, institutions and organizations and should be integrated with any pre-existing plans together with being ongoing, adaptive and cyclical; (v) community-wide understanding and appreciation of the value; (vi) the fundamental requirement for the conservation of biodiversity is the in-situ protection of ecosystems and natural habitats whilst ex-situ measures may be required to support the conservation of particular species or populations; (vii) the benefits (including the economic benefits) arising from the use of Bermuda’s biodiversity and its components (including genetic resources) should be shared equitably at both local and international levels; and (viii) it is required local, regional and international co-operation, including the sharing of information and expertise.The overall goal of the Plan is to conserve Bermuda’s natural diversity through the care of the unique island environment in order to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations. The strategic objectives to be reached to achieve the goal by 2007 are (i) ensure effective coordination, improved collaboration and ongoing communication in support of efficient biodiversity conservation; (ii) ensure a biodiversity conservation integrated into all Government policies, programs and plans; (iii) strengthen environmental education and training programs for every age group by 35%; (iv) increase public awareness of biodiversity, its inherent values and conservation activities throughout the community by 100%; (v) increase the active participation of the community and the private sector in ecologically responsible behaviors by 25%; (vi) provide appropriate economic, and other incentives, to effectively encourage people to protect biodiversity; (vii) revise and develop laws that address all the gaps in existing environmental legislation; (viii) ensure that enforcement effectively deters infractions against legislation such that violations decline by 50%; (ix) strengthen the level of protection through the re-designation of existing protected areas, and to increase the area of fully protected nature reserves and marine protected areas through land acquisition or marine designation by 25% and 10% respectively together with ensuring the effective management of the protected areas; (x) develop new and revise existing management plans for all key species and habitats; (xi) increase research and monitoring by 25%; (xii) secure from both public and private sources the financial commitment and other investment necessary for full implementation of the BSAP as required.To make agriculture and fisheries more productive and sustainable, the Plan aims at (i) promoting sustainable agriculture using environmentally-friendly techniques; (ii) assessing the impact of recreational users on critical marine and terrestrial habitats; (iii) monitoring the fauna of deep extraction wells as they correlate with the distribution of deep sealed bore holes and interstitial water quality to determine the possible effects of contaminated groundwater on Bermuda’s biodiversity; (iv) promoting adaptive management of economically important marine species; and (v) investigating and re-developing new or traditional cottage industries based on the sustainable use of local resources (bee keeping, woodcraft, palmetto craft, farmers’ market).In order to enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, the Government shall (i) secure the support of the Small Business Development office, banks etc. to offer incentives for sustainable industries (arrange sliding scale interest rate on loans, free business advice etc.); (ii) meet with farmers association to develop a set of guidelines on soil management practices (e.g. chemical use); and (iii) identify suitable criteria for tax breaks to favor sustainable and environmentally responsible business, and secure the support to apply them.
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