SUSTAINABLE EXUMAS (5 of 12), 8 July 2011, Eizabeth Thomas-Hope

Pearls in Aquamarine: Environmental Value and Management Strategies for the Bahamian Exumas / The concept of “pearls in aquamarine” used here to introduce a discussion of this sub-archipelago of coral atolls, creates a context for assessing strategies for their employment and management that emphasises aesthetic and authentic value. Both aesthetics and authenticity can be translated into monetary value as a proxy variable for the purpose of allowing comparisons to be made with other utility values that may be placed on the islands. The presentation will explore conflicts of interest and issues of sustainability in potential management strategies, and demonstrates the costs and benefits of possible options through referencing experiences of similar types of islands elsewhere. These experiences are viewed in light of what may be assessed as good practice and bad practice. It is argued that a clear notion of the various dimensions of environmental value must undergird all strategies that are developed for the holistic and sustainable management of the Exumas.