The island is to host a major international conservation conference next year, according to the Bermuda National Trust.
The BNT won a bid for the International Conference of National Trusts 2019, which is expected to bring 150 representatives of conservation groups around the world.
The forum, from March 27 to 30, marks the group’s 18th conference. According to a Trust statement issued this afternoon, it was last staged in Bermuda 30 years ago.
It will coincide with the fourth Caribbean Conference of National Trusts, allowing trusts from around the region to discuss issues.
Alana Anderson, the president of the BNT, said the trust was “delighted”.
She added: “It’s particularly meaningful for us as 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the formation of our Trust.
“In addition, it’s a boost for Bermuda — not just the fact that the conference will bring visitors to our island in March, but because it attests to the fact that we are recognised as an island with a strong history of conservation and respect for our environment.
“We look forward to showing our visitors what Bermuda has to offer and how we have taken care and improved upon the natural beauty of the island. It will provide a valuable opportunity for us to learn from our peer organisations around the world.”
Bill Zuill, the BNT’s executive director of the Bermuda, said the conference would focus on diversity and inclusion, which was “a topic of relevance to national trusts everywhere”.
The conference, titled “Arms Wide Open — Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities”, will be based at the Fairmont Southampton Resort with sessions to be held off site including at the Dockyard and St George’s World Heritage Site.
So far, delegates to the conference are signed up from 32 countries — Aruba, Australia, Bermuda, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, France, Fiji, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, St Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St Helena, Tanzania, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.
Bermuda residents who wish to take part can either sign up for a full delegates’ pass which includes evening entertainment for $800, or they can sign up for a Bermuda delegates’ pass, which entitles them to attend all daytime events, for $500.
Residents can register for the conference at into-icnt.org/.
Speakers so far include:
• British curator, historian and filmmaker Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC since February, 2018. Awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, he is one of the world’s foremost authorities on African art, and the creator of the BBC TV series The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Dr Casely-Hayford is a former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, and advisor to the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils and the Tate Gallery.
• Marquetta Goodwine became Queen Quet after being elected Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. A native of St Helena Island, South Carolina, she is an author, preservationist and performance artist. In 2008, she recorded the story of the Gullah/Geechee at Unesco headquarters in Paris for the UN archives. Her activism began with securing land rights for the Gullah/Geechee people, who often passed land down through the generations without any legal documentation to prove ownership. In 1996, she founded the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to support the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture.
• Gail Lord is president and co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources, formed in 1981 to address a need for planning services in the museum, cultural and heritage sector. The company has completed more than 2,200 projects in more than 57 countries. Focused on creating value from “the maximisation of cultural resources”, the company has offices in New York, London, Mumbai, Beijing and Toronto, and clients in the public, private, foundation, government and non-profit sectors.
• To view the Bermuda National Trust press release in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”