Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort, the “Nature Island’s” landmark, waterfront “All-Inclusive, Island-Included” resort on the edge of Dominica’s capital, Roseau, is pleased to announce it has been awarded Green Globe Certification, one of the highest standards for sustainability worldwide. Only the second property in Dominica to earn the accolade – the first being Fort Young Hotel’s sister property, Secret Bay, which just re-earned Green Globe Certification – the resort has been recognised for its multiple community initiatives and committed management team.
“The resort should be commended for its management during the pandemic, choosing to dedicate its staff and resources to a number of community efforts, including Koudmen Kitchen, an initiative where the hotel donated meals to healthcare workers, and packaging food for the Care in Crisis programme,” said Green Globe’s Chief Executive Officer Birte Pelayo. “Our independent audit review has found the management team to be very forward looking and dedicated to continuous improvement across all sustainability indicators.”
“We’re thrilled to receive our inaugural Green Globe certification, an honour our entire team has worked hard to achieve,” said Dinesh Kissoon, Fort Young Hotel’s general manager. “Every staff member has been committed to this endeavor and this is a huge step in our journey as we continue to expand and evolve our sustainability practices.”
To earn Green Globe Certification, Fort Young Hotel demonstrated it operates in accordance with Green Globe standards and employs various Environmental Impact Assessments. Among the resort’s eco-friendly practices are:
- Garbage sorting programme, including waste specific bins to easily categorize waste
- Guest and staff education on waste disposal best practices including reusing and recycling
- Zero-waste in food production
- On-property organic tomato and herb garden
- Reduction in the use of plastic water bottles with the introduction of in-room glass water pitcher
- Staff involvement through education including training on the hotel’s Sustainability Management System and in the areas of health, safety, service level and culture
- Guest education through eco-messages and other person-to-person interactions pre-arrival and throughout stay
- Installation of energy monitoring system
- Implementation of waste management monitoring system
Initiatives planned for the near future include installation of a modern refrigeration system, assessment of operations to establish reusable systems, energy and water conservation efforts, and exposing staff to cultural experiences like art, music and local entertainment, as well as historical exposure through storytelling about the resort’s dynamic history. The hotel also aims to achieve carbon emission reduction through the implementation of fuel monitoring systems.
The Green Globe Standard covers four key themes: Sustainable Management; Social/Economic; Cultural Heritage; and Environmental. The standard includes 44 core criteria supported by over 380 compliance indicators. To guarantee compliance with the highest international standards, a third-party independent auditor is appointed to work with clients on-site.
In late 2021, Fort Young Hotel became the Caribbean’s first-ever “All-Inclusive, Island-Included” resort experience. With this, guests enjoy two 60-minute massages at the new Zemi Spa, as well as access to activities and offerings beyond the hotel — from a lionfish catching expedition to regulate this invasive species, to hiking and exploring some of the island’s best attractions like Trafalgar Falls and Titou Gorge, to enjoying tropical beaches — providing a truly unrivaled, immersive and memorable Nature Island experience.
Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort recently unveiled its Zemi Spa, the island’s first and only waterfront day spa, and oceanfront 24hr Compass Gym, along with fully refreshed Oceanfront Rooms, Oceanfront Deluxe Rooms and Oceanfront Suites. Replete with panoramic seaside views, exceptionally stylish furnishings and a bright colour palette, the reimagined guestrooms are designed to make guests feel even more warmly welcomed while expressing Dominica’s vibrant spirit. The resort also introduced six Junior Suites, a new category of elegant and modern guest rooms featuring kitchenettes. Future enhancements and additions will include 60 Fort rooms; a state-of-the-art fitness center featuring eco-friendly equipment; a business center; a new bar and lounge; a 200-seat conference room; a 250-seat sun deck for weddings and other events; an art gallery; a wine and rum cellar; a gift shop; and three new meeting rooms.
Seahorse National Park announced on Eleuthera in The Bahamas
This week has seen the announcement of the designation of Seahorse National Park at Hatchet Bay Cave and Sweetings Pond on Eleuthera. This monumental announcement comes after years of efforts from the BNT and its partners in advocating for the protection of Sweetings Pond and its surrounding areas as an official national park under the BNT’s management.
Sweetings Pond is a large, land-locked saltwater pond in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. It has many unique natural features, but the most notable of them all is its incredible seahorse population, which is believed to be the densest population of seahorses in the world. The new 548-acre national park protects the entire one-mile-long pond and the surrounding terrestrial area. The land surrounding Sweetings Pond is a blend of intact coppice, mangroves, and farmlands. In addition, the new national park includes the extensive Hatchet Bay Caves system. This historic cave system is a popular attraction and contains a number of impressive geological features. It is one of the longest dry cave systems in The Bahamas.
Since 2014, the BNT has been leading efforts to have the area declared as a national park. This included years of public outreach and stakeholder consultations in communities across Eleuthera; education presentations in local schools; science and research efforts; and engaging consecutive government administrations. In 2018, the BNT submitted the “20 by 20 Marine Protection Plan” to the government, which included the recommendation to declare Sweetings Pond and other areas in The Bahamas as protected areas.
During the lease signing ceremony for Seahorse National Park, Minister Clay Sweeting, said, “This lease agreement for Sweetings Pond has been a long time coming. It represents a milestone in our journey towards sustainable development. It symbolises our collective responsibility to safeguard our natural heritage and create a harmonious relationship between economic progress and environmental preservation.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all stakeholders in this process of drafting and finalising this lease agreement. Their dedication, expertise, and commitment has been crucial in ensuring that this agreement falls in line with our vision of creating a thriving ecosystem while promoting responsible usage. Let us continue to preserve the jewel that is Sweetings Pond for many generations to come.”
The BNT invites the public to stay tuned for more news about its plan for the country’s newest national park: Seahorse National Park at Hatchet Bay Cave and Sweetings Pond!
To learn more about the role the BNT plays in managing terrestrial and marine national parks, conserving wildlife, and informing environmental policy, please visit its website: www.bnt.bs
Banner Image: A lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus), female, clining to algae in an alkaline pond in The Bahamas by Shane Gross
PADI Club invites Ocean Lovers on exclusive dive trip to Bonaire this September
Following the popularity of the PADI Club trip to Belize at the end of July, a second “dive trip of a lifetime” has just been announced by PADI Club to Bonaire this September 23-30, 2023.
Offered exclusively for PADI Club members as part of their yearly benefits, attendees will get to seek adventure while staying at the all-inclusive Buddy Dive Resort, one of PADI’s premier members on the island. Other PADI Members in Bonaire – including Toucan Divers, Divi Flamingo, Wanna Dive, Dive Friends and Scuba Do – will also be hosting various dive experiences throughout the week.
“Bonaire is a unique and beautiful gem in the Dutch Caribbean and we want to show our Club Members this little island looms large as a dive destination,” says Zach Pavkov, PADI Club Operations Manager. “This trip offers participants a chance to not only explore a world-class diving destination but do so through some of the very best PADI Operators.”
PADI Club members will receive a generous discount for this seven-day diving adventure, with packages starting at $1,739 per diver for double occupancy.
Included in the package are:
- social events that include hosted dinners, cocktail parties and live music
- transportation in Buddy Dive Resort’s famous pick-up truck
- daily shore diving and boat diving
- accommodation, with the option to share a room with another solo diver or rent out one, two and three-bedroom apartments to host larger groups of divers
- surface interval activities that include PADI Seminars and island excursions like hiking and bird-watching.
“Because the water surrounding Bonaire has been an established marine park for 44 years, Bonaire is now a top-ranked destination with abundant marine life that includes scorpionfish, flounder and frogfish, moray eels, hawksbill turtles and eagle rays, ” continues Pavkov.
With limited spots available, the list of participants will be decided on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who are not yet PADI Club Members but are interested in joining the trip can sign-up, which will also give them access to:
- 20% of PADI eLearning® programs and PADI Gear™
- a free ReActivate® online refresher
- a free DAN® Prepared Diver course
- a subscription to Scuba Diving® magazine
- access to the PADI Club Celebrity Speaker Series webinars
- brand partner benefits from GoPro, Uber, Salt Life and more
To further support ocean lovers to create positive ocean change, five percent of the PADI Club membership fee will go towards supporting conservation efforts around the globe.
“PADI Club benefits are designed not just to empower divers to explore the ocean, but also enable them to play a pivotal role in saving the ocean too,” says Pavkov. “This year’s additional expedition to Bonaire gives our community the chance to come together and explore our shared blue planet in a truly meaningful and connected way.”