Rochelle Newbold is serious about sustainable development. She has been working in the environmental field in The Bahamas for more than 16 years where she has endeavored to ensure that the balance between environmental conservation and development is given equal weight in both public and private sector projects. Sustainable development is an important objective for small island states like The Bahamas and Rochelle continues to provide the necessary support and experience to her country as it seeks to address both global and national environmental concerns.
She has represented The Bahamas at numerous United Nations conferences and international and regional environmental conferences. Rochelle has also been responsible for and has contributed to the development of various national environmental policies, projects, handbooks and plans. Rochelle has also been involved with research on marine invertebrates, coral spawning and propagations and reef health and assessments. She considers public education a critical tool to enacting change and she believes in public-private sector partnerships.
Because education is so important, Rochelle continues to work with children and adults on the importance of the environment and man’s responsibility to manage and protect it. In 2014 she had responsibility for the environmental management of a private development in one of the oldest land and sea protected areas in the world. It was with the aid of public-private sector partnerships that local communities were incorporated into the management programs.
These programs utilized citizens for environmental monitoring and provided educational opportunities, eco-tourism development and employment. It was because of the community support and involvement that the integrity of the environment in the land and sea park was not sacrificed. The project was a good example of how man can balance conservation efforts with development needs.
In 2016 she was the project manager responsible for the recently declared 2.5 million hectares of protected areas in The Bahamas. These newly declared lands hold a challenge for The Bahamas and as an island nation that challenge is to ensure that sustainable development is considered for the future. Rochelle believes the position that man and the environment are at odds, must be dispelled, because they are truly depended on each other for survival and preservation.
There is little to no value in something which can’t be experienced. People need to experience their environment to have an appreciation of its value and the benefits which it brings. It is because of these experiences that people care! Rochelle is a member of the Charted Institute of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the Charted Institute of Scientist (CSI) with the United Kingdom Science Council and holds a Masters of Environmental Management degree from Duke University in Coastal Environmental Management.
Rochelle presently serves as Island Conservation’s Program Manager for The Bahamas.