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International Day for Biological Diversity

TCI National Trust

Turks and Caicos, May 19, 2017 – ProvidencialesThis upcoming week, the Turks & Caicos National Trust is having a FREE ADMISSION to visit heritage sites on Providenciales, North Caicos and Middle Caicos.   This initiative is geared towards residents of the Turks & Caicos Islands and is in line with the weeklong celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity this year which will run from May 22nd to 26th, 2017.

Under the global theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”, the Trust aims to enhance people’s awareness at protecting our cultural, historic and natural heritage by encouraging locals and residents to take a tour, free of charge, to Little Water Cay, more popularly known as “Iguana Island”, Cheshire Hall Plantation and Bird Rock Point on Providenciales, Wade’s Green Plantation on North Caicos, and Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos.

Biodiversity provides an important foundation for many aspects of tourism. Recognition of the great importance to tourism economies of attractive landscapes and a rich biodiversity underpins the political and economic case for biodiversity conservation. The Turks & Caicos National Trust supports contributing significantly to reducing threats to, and maintain or increase, key wildlife populations and biodiversity values through tourism revenue.

Furthermore, establishing the free admission week shows the high importance the National Trust attaches to the protection of TCI’s heritage for its people and its future generation.

To book a free tour to TCNT-managed sites during Biodiversity Week, please call (649) 941-5710 or send an e-mail to info@tcnationaltrust.org. Prior arrangement will help us handle tour times more efficiently and ensure availability of our staff to assist you.

Below are some information about our sites:

Little Water Cay: This beautiful island is the easiest place in the world to see the endemic Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana – found only in these islands. Little Water Cay is a Nature Reserve and Protected Area. Visitors must follow our “Iguana etiquette”.  Follow the trails and signs on site. No dogs or cats are allowed, and there must be no disturbing or feeding of the iguanas and please keep noise to a minimum.  Please reduce the risk of fire by not smoking. Litter attracts rats which destroy iguana eggs so there are no litter facilities on the island – please take your garbage away with you. The visitor center has a small shop where you can buy local crafts.

Cheshire Hall Plantation: The best preserved set of plantation-era ruins on Providenciales and thus the most important site for cultural heritage on the island. A tour with a National Trust guide lasts 30 – 40 minutes. You can buy locally made craft items on this site.

Wades Green Plantation: Located in Kew, North Caicos, it is recognized by UNESCO as one of the best preserved Loyalist sites in the Caribbean. The trail starts from the King’s Road and we ask that visitors tread lightly – keep on the track/ trail path.

Conch Bar Caves: Part of a National Park, it is the largest cave system open to visitors in the islands and one of the largest in the Caribbean. It is home to colonies of four species of bats. Important notice: it is illegal to break or remove broken formations; disturb harm or remove cave creatures; disturb or remove historic artifacts; and deface the cave by leaving litter or marking on the cave walls.

Bird Rock Point: An attractive area of coastal coppice woodland. A simple trail leads from the car park to the sea and a great view. It is home to a great variety of wildlife.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The United Nations proclaimed May 22 – The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.   The theme for 2017 is “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”, which has been chosen to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Press Release: TCIG

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