Providenciales, 4 Nov 2014 – The new Turks and Caicos is less environmentally appealing than the old one. “Can we cope with more people now? Are we in a position to handle it, can we deal with the garbage, can we deal with the plastic, can we deal with oil from engines and cars, can we deal with more anchors on the reef and more sun creams in the ocean. And there is an endless amount of reasons as to why I think we should question the next step forward rather than jumping with two feet because we need development.”
Is the Turks and Caicos going to fall into the pattern of other global hot spots by becoming too developed to maintain luxury status? “So, the real question is, ‘A’ is this going to be strategically a high end destination or is this going to go toward the mass market? And can we actually we actually afford the environmental impact of the mass market and (if so), for the benefit of whom?”
And questions about what size do we want to grow the nation’s resident population; currently at around 31,000. Some of the ideas last night at the Natl Tourism Strategy public meeting held in Providenciales. Those who have been functioning in the industry for decades piped up at the meeting, calling for stronger education and environment protections to preserve the essence of the TCI experience. “I believe it isn’t too far gone that we cannot turn it around. But if we continue to concentrate on mass tourism, high buildings and more… and not take into consideration the environment and the educational program that pass on down into the school to make the child grown to understand to respect the environment”
Mass tourism with skyscrapers and extreme development for some was not the way forward. And along with losing some of the eco-appeal, one said the country is also losing its friendliness due to the animosities among workers in the industry. When the TCI Tourism Board Director, Ralph Higgs responded to these concerns he said there is no plan for mass tourism for the islands, but the plan is a national one. “But in North and Middle Caicos and South Caicos and Salt Cay it has not happened fast enough and as a result we see our communities dying. Forty years ago you would recall in Salt Cay there may have been two to three hundred people; today there are probably 60. In Middle Caicos, years ago there used to be a thousand plus people, now there are two or three hundred, so this plan also has to address what is not happening in our sister islands and how we can tweak or adjust or adopt a policy that will give these islands a chance.”
On a more highly critical side, Lloyd Stubbs, President of the Independent Taxi Drivers said the Hotel and Tourism Association is dictating to the Tourist Board. “In essence although you say mass tourism doesn’t exist; the all-inclusive have branded themselves as mass tourism and the other resorts are taking that. Grace Bay Club as much high end as they are doing, they are involved in contracts. Before even the tour operators were able to sell, now the only way you sell now is if you pay those companies a percentage. The indigenous Turks and Caicos is being shut out of tourism daily and that’s what is part of the frustration.”
And said the entire process seems designed to shut locals out of contributing. “Put a sign by Sweet T’s, one sign, Sweet T’s if you need a location. All of us in this room go to Sweet T’s if you advertise to check this thing here, you will be more than the Hotel Association, they are not a Tourism Association… more than the Hotel Association, here.”
That thought of disregard was naturally refuted by the panel which included Kingsley Been of the Tourism Board, Wesley Clerveaux PS at the Office of the Premier and Gary Brough, Managing Director of hired consultants KPMG.
CARPHA Remembers Former PAHO Director Emeritus – Dr. Carissa Etienne as a “Tireless Advocate for Regional Solidarity”
Port of Spain, Trinidad. 01 December, 2023: It is with profound sadness and shock that I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends, people of Dominica, the Caribbean Community and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), on the untimely passing of PAHO Director Emeritus, Dr. Carissa Etienne.
Dr. Etienne’s contributions to public health in the Americas were not only significant, but also transformative. Her leadership and unwavering commitment to our Caribbean Community’s collective pursuit of healthier people, healthier spaces and a healthier Caribbean were a source of inspiration to many. Dr. Etienne was a tireless advocate for The Americas’ regional solidarity, for she knew that was the only way to address the glaring inequalities that exist here.
She was the Director at PAHO for most of the life of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and under her leadership, CARPHA graduated from the PAHO Biennial Work Programme (BWP) arrangement to having framework agreements.
PAHO funded many of the programmes that are difficult to attract support, like the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) and the Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance Department (MQCSD), which are important services for the Region to ensure the quality of medicines. Under Dr. Etienne’s leadership, PAHO also funded non-communicable disease interventions, another area that does not attract large pots of funding, although the number one cause of deaths in the Caribbean region.
During the Pandemic, CARPHA worked with PAHO to fund the downpayments to give 12 Member States access to COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX to the tune of US$2.6 million.
Dr. Etienne will be remembered as a true Caribbean lady who worked with great dedication and focus throughout the horrible COVID-19 period and right up to her last working day at PAHO.
During this challenging time, we pray that God will give strength to Dr. Etienne’s family, friends, and colleagues. CARPHA cherishes the memories of her remarkable contributions to the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the Americas, but especially the Caribbean.
The CARPHA Executive Management and staff stand in solidarity with our Caribbean Community as we mourn the loss of a visionary leader.
Dr. Joy St. John
Executive Director, CARPHA
Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.
In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity. Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation.
In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.
Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:
- Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
- Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
- Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
- Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
- Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.
As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.
For further information, please contact:
Delano R. Arthur
Energy and Utilities Department
Turks and Caicos Islands Government
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
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