Extinction in 20 Years for Caicos Pine without conservation

A native Turks and Caicos islander is nearly extinct and if a conservation strategy is not activated and taken seriously, we could lose this natural resource forever in twenty years. Some hard hitting truths about the endangered Caicos Pine tree were presented in a media meeting yesterday.

The Royal Botanic Gardens – Kew, announced that 95% of the Caicos Pine tree – which is found on Pine Cay, North Caicos and Middle Caicos – is gone; decimated by an invasive bug which we cannot just spray away with pesticides.

Dr. Mark Hamilton, research leader on the project said the mission is to get the public caring about the Caicos Pine, growing the Caicos Pine to better health though nurseries and to save as many seeds as possible.

Not only are we seeing the Caicos Pine devoured when they are less healthy, the tree is losing its uniqueness as the genetic signature which makes it distinctive to this jurisdiction are disappearing.

Both the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture – Hon Porsha Smith and the Governor, His Excellency, Peter Beckingham were there to support the launch of the National Tree Restoration Strategy which is backed by $300,000 in UK Funding; recently awarded to the TCI.

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