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Turks & Caicos Represented At UKOTs Environmental Ministers Meeting In Isle of Man

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#IsleofMan, February 15, 2018  – Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism,  Environment, Heritage, Maritime & Gaming, returned to the territory this weekend, after attending UKOTs and Crown Dependencies meeting of Environment Ministers, held in the Isle of Man to discuss the future of the environment in their jurisdictions.  This meeting marked the third such annual meeting of the group, which provides a forum for Ministers to dialogue on issues of commonality among them, whilst seeking solutions, best practices and forging stronger partnerships.

This was the third Council of Environment Ministers of UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies and took place in Douglas, Isle of Man, the meeting was hosted jointly by Geoffrey Boot MHK, the Isle of Man’s Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, and Professor John Cortés, Gibraltar’s Minister for Education, Heritage, Environment, Energy and Climate Change and coordinated by the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF), a non-governmental organization.

The Minister was accompanied by Michelle Fulford Gardiner, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, where they join 13 other UKOTs and CDs, to discuss and focus on the topics of sustainability in the terrestrial and marine environment, climate change, the impact of natural disasters on communities, environmental resilience and the Isle of Man’s designation as the first entire nation UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

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Discussions were also facilitated on common opportunities and challenges specific to the group such as:

  • Project Funding;
  • Developmental pressures Vs. Environmental protection;
  • International Conventions representation at COP
  • Trade with the EU (post Brexit) withdrawal of the UK from the European Union
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Enforcement of illegal poaching
  • Impact of plastics

Minister Boot of the Isle of Man, said; “Although very different in character, our islands all boast beautiful environments that are important to our economies and our way of life and we wish to retain and maximize the benefit.”

“The meeting was an excellent opportunity to share good practice and discuss common concerns and we learned a lot that we can put into effect in our islands.  It was especially useful to discuss with the UK’s Environment Minister, Dr Thérèse Coffey, how our jurisdictions can work together, and more closely with the UK, to ensure a coherent approach on matters such a plastic waste, ocean acidification and warming.  Minister Coffey invited the group to join the UK’s discussions on these matters.”

Professor Cortes of Gibraltar added; “The way our diverse territories work together in mutual support and for the protection and improvement of the environment and quality of life is our main strength and an example to others.”

“We are looking at a sustainable future within our territories but have also recognized our responsibility beyond our shores. Most of us are islands and so we are also championing the future of our oceans by joining the stand against plastic pollution and working towards improvement of the biological status of the many kilometers of sea that are the responsibility of the United Kingdom.”

Hon. David Osborne, Montserrat’s Minister for Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and Environment, said; “By working as a group, we are much stronger in being able to achieve certain goals. Many of us are facing similar problems and, because of Brexit, much uncertainty remains.   However, if we come together we can put forward ideas for ways to overcome these challenges, much can be achieved.”

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Dr Mike Pienkowski, Chairman of UKOTCF, commented; “We have for over 30 years brought together groups of practitioners, decision makers and civil society across the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to share experiences and encouraged collective endeavour.   This is now more relevant than ever, given the unique set of challenges faced by them especially in the face of climate change and some of the consequences of the UK’s departure from the European Union.   The meeting heard about the work of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture to meet its international commitments and to support its fishing communities, which is huge interest to other jurisdictions.”

Ministers and representatives of the Falkland Islands, Pitcairn and St Helena, joined the meeting via Skype or other remote means.

UK Minister of Environment extended an invitation to the group to join her and her team to the Commonwealth Summit in April, as well as the celebration of the International Year of the Reef activities this year, where discussions can continue on these topics.

Hon. Higgs and Deputy Permanent Secretary, took advantage of the opportunity to also arrange meetings with Maritime & Ship Registry sector officials, and a site visit to the state of the art energy form waste plant.

Hon. Ralph Higgs quantified the meeting as a worthy assembly of like-minded decision makers with a diversity in social, economic, and political structures, but similar challenges.   The Turks & Caicos Islands in the wake of two catastrophic storms realized some destruction of our natural environment, but saw firsthand how the resilience of healthy ecosystems such as the coral reef provides a service that went a long way in protecting our fragile islands.   He reaffirm his government’s commitment to providing sustainable financing for conservation and climate change initiatives, as our environment lies at the foundation of our tourism industry.

Press Release: TCIG

Photo credit: David Kneale

 

 

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Caribbean News

DIGICEL+ GIVES CUSTOMERS THE GIFT OF MORE SPEED THIS CHRISTMAS

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The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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Bahamas News

Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!

 

November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”

 

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PDM Deputy Leader lends to Beach Vending Bill debate from outside Parliament

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2021 – The Opposition party says the new Beach and Coastal Vending bill does not provide adequate protection for TCI vendors.

This came from Deputy Leader of the PDM Robert Been, in an open letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly earlier today.

The Deputy Leader who claimed to be in direct contact with vendors in Sapodilla say while there are several provisions for penalties against the vendors in the bill it does not ‘adequately address the protection of vendors rights.’

The PDM referenced incidents of abuse from homeowners against vendors and said, “These homeowners, very often, insult and threaten vendors which is humiliating…There needs to be, in the law, something that clearly penalizes any overreaching harassment by property owners…situated near vendors.”

The Opposition deputy leader also said the Premier’s claim that the reshuffle of vendors will not affect their earnings was ‘misleading’ and ‘held no truth.’ They added that the section of roadway cited for the relocation was a known hazard and tourists would likely not frequent the area.

The PDM had several other requests to make the bill a more viable one for vendors. Been insisted that the government produce a timeline for the temporary relocation and allocate funds for a stimulus in case of loss of earnings on the vendors’ part. They also requested to see compulsory marketing for the vendor markets and questioned the lack of any clear avenue for redress should the government default on its promises.

Finally the PDM Deputy Leader called for CCTV cameras to be installed at every vendor site for both the protection of vendors and their wares and objectivity in conflict resolution.

The office of the Premier has not yet responded to the letter. The bill will be debated in the House today (November 30).

 

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