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Turks and Caicos going for gold standard in coastal environmental excellence, look out for Blue Flags



#Providenciales, March 1, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A return to Blue Flag status for coastal sites around the Turks and Caicos is the hope of the Ministry of Tourism as it has renewed its relationship with the Foundation for Environmental Education, FEE and will regain membership in order for the TCIs world renowned natural habitats to be rated.

Tourism Risk Manager, Brian Been is leading this project for the islands which had in 2008 managed to have three areas:  The Bight Park in Providenciales and both Governor’s Beach and the Grand Turk Cruise Centre in Grand Turk, waving Blue Flags.

Ralph Higgs, Acting Deputy Premier and Tourism & Environment Minister was coy about naming the sites in the TCI he would like to see make the list in a first round of selections, but Mr. Higgs was eager to state that his government is putting its full weight behind environmental protection programs.

“Turks and Caicos is an exceptional place and as the world discovers Turks and Caicos, the world is loving Turks and Caicos and so my government is being proactive in terms of taking steps to enhance environmental awareness to protect our sites and I think we will start, hopefully with about four or five sites that easily accessible, easily manageable and then it will expand throughout the length and breadth of the Turks and Caicos.”

The process will be thorough, explained FEE Regional Manager, Lourdes Diaz who is originally from Puerto Rico.  Ms. Lourdes said it may take up to two-years to secure the first of the Blue Flags and in order to maintain the globally respected status, public education must be constant and public buy-in must be high. 

Supporting the FEE visit to the Turks and Caicos was Director of Sustainable Planning for The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Earlston McPhee, who said:  “A part of the Blue Flag program is that you have to be recertified every year, so you don’t get there and its done; every year you have to be recertified and the national jury who would ensure that the standards are kept at a high level will be visiting, sometimes a surprise visit to the site to ensure the standard remains very high.”

Amphibious Chairs

The Turks and Caicos already stands to benefit from its membership renewal with FEE; Ms. Diaz said because one of the key Blue Flag standards is ‘access for all’ as mandated by the UN World Tourism Organization; the TCI will be supported with infrastructure to make our beach and/or marina sites wheelchair friendly.

“A Blue Flag beach is accessible for all and one of the criteria is accessibility for the physically impaired, that is people with limited movement; they must be taken into consideration.  That is an observance which will be guaranteed through the Blue Flag Beaches. As a contribution to the countries that are participating in Blue Flag, will be able to provide walkways and amphibious chairs for the use at each Blue Flag site.  Everybody deserves the same services.”

The team from FEE met with the Tourism Minister and Risk Manager at the Office of the Premier in Provienciales on Wednesday February 27, 2019.




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Bahamas News

Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean  leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues.  Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.

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Caribbean News

Woman who lost foot is Alexandra Truwit, Yale Grad & All American Swimmer



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A champion swimmer, marathon runner, Ivy League graduate and world traveler with a huge smile– that is Alexandra Truwit; at only 22 years old, she has a whole life ahead of her, one that may have now been made exponentially harder by the loss of her foot in an incident which continues to be unconfirmed, but reported as a shark attack off the coast of Providenciales.

Magnetic Media learned Truwit, who is a very experienced swimmer, was on a private charter captained by an employee of Big Blue Collective (not a Big Blue Charter).  She was bitten by what eyewitnesses think could have been a Caribbean Reef Shark and her foot below the ankle was completely severed.

It’s a heartbreaking incident exacerbated by the young woman’s obvious love for- and proficiency in- the water.

The Yale website describes Truwit as a Two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American.  Featured as a ‘Teen Titan’ in her high school, she was one of ten young people chosen for the school’s magazine. 

Truwit, who has a twin brother, cites nail art and baking as her life joys. Already having survived ‘mono’ as a teen, she volunteers as a Special Olympics “hugger” and started a Special Olympics club at her high school.

She was airlifted from the Turks and Caicos on the day of her accident and there have been no updates on her condition so far.  Residents in the TCI and the US have expressed via social media their best wishes for the young achiever and must now wait, hoping for the best possible outcome.

One resident said, “So sorry Alexandra you had to encounter such a traumatic experience while on vacation on our beautiful Island.  I am praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you, hopefully, the surgeon can work their magic for you.”

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Governor’s Appointed Member touts Civil Service Upgrade during Budget Debates



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

“For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience.”

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.

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