TCI News

Four environmental projects approved for funding in Turks and Caicos by the UK

#Providenciales, March 25, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Out of 17 conservation projects approved for funding by the United Kingdom, the Turks and Caicos islands has managed to secure four awards.

“The United Kingdom Government’s Darwin Plus funding agency has just announced funding for 17 conservation projects worth more than $4.5 million in the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). The Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) is proud to announce that the Turks & Caicos Islands have successfully secured four projects with our various project partners.”

The projects are: Developing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools for Turks and Caicos; Restoration of Wetlands; Sustainable solutions for Sargassum inundations and a Frigate Bird tracking project.

The DECR, in a media release shared the advantages to not only winning the extra funding to pursue the projects but their value for the Turks and Caicos and the wider Caribbean.

About the two-year mapping project, it is explained, “this project builds a Territory to Territory partnership between SAERI in the Falklands Islands and DECR in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to Develop Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools for TCI to feed into long-term planning and decision-making in the marine environment.”

It is established that wetlands are more than integral habitats, they are protection and the project to restore them is a fantastic stride, “the DECR will be working with partners to restore and safeguard wetlands of the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). The project aims to improve ecological status and climate-resiliency of wetlands through better recognition, protection, and restoration of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem functions at key sites across the Caribbean UKOTs.”

Sargassum is everywhere and while there are debates about whether it should stay on the beach which is both aesthetically and aromatically unappealing, there is the argument that sargassum and seaweed help to keep sand on the beach as protection from wind erosion. 

“Sustainable solutions for Sargassum inundations in Turks & Caicos, aims to assess the macro-algae beach from environmental and socio-economic perspectives and implement viable, sustainable, management strategies benefiting the natural environment and reducing dependence on oil.”

UK overseas territories will synergise for the frigate bird tracking project, explained the DECR.

“…the DECR will be collaborating on a project that considers regional-scale marine conservation through multi-territory tracking of frigate birds. The project aims to improve the ability of managers and policy makers in the Caribbean UKOTs, and more widely, to recognize, designate and protect vulnerable ecosystems offshore, nearshore and onshore.”

Minister for Environment, Hon. Minister Ralph Higgs, thanked partners in the approved conservation initiatives including:  Darwin and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who administer the fund, with additional funding support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development (DFID) for the funding award.

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