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New ‘Alien’ invasion threatens TCI Rock Iguanas

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 4, 2020 — Green iguanas (pictured above left) do not belong in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Outside of their native range, they can breed quickly and can reach plague proportions if left unchecked. They can cause impacts to landscaping, infrastructure and will threaten the Turks & Caicos rock iguanas – which are only found in Turks & Caicos and are an important tourist attraction therefore important for the economy. Over in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands Government are struggling with the pressure of over a million green iguanas and has had to recently launch a program costing over £8.6 million to control them.

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Green iguanas are not currently believed to be established in the Turks & Caicos Islands, however, worryingly three sightings of green iguanas were confirmed in November 2019: two on Providenciales and one on Grand Turk. It is urgent that the likelihood of future arrivals of green iguanas is reduced, and when they do arrive that the Government is able to respond quickly.

As well as alien species arriving in Providenciales, they are also spreading – and the last remaining places supporting the native rock iguana are under threat. In the past couple of months, mice have reappeared on Big Ambergris Cay – this being the fourth invasion of rodents in the last 2.5 years, and rats have re-invaded Pine Cay, despite efforts costing in excess of $500,000 to fully remove rats to protect the iguanas.

Rodent invaders, photo by TC Natl Trust

For the Turks & Caicos Islands to be able to fight the tide of alien invasions, to protect its natural assets and to ensure the islands remain beautiful by nature, the Government needs to have effective measures and appropriate resources in place. These are clearly currently inadequate to meet the challenge.

PRESS RELEASE – TURKS AND CAICOS NATIONAL TRUST

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.

The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.

The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent  or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.

Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.

Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.

Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.

Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.

The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.

The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.

For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.

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Bahamas News

TCI Office in Bahamas identified 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – An office space has already been identified for an all-new TCI Immigration office in The Bahamas according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services.

Musgrove told Magnetic Media that the ministry was “almost there” in regard to securing the space; it indicates the Government is moving full speed ahead with plans for the passing of the new Immigration Bill which will allow third-generation TC Islanders citizenship, even as the public awaits consultations on it.

The announcement of the bill had caused some skepticism among islanders, some of whom wanted the government to focus on keeping TC Islanders at home instead of recruiting others.  Musgrove however had made it clear that the TCI was in a population crisis and would need to slow down PRC naturalisation rates and naturalise people with historical, familial and cultural connections to the land or risk going ‘extinct’.

The office will work to deepen the relationship between the two sister countries even more and help increase the TCI’s population offsetting the need for masses of external labour according to the government.

When passed, the rule will apply to third-generation islanders everywhere, not only in The Bahamas giving them a free ticket to come home.

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Caribbean News

The Shore Club makes Travel + Leisure 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – The Shore Club is the perfect place to escape the cold with your family according to well-known travel magazine, Travel + Leisure at least.  The Turks and Caicos resort was featured in the worldwide magazine’s January feature last month.

“It’s hard to overstate the grandness of our accommodations,” travel writer Hannah Selinger gushed as she described the luxurious Shore Club experience that retails for around $750 per night.

The resort owned by Stan Hartling, 2021 TCI Humanitarian of the Year, was lauded for its use of local materials including coral harvested in Long Bay on which the property resides.  The writer was particularly impressed with the expansive space and multiple amenities at the resort which even when significantly booked “never feels even remotely full”.

She described the food and the entirety of her experience as ‘extremely satisfying’.

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