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Global Coral Reef Week: Conferences with Low Carbon Emission gain momentum during COVID-19



#Providenciales, July 6, 2020 – Many coral reef scientists see exceptional value in sharing research with colleagues and the public, but also struggle with the high ecological and financial costs of attending traditional conferences. The ecological costs include carbon emissions from the travel of attendees. Thereby, a traditional conference designed to strengthen global knowledge on coral reefs directly contributes to the destruction of coral reefs.

With multiple widespread bleaching events in the past 5 years and the emergence of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease as an immediate threat, we are truly at the point where we need all hands on deck to tackle climate change and the protection of our reefs. There are many things we can all do to contribute to the battle against the climate crisis. Frankly, we need to do them all. We needed to be doing them all decades ago. While we need societal and political support to be effective in slowing down the climate crisis and avoiding the worst predictions, coral reef scientists, managers, and enthusiasts can lead by example by changing our business-as-usual approach to conferences to decrease our carbon emissions. We cannot save the reefs through research alone. We also need to be part of the energy that drives the necessary unprecedented social change.


When people asked the late Ruth Gates, ‘what can I do to help save the coral reefs?’ she advised that we pick something and do it. That’s what has been done with Global Coral Reef Week. The organizers decided it was time for the coral reef research community to have a conference format that did not require them to emit CO2 through flying. With a vision of virtually connecting a collection of local hubs across the globe, so that participants could network in person with their local colleagues while sharing their research with the global community, in August of 2019, Chelsie Counsell, Franziska Elmer & Judith Lang, committed their spare time to organizing Global Coral Reef Week.

With low CO2 emissions and high access to science as our core mission statement, they welcomed every location interested to host a local event. The School for Field Studies on South Caicos was one of these 16 international locations that decided to be part of the first ever Global Coral Reef Week. We excited about this idea because traditional conferences are often out of reach for local scientists and practitioners due to the financial costs of attendance.


The world doesn’t always follow plans, and as COVID-19 continues to up-end everyone’s sense of normal, we are operating entirely virtually for the inaugural Global Coral Reef Week conference. We have over 100 contributed research talks and recorded workshops available for viewing on the Global Coral Reef Week YouTube channel, nine plenary talks followed by live discussion sessions with the speakers, three live sessions with multiple speakers dedicated to specific locations and topics, two virtual networking events, and a trivia event. Thanks to sponsorship from The Company of Biologists, Tradewind Colours, Marine Conservation without Borders, and donations from colleagues, this virtual conference is completely free. To date, over 1000 people have registered to participate in Global Coral Reef Week, partly due to immense advertisement in Brazil by Encontro Recifal Brasileiro.

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TCI News

FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates



FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates. The request was submitted to Her Excellency the Governor today. The Company’s submission proposed a 6% rate increase across service territories.
The appointment of an inquirer forms part of the rate review process outlined in the Electricity Ordinance. Interested persons can make representation during the inquiry. Once completed, the inquirer provides a report to FortisTCI as the public supplier and to Her Excellency the Governor with its recommendations.

The Company’s proposal for revised electric rates was submitted to the Governor on February 14, 2024, and was supported by substantial information. As part of the rate review process, Her Excellency, the Governor, requested additional information through the Energy and Utilities Commissioner, and the Company met all additional requests.

FortisTCI understands the difficulties that customers can face with electricity bills. For this reason, the Company works hard to ensure that electric rates have remained as stable as possible. The Company invests responsibly and maintains an efficient operation, providing customers with one of the most reliable electricity services in the Caribbean.

FortisTCI maintains that revised electric rates are necessary at this time to expand the electricity system and maintain reliable service to customers, amid rising energy demand as the Turks and Caicos Islands economy continues to grow. Like other businesses, external pressures such as persistent high inflation and high interest costs have also impacted the operation. These are the primary reasons for the electric rates review.

Before the current submission of revised rates, FortisTCI had requested one general rate review in twenty years. This was to help recover significant investments made after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The rate increase was granted after the appointment of an Inquirer, who determined that the Company’s request was necessary and reasonable. The inquirer’s report also highlighted that FortisTCI had prudently managed its costs and operation.

Similarly, the Company welcomes an open and independent examination of its current request for revised electric rates. FortisTCI will hold information meetings across the islands to discuss its proposed revised rates, providing customers with opportunities to have their questions answered. The schedule of meetings will be published on the Company’s social media pages.

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13th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament (WCGFT) Check Presentation Ceremony – 5th April, 2023



#TurksandCaicos, April 10, 2024 – We are proud to announce that this year’s proceeds from the 13th WCGFT were presented to 3 youth-oriented organizations: Edward Gartland Youth Centre, TCI Amateur Athletic Association (TCIAAA) and TCI Swimming Federation (TCISF).

The Edward Gartland Youth Centre is a non-profit organization providing a space of learning for the youth of Providenciales with activities ranging from tutoring to sports and recreation, arts and craft and so much more.

TCIAAA and TCISF just represented the Turks & Caicos Islands in the CARIFTA Games in Grenada, 2024. We are proud of their achievements and happy that we could help in time.

The Charities were presented cheques totaling $70,000:

Edward Gartland Youth Centre:          $35,000

TCIAAA:                                            $20,000

TCISF:                                                $15,000

This brings the total donated by the WCGFT and its Sponsors to $530,000. We look forward to giving even more next year.

This concludes this year’s 13th WCGFT Event and Cheque Presentation. We would like to thank our sponsors and organizers who were key in our efforts to give back to the youth of the TCI Community.

We look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event.

Thank you all.


CONTACT: Desmond Williams,, Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament

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TCI News

Swearing-In Ceremony, six added to TCI Police Force



Six police constables were today sworn into the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

Four experienced officers- Germaine Scott, Sandenia Francis, Tyrone Cox and Blake Hooker, along with Special Constables Rashaunda Cooke and Raymond Clare took their oaths during a brief ceremony at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The officers pledged to uphold justice, protect the community, and diligently serve their duties with pride and integrity.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Christopher Eyre addressed the constables, applauding the efforts of those currently serving and indicating that they are now part of dealing with the challenges facing the Turks and Caicos Islands, particularly that of illegal migration.

Mr Eyre said: “In this region, we face the humanitarian tragedy affecting Haiti, and our hearts go out to those affected on that island. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of Haiti’s government, we have seen the prisons being overrun and over 5000 prisoners escaping.

“We also face challenges from illegal migration to our shores. Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Rodney Adams and I have been working feverishly to coordinate with other law enforcement colleagues to secure the TCI borders.

“I am proud of this Force and how we have stepped up to the challenges. I look forward to seeing you and also seeing you excel as part of the team”.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kendall Grant, Human Resource Officer Sgt. Tashauna Wilson, and Chairman of the Police Welfare Association Sgt. Jepson Victor were also at the swearing-in.

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