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Queen Conch Sustainability Project

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2023 – Conch is one of The Turks and Caicos’ most famous additions to the global palate, Queen’s Conch to be exact but the resource may be declining.  The Resilience Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Program, an EU arm, is carrying out a program to find out for sure and preserve the conch for future generations.

RESEMBID has been working alongside the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources; the Department of Marine Fisheries and Resource Management; the Joint Nature Conservation Committee from the UK and the Marine Conservation Society over the past few months on the first steps of the program called Sustaining Queen Conch Livelihoods and Fisheries in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Kathy Lockhart, Assistant Director for fisheries and Marine Resources Management explained, “It is a project that’s funded by the UK and we are working with the JNCC and we’re trying to find better data on stock assessment for Queen’s Conch. So we’re doing underwater videos, local consumption surveys with restaurants and we’re going to bring all of this information together to try to find non detrimental findings.”

These findings will then be exported to CITES, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The project which should conclude before April included:

  • Using underwater visual surveys to determine just how much Queen Conch is in our oceans
  • After that the team found out how much was being caught and eaten with domestic consumption surveys including interviews with key stakeholders on the nature and extent of conch harvest for local consumption.

The third stage of the plan will soon go into implementation. This includes training staff of the TCI government and statutory bodies on the implementation of CITES rules.  After that the Government will need to put rules in place to ensure future sustainability of the commodity with export.

Becky Austin of the JNCC explained that while Queen Conch is still traded internationally it is an endangered species.

“Therefore It’s really important especially for the Turks and Caicos that the fishery is sustainable into the future— making sure that we protect fishermen’s livelihood and the cultural importance of Queen Conch into the future.”

Caribbean News

Paid internship opportunity in Energy Data Collection,  Application DEADLINE is April 19

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April 19, 2024 – The Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in cooperation with the Energy and Utilities Department (EUD), Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities (MPSU), is looking for a motivated intern to work in close collaboration with regional and national institutions to survey and collect energy-related data that will be used to create the Energy Report Cards (ERCs) for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A stipend for the intern will be provided by CCREEE.

The intern will be based at the EUD/MPSU. The internship program will provide students and/or young professionals with a unique opportunity to work with the energy sector institutions and stakeholders in TCI, gain practical experience in the energy sector, and contribute to the knowledge management functions of the Regional Energy Information System within the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH).

SCOPE OF WORK

The CCREEE in collaboration with the EUD/MPSU will collect specified data and information that will be used to develop the TCI Energy Report Cards which will be made accessible through the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH). The hub may be accessed by registering at https://cekh.ccreee.org. The Energy Report Cards will also offer important support to the CCREEE work program, including support for energy planning and the development of sustainable energy projects.

DESIRED PROFILE

  • Bachelor’s degree or on course for completion of one by December 2024.
  • Interest in the energy sector and willingness to learn about the socio-economic, technical and environmental aspects of the energy landscape; studies in sustainable energy, environmental sciences or related fields are an asset but not a National or resident of one of the relevant countries.
  • Proficiency in English.

INTERNSHIP TIMEFRAME

The internship will run for a period of eight (8) weeks from May 27 to July 19, 2024.

APPLICATION

The intern applicant should send their application (motivation letter and CV) on or before April 19, 2024 to recruitment@ccreee.org and copy eud@gov.tc.

 Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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Caribbean News

Earth Day 2024: Planet vs Plastics – A Call to Action for Reducing Plastic Waste

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As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the DECR is rallying the community to join the global movement towards reducing plastic waste and safeguarding our planet’s future.

Plastic pollution remains one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, threatening the health of our oceans, wildlife, and ecosystems. With an estimated 8 million tons of plastic entering our oceans every year, the need for action has never been more urgent.

This Earth Day, the DECR urges you to take meaningful steps towards reducing plastic consumption and waste. From single-use plastics like straws and bags to microplastics that infiltrate our ocean and food chain, every piece of plastic avoided makes a difference.

By embracing reusable alternatives, recycling responsibly, and advocating for policies that prioritize sustainability, we can all play a role in mitigating the plastic crisis. Together, we can create a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

Join us this Earth Day in committing to reduce plastic waste and protect our precious environment. Together, we can make a difference.

Tune into the DECR’s social media by following us on Instagram @DECR_TCI or on Facebook at DECR Environmental Education & Outreach Group.

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Caribbean News

Senior Teacher Endorses Robot to Assist in Educating Infant and Primary School Students

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KINGSTON, April 17 (JIS):
Senior Teacher at Alpha Infant School, Sabrina Raymond-Hunter, has endorsed the ‘ICHEETAH’ robot, a smart educational AI-powered tool that will advance the way young children learn and interact with technology.
The robot, developed by CHEETAH Toys and More, LLC, is designed to engage and educate children at the infant and early-primary levels of education in a fun and interactive manner, supporting their cognitive development and preparing them for future academic success.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on April 16, Mrs. Raymond-Hunter recognised the potential of this cutting-edge technology and its ability to enhance the learning experience for young children.
“I am really excited about this product. I was able to get this into my classroom of 23 students and they are super excited about this. We have had it for three weeks and this is a game changer,” she said.
The Senior Teacher, who also serves as the school’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Designate, added that the students’ learning has been enhanced since incorporating the technology into her teaching.
“It has enhanced it a lot because you know the boys, especially, once they are happy and find something that is fun, they will want to do it. My boys started off a little bit rocky, but since they got this robot, they are spelling, identifying words and reading,” she noted.
Having yielded positive results from utilising the technology, Mrs. Raymond-Hunter is encouraging other schools who are not yet on board to do so.
“I’m encouraging all the other schools to get on board, and if for any reason you need a demonstration, come to Alpha. I’ll show you exactly how we use it to get our students on board and on level with everyone else. Learning should be fun, and with iCHEETAH it definitely is,” she shared.
The robot is outfitted with several interactive features, including voice recognition, games, and educational content, making learning engaging and exciting for young learners.
CONTACT: SHERIKA HALL

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