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World Wetlands Day Clean-up 2024

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#TurksandCaicos, January 18, 2024 – The 2nd of February marks 53 years since the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

The DECR will be hosting a clean-up, with the support of the Turks and Caicos National Trust, to celebrate this important conservation milestone, World Wetlands Day 2024, on Saturday, 03 February 2024.

Join us from 7am to 9am to clean-up our wonderful wetlands and help us protect our them! Be sure to bring along a hat/sunscreen, shoes that can get wet and water in a reusable water bottle.

Clean-up locations:

  • Providenciales
    • Five Cays Wetland (meet at Bugaloos)
    • Wheeland Pond (meet at Froggies)
  • Grand Turk
    • West Road Pond (meet at John Missick parking lot)
  • Middle Caicos
    • Meet at Conch Bar Community Centre

The Turks & Caicos Islands boast the protected North, Middle and East Caicos Nature Reserve, which is an area expanding 210 square miles, declared an International Ramsar Site, and the largest within the UK Overseas Territories.

Restoring and protecting the health of wetland habitats is vital to protect the benefits they provide to our islands. Wetlands perform several functions, including:

  • acting as buffers against coastal storms, waves, and surges;
  • absorbing flood water;
  • stabilising soil/sediment, and reducing erosion;
  • absorbing carbon from the atmosphere;
  • filtrating water;
  • purifying air;
  • supporting biodiversity and nurseries for wildlife;
  • sustaining livelihoods through tourism, and fishing; and
  • enhancing our wellbeing.

The DECR can be contacted at aavenant@gov.tc or 338-4170 for more information.

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Caribbean News

No Room for Failure; Leaders report to UN Security Council on Haiti Stabilisation Mission

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

July 19, 2024 – The new Haitian Government says its focus is on addressing gang violence and food insecurity, ensuring free elections through constitutional and political reform, and rebuilding public trust in the police.

Prime Minister Garry Conille told the United Nations (UN) Security Council recently  that the newly deployed Kenyan police will be crucial to helping control gangs, and moving toward democratic elections, as he described their initial days in the capital “extremely, extremely positive.

“More than ever Haiti must mobilise all the necessary and available resources to make this transition the last one, a transition that could set it on the path toward peace, security and sustainable development,” the PM told the Council.

With the help of the international police force, PM Conille is tasked with stabilising the country in preparation for democratic elections in February 2026. He said Haiti intends to “redefine our approaches” to build “strong and effective institutions” by the time the police leave Haiti.

In February, gangs launched coordinated attacks on government infrastructure, including roads, prisons, and the Port-au-Prince airport, eventually leading then Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign in April.

Violence on the island has resulted in the displacement of 580,000 people, more than half of whom are children, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The World Food Program reports that more than four million Haitians face food insecurity.

The Prime Minister told the Council that the international police force will require “close coordination and constant communication between all the parties involved to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.”

Meanwhile, head of the Kenya-led international force, tasked with curbing gang violence in Haiti, Godfrey Otunge said on Monday that “there’s no room for failure” and that the United Nations-backed police mission was committed to ensuring democratic elections in the Caribbean nation.

“We have a job that we are committed to do, and we intend to achieve this by working closely with Haitian authorities and local and international partners dedicated to a new Haiti.”

The U.N.-backed mission, to which the United States has pledged over $300 million in support, will have 1000 police officers from Kenya, and will be joined by police from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Jamaica.

The force will total 2,500 personnel.

Haitian police chief Normil Rameau also addressed the nation on Monday, saying the U.N.-backed mission is focused on reclaiming all areas from gang control, reinstating police presence in regions lacking authority and assisting Haitians displaced by the gangs to return home.

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Help; Money donated to Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Grenada

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – The relief efforts in countries affected by Hurricane Beryl have been bolstered by a donation of US$800,000, from the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Executive President of the financial institution, Sergio Diaz-Granados said it is hoped that the funds will assist needs during the “critical period” in the immediate aftermath of a “very powerful and destructive Hurricane. The grant serves to address this emergency, through the designated Ministries and official Governmental channels,” in the five countries, he said.

Barbados and Jamaica will each receive $250,000, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will all receive $100,000. The Bank said it is essential that global awareness be elevated about the vulnerability to Climate Change in the Caribbean.

It said “decisive action” needs to be taken to tackle the effects of Climate Change, with emphasis on policies and investments in adaptation, as well as risk management tools, and it will continue to work closely with international partners, to gather data, produce specialised knowledge, innovate, and offer financial solutions to strengthen resilience in the region.

In early July, Hurricane Beryl ripped across the Caribbean, with winds of 150mph tearing roofs from buildings, uprooting trees, and devastating the islands in its path. At least three islands reported that more than 90% of the homes and buildings either destroyed or severely damaged, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported. All three are within the chain of Grenadine Islands, where the hurricane roared into the Caribbean on the southern end of the Windwards, between St. Vincent and Grenada.

Since the devastation, the United Nations (UN) and its partners have launched a US$9 million response plan to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 43,000 people in Grenada and Sanit Vincent and the Grenadines.

UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Simon Springett said “swift action” is imperative to meet the “pressing needs” of people whose homes and livelihoods have vanished overnight, he said.

Mr. Springett, who visited Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after they were struck by Hurricane Beryl, said that the devastation is “immense and heartbreaking,” and he spoke to many families, and It is likely that utilities will take a long time to be restored,” the Resident Coordinator stated.

The response plan will help to both support immediate life-saving and early recovery efforts. The UN and its partners, who are supporting the Governments’ response, have identified shelter, food and health care as being among the top priorities.

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TCI Cabinet Renews Hurricane Insurance, (CCRIF) in May 22, 2024 Meeting

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam chaired the 15th meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday May 22nd, 2024, at the Office of the Governor on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of the Ministers of Education, Tourism and Home Affairs.

At this meeting, Cabinet:

  1. Received a presentation on the National Risk Assessment.
  2. Granted approval for the establishment of a National Land Secretariat; further agreeing for the required amendments to the Ordinance to give effect to it being under the remit of the Governor and the Premier; subject to approval from the United Kingdom.
  3. Granted approval for amendments to be made to Invest Turks and Caicos Islands Agency (Amendment) Bill 2024 which would give the agency the ability to carry out previously approved recommendations.
  4. Granted approval for the waiver of penalty and interest for all HRTT registrants who were assessed during the period February 22nd to March 31, 2024, and an Amnesty Bill to give effect to the decision.
  5. Granted approval for the renewal of the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility Policy, Segregated Portfolio Company for the 2024/2025 Policy Year.
  6. Approved the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2024, with the amendment of a provision that will compel RFI’s to submit CRS forms to verify their due diligence requirements.
  7. Approved the Business Licensing (Extension of Time) Regulations 2024 for online applications to June 30th, 2024.
  8. Granted approval of the Companies and Limited Partnerships (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Bill 2024 and the Administrative Penalty Policy for forward submission to the House of Assembly
  9. Approved the appointment of the following persons to the Promotions and Implementation Committee Credit Union:  President of the Civil Service Association, Dr. Carlton Mills, Rudelle Williams, Drexwell Seymour, Lacal Palmer-Mason, Chalsianna Misick, Claudette Higgs, Shirlen Forbes, Nordia Campbell, Ivan Ssembuya, Ferique Bruce.
  10. Granted approval of the Companies and Limited Partnerships (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Bill 2024.
  11. Noted work being undertaken taken by the Government in respect of Firearms provisions.

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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