June 19 through 21, 2017 will see yet another important training initiative for the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR).
The training-workshop is part of the project “Natural Capital Valuation” spearheaded by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), of which 10 Territories in the Caribbean and South Atlantic are involved.
The JNCC, with funding by the UK Government, will be hosting a training workshop which aims to introduce ecological remote sensing and show how it can benefit the Turks & Caicos for their spatial planning and environmental management needs.
“The primary aim of the collaboration between the Government of the Turks and Caicos, through the DECR, and the JNCC, is to assess the value of the natural environment such as beaches, reefs and mangrove forests and the services and goods derived from them, such as the benefits from the local fisheries. This training will not only provide the technical skills to map - through satellite imagery and computer programs - the natural environment and the benefits derived from it; but also how this knowledge can be employed to benefit environmental management and spatial planning in the Turks and Caicos Islands”, said Mr. Ethan Griesbach, Deputy Director for the DECR.
The TCI and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) who will be represented at the workshop have tourism dependent economies, which include beach and dive tourism, boating services and yacht charters, all of which directly benefit from services provided by local ecosystems such as beaches, coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves.
The DECR – JNCC collaboration, which will run through to 2019, will provide significant data, training and information to inform economic development, terrestrial, coastal and marine spatial planning within the islands, and support environmental management and resilience building measures.
In addition to supporting the important tourism sector, Caribbean ecosystems provide recreational opportunities for the local population, protect coastal and inland infrastructure, prevent soil degradation and coastal/beach erosion, provide valuable scientific research opportunities, and support commercial fishing industries that provide economic and social benefits.