Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Culture & Gaming - Mapping the Turks & Caicos from Space

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.

For more information about the project, please contact the DECR at 338-4170 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RENEWAL OF NATIONAL PARK LICENSE & CLOSE OF CONCH SEASON

All National Park Users are advised that their National Park License will expire on June 30th, 2017.

The Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) urges all users to renew their license on or before June 30th at their nearest DECR Office to avoid any penalties related to operating a business in a national park without a valid National Park License.   

The DECR would also like to take this opportunity to remind the public of the close of the conch season, on midnight, 14th July 2017. Please note that the export of conch meat will be prohibited during the period of July 15 - October14, 2017.

Only the following exports of conch products will be allowed:

1.       Conch pearls;

2.       Conch shells (size restriction of a minimum of 7 inches; export of 4 or more shells  requires a CITES permit applied for through DECR); and

3.       Conch shell products.

The DECR therefore suggests that all persons make provisions to accommodate the closure of the export season.

The DECR appeals particularly to Hotel owners/managers that all efforts should be made to educate/inform their guests of the particulars of possession for the commencement of the closed season.     

Please contact the department for clarifications pertaining to the above matters at Tel. 338-4170 or emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

World Blood Donor Day June 14th

World Blood Donor Day 2017 will be celebrated on Wednesday June 14th.  Every year on this day the Turks and Caicos Islands joins the rest of the world in highlighting the importance of this venture.

The National Public Health Laboratory/National Blood Bank in the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services, governs such activities and will be operating this year under the theme: “What can you do? with the secondary message: Give blood. Give now. Give often.

This year’s campaign will focus on blood donation in emergencies. In crisis or emergency situations-, the natural human response is “What can I do? How can I help? Therefore we aim to encourage more persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands to donate blood voluntarily and regularly, using the slogan “Give blood, Give now, Give often” The campaign underlines the role every single person can play in helping others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gift of blood. It also focuses on the fact that it is important to give blood regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises.

The objectives of this year’s campaign include:

  • to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood;
  • to engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programs with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies;
  • to promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency preparedness and response activities;
  • to build wider public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood;
  • To celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become new donors as well;
  • To promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability.

The Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human Services the Hon. Edwin Astwood states that “Despite medical and technological advances, since Landsteener discovered the ABO Blood Group system in 1901, blood cannot currently be made, and the only way of getting hold of it is via blood donations from people who give blood”. Hon. Astwood further stated “We don't just need to give blood in the event of tragedies or emergencies. Instead, it should be a normal and routine part of our lives. Regular blood donations mean that there will be sufficient amounts of safe blood in stock. Remember that men can give blood up to four times a year - women up to three times -providing there are at least two months between donations, the need for blood is constant and so is the need for donations”.

Our activities for this year will include the following events:

Monday June 10th 2017 – Health Matters interview, Topic “Facts about blood donation”

Wednesday June 14th, 2017 – Display and brochures on blood donation, blood typing and donor recruitment, blood drive - Cheshire Hall Medical Complex

Thursday June 15th, 2017 – Blood donor recruitment drive at the Men’s Health Conference HJ Robinson High School Auditorium, Grand Turk

Friay June 16th, 2017- Blood donor recruitment drive at the Men’s Health Conference Tropicana auditorium, The Bight, Providenciales

For further information please call: 649-331-7513