The Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) as an active member of the Joint Law Enforcement Taskforce (JLET) is working in collaboration with the Environmental Health Department, the Royal Turks & Caicos Police Force, and others to address the issues surrounding Coal processing and the recent reports on the Coal Kiln burnings in Providenciales.
In the absence of a clear policy, the group will develop one which will inform a long term strategy identifying frequency of enforcement operations (incl. raids), which will assess the current environment damage done to the tropical dwarf forest coverage.
It will see to Monitoring, Control & Surveillance exercises to be coordinated by the enforcement group. The community is recognized as a partner in curtailing this activity and a dedicated number will be provided for persons to make reports on any irregularity noticed. There will also be an intensive education campaign in multiple languages which will seek to sensitize persons on the consequences of coal burning and how this practice can lead to health issues, deforestation, and eventually changes in climate.
In the short term, the Joint Law Enforcement Task Force will continue to conduct comprehensive surveillance exercises using drones to map the scope of this indiscriminate practice, the majority of this mapping has been completed already. Concurrently, there will be inspections and patrols of the sites identified as a means of deterring persons from engaging in this activity, any active sites found will be destroy.
The government is mindful that the persistence of this practice is directly related to the demand by local communities as well as possible illegal export trade. Hence it is therefore seeking the public’s support in combating this issue, by not purchasing “homemade” wood coal.
Nuisance events impacting the health & safety of the public and gross environmental damage, cannot and will not be tolerated.