The United Kingdom Government’s Darwin Plus funding agency has just announced funding for 17 conservation projects worth more than $4.5 million in the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). The Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) is proud to announce that the Turks & Caicos Islands have successfully secured four projects with our various project partners.
Together, the DECR and SAERI will be implementing a 2-year project entitled ‘Developing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools for Turks and Caicos’. Through an innovative integrated, stakeholder-led approach - connecting science and communities, this project builds a Territory to Territory partnership between SAERI in the Falklands Islands and DECR in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to Develop Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools for TCI to feed into long-term planning and decision-making in the marine environment.
Similarly, the DECR will be working with partners to restore and safeguard wetlands of the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). The project aims to improve ecological status and climate-resiliency of wetlands through better recognition, protection, and restoration of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem functions at key sites across the Caribbean UKOTs.
The third awarded project, Sustainable solutions for Sargassum inundations in Turks & Caicos, aims to assess the macro-algae beach from environmental and socio-economic perspectives and implement viable, sustainable, management strategies benefiting the natural environment and reducing dependence on oil.
Finally, the DECR will be collaborating on a project that considers regional-scale marine conservation through multi-territory tracking of frigate birds. The project aims to improve the ability of managers and policy makers in the Caribbean UKOTs, and more widely, to recognize, designate and protect vulnerable ecosystems offshore, nearshore and onshore.
The Minister for Environment, Hon. Minister Ralph Higgs, would like to thank the collaborating partners, Darwin and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who administer the fund, with additional funding support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development for the funding award.