DECR Capacity building for effective MPA Management

On Monday, May 15th, the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) will be embarking on a week-long Atlantic and Gulf Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA) Coral Reef Monitoring Training course.

The course is to provide technical training to DECR Officers, as well as key volunteers and marine conservation partners, to strengthen coral reef monitoring, in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We should not under-estimate the value of the goods and services provided by the marine protected areas (MPAs).  Monitoring of the extensive coral reefs system is of paramount importance to healthy reefs which in turn attracts thousands of tourists to our shores annually,” said Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister for Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Culture and Gaming.

“Having a good understanding of the state of our natural environment is very important for management so that we can respond to any changes or impacts and take necessary actions, if we need to. The AGRRA training will help build capacity within the DECR, so that monitoring programs can become a core activity of the Department. We are very grateful to all the partners collaborating on this project,” said Dr John Claydon, Director for the DECR.

The aim of the training is to provide technical training to participants, providing a framework for coordinated coral reef monitoring to strengthen the management of the Turks & Caicos Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The five-day intensive course, made possible by funding from The "BEST 2.0 Programme",  part of the EU Biodiversity for Life (B4Life) flagship (a funding facility for small-scale and medium-scale field actions in EU Overseas Countries and Territories); will equip participants with appropriate AGRRA methods, the identification of key coral, benthic and fish organisms and their role in the structure and functioning of coral reefs, data collection consistency and accuracy training, site selection options and an overview of data entry analysis.

Minister Higgs commented, “We are grateful to have our officers engage in this vital training that will undoubtedly enhance their knowledge and increase awareness in coral reef monitoring, enabling us to deliver on our mandate to preserve and sustain the natural environment”

The Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Program ( is an international collaboration of scientists and mangers aimed at determining the regional condition of reefs in the Western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. For 20 years, AGRRA has used an innovative regional approach to examine the condition of coral reefs and together with teams of over 100 in country partners and reef scientists, has assessed over 2,000 reef areas.

AGRRA is the first and only program that has developed an extensive open-access regional database on Caribbean coral reef condition. The data have provided valuable baseline data for scientists and government officials responsible for protecting marine coastal areas. AGRRA collaborates with partners to conduct capacity training workshops, field assessments, data analysis and prepare results for publication and public outreach, and is a co-founder of the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), helping to produce Coral Reef Report Cards for a number of countries in the region.

CDB announces keynote speaker for prestigious William G. Demas Memorial Lecture


CDB announces keynote speaker for prestigious William G. Demas Memorial Lecture

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced the keynote speaker for the 18th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture, scheduled to take place on May 23, 2017 at the Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages & Spa in Providenciales. Dr. Daniel Lederman, Lead Economist and Deputy Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank, will speak on the topic, “Thinking Big about Small Economies: From ‘Open and Nimble’ to Talented Workforce”.

An economist and political scientist by training, Dr. Lederman has published numerous books and articles on a broad set of issues related to economic development. These include: financial crises; crime; political economy of economic reforms; economic growth; innovation; international trade; and labour markets.

Lederman is co-author of “Open and Nimble: Finding Stable Growth in Small Economies”, published in March. The book analyses what makes small economies unique and proposes that they are not necessarily prone to underdevelopment and, in fact, can achieve very high income levels.

“We are pleased to add Dr. Lederman to the roster of distinguished William G. Demas Memorial Lecture speakers, who have all been committed to economic development through their respective fields of discipline,” said Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President, CDB. “We look forward to his keynote speech, which is especially relevant to the Caribbean at this time,” he said.

The William G. Demas Memorial Lecture is held in honour of the Late Honourable William Gilbert Demas, second president of CDB, outstanding economic scholar and public servant to the Caribbean.  Mr. Demas held some of the highest offices in major regional institutions, which promote integration through economic and social development.

The William G. Demas Memorial Lecture takes place annually as part of the agenda of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of CDB. The event showcases the best intellectual discourse on topics of relevance to the Caribbean Region.

The 47th Annual Meeting will place May 24-25, 2017 in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The flagship event will highlight the impact of the Bank’s investments in its 19 borrowing member countries. In addition, stakeholders will take part in strategic discussions on resolving some of the Caribbean Region’s most pressing economic and social development issues.

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The Turks and Caicos Civil Service is pleased to have partnered with the Clement Howell High School on hosting a Career Day at the Gustavus Lightbourne Sports Complex in Providenciales on Thursday May 4th, 2017.

The event which was held to assist 3rd Formers in gaining a better understanding of the careers available ahead of selecting their subject areas of concentration for 4th and 5th Form, saw attendance from various areas across government including the Office of the Deputy Governor's Human Resource Directorate, the Attorney Generals Chambers and Office of Public Prosecutions, Customs Department, Dental Department, Sports Department, Police, Culture and Education Departments.

During the course of the day the students were provided with motivational speeches by Deputy Governor, Her Excellency Anya Williams and members of the civil service. In addition, students were provided with advice on which subject areas would prepare them for careers in various areas.

Commenting on the program of activities Deputy Governor Anya Williams said: "It was a pleasure for the civil service to participate in the Clement Howell High School Career Day; to share insight on the various careers that are available in Government and the steps that must be taken in order to prepare for these positions.

We encouraged the students to remain focused and to strive to do well. Reminding them that we live in a competitive society and that in order to succeed they must set a path towards prosperity which could be done by ensuring that at a very young age they made the right choices that would lead them in the correct paths.

As the future leaders of the Turks and Caicos Islands, we encouraged them to do well in their studies which would provide them with access to scholarships and that the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College should be chosen as their next step before seeking to enter the workforce.

We congratulate the staff and students on a successful Career Day and would like to thank them for providing us with an opportunity to make such a contribution."