Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The Turks and Caicos Islands (U.K. territory)

The Turks and Caicos Islands participate in the regional beach monitoring project the ‘Managing Beach Resources and Planning for Coastline Change, Caribbean Islands’ (old name: ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Eastern Caribbean (COSALC) project’). A summary report ‘Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean Islands - COSALC project activities 1996-97’ (published as No.6 in the CSI Info series) and a report ‘Planning for Coastline Change - COSALC project review, 1998’ were submitted to the Turks and Caicos Islands authorities. A workshop on beach management was held in Providenciales in 1997; the leader of the COSALC project attended.

The leader of the COSALC project assisted the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1998 by providing expert advice on a proposed dredging project at Leeward-going-through channel and again in 2001.

A slide presentation illustrating the effects of Tropical Storm Iris and Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn on the islands of the eastern Caribbean in 1995, including slides on the Turks and Caicos Islands, was put together in 1997. Public information material distributed in 1998 included: a poster ‘The Sea at your doorstep’, three articles in the Sea Grant in the Caribbean Newsletter (January-December 1998), and ‘Coping with Beach Erosion’ (published as Coastal Management Sourcebook 1). A follow-up ‘Coping with Shoreline Erosion in the Caribbean’ was published in Nature & Resources vol.35 no. 4 in December 1999. A summary of the project – its goals, achievements and future direction was issued in September 2000.

The Turks and Caicos Islands participated in the first phase of a joint Caribbean Development Bank/UNESCO project on ‘Institutional Strengthening in Beach Management in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Turks and Caicos Islands’ (October 1999-March 2000). The focus of this project was strengthening of the on-going COSALC beach monitoring programme. An Interim (phase I) Report on the project was issued in April 2000. Phase II started in June 2000. A final report on the institutional strengthening project ‘Monitoring Beach Changes as an Integral Component of coastal Management’ was published in 2003 as CSI info 15. It contains a section specific to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In November 1999 a manual on beach monitoring, customized for the Turks and Caicos Islands, was submitted to the national authorities. New beach monitoring software was installed and local personnel were taught how to use it to compile a beach-change database. The status of the beach monitoring programme was determined and appropriate action to re-instate monitoring was taken. During a COSALC consultant visit in February 2000 software was again updated and personnel were instructed in its use. Customised manuals on beach monitoring were prepared and distributed. A workshop on ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Beach Management’ was held in the Turks and Caicos Islands in February 2001.

A ‘Remote Sensing Handbook for Tropical Coastal Management’ was published in May 2000 as Coastal Management Sourcebook 3. It is partially based on research conducted in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A resource book for schools of the Caribbean region ‘Glimpses of the Blue Caribbean’ was published jointly with the Associated Schools Project, as CSI papers 5, in 2000.

One person from the Turks and Caicos Islands attended a workshop on ‘Furthering Coastal Stewardship in Small Islands’ held in Dominica in July 2001. The results were published as CSI papers 11 ‘Wise Practices for Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Small Islands’. The participant from the Turks and Caicos Islands presented a paper on ‘Costal Stewardship in the Turks and Caicos Islands’.

A workshop on ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Beach Management’ was held in in the Turks and Caicos Islands in February 2001.

The problem of migrant Haitian fishermen in Turks and Caicos Islands’ waters was mentioned on the CSI Internet-based ‘Wise Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ forum in November 2001: ‘Organising Fishers to Break the Cycle of Poverty and Resource Degradation’.

A booklet Wise Practices for Coping with Beach Erosion - Turks and Caicos Islands’ was published in 2002. It is one of a series of  public information booklets on beach erosion in the Caribbean produced jointly by UNESCO-CSI, the University of Puerto Rico’s Sea Grant College Program and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The Small Islands Voice project started in January 2002. Its goals are to overcome the isolation of small islands by providing their citizens, including young people, with opportunities to voice their opinions on environmental and development issues in a variety of ways: radio, television, print and Internet-based debate. In this way the general public will be able to contribute to the 10-year review of the ‘Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Islands Developing States’ adopted in Barbados in 1994; and play a more effective role in decision-making in their islands.  The Turks and Caicos Islands is one of the island territories involved in the project through Small Islands Voice Internet-based global forum; correspondents from the Turks and Caicos Islands contributed a paper to a discussion on foreign investment ‘Fostering Development Where it Matters: the Turks and Caicos Islands’ and development ‘Balancing Development and Environment’.

A paper ‘Coastal Land Tenure: A Small-Islands’ Perspective’ was published in March 2003. The situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands was compared with that in other small island states and territories.


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