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Presentation of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Member state: United Kingdom
Surface area (km2): 948.3
Population: 38 435
Density (/km2): 40,53
Capital: Grand Turk

Location

TCI are located in the Atlantic Ocean, 900 km Southeast of Florida, just below the Bahamas chain and to the East of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti).

Topography

TCI are composed of over 300 islands and cays of which only 8 are inhabited. The two island systems rest upon a deep limestone platform, bisected by a deep water passage. The islands consist largely of unconsolidated sands with extensive marshes and mangrove swamps. Limestone ridges run parallel to the shorelines to form the most prominent topographical features. Flamingo Hill (48 m) on the north western point of East Caicos is the most elevated point. Providenciales is the commercial capital and is the most populated of the islands.

Climate

The Islands enjoy a subtropical climate moderated by trade winds with temperatures ranging from 27°C in the winter to 32°C in the summer months. Water temperature averages 27°C year round. Climate is relatively dry for the Caribbean. The TCI lies in a hurricane track with hurricane season being from June to November.

Economic activities

The economy of the TCI relies on the tourism industry, real estate development and the exportation of seafood. A wide variety of financial services are available, including company formation, offshore insurance, banking, trusts, limited partnerships and limited life companies. The Financial Services Commission regulates, develops and promotes the industry in major world markets.

Political and administrative status

As a UK Overseas Territory, the Head of State is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by a UK appointed Governor. Government is elected every four years through a democratic political system. The constitution of the Islands is currently suspended.

Focus

Management of Protected Areas to Support Sustainable Economies Project (MPASSE).

The MPASSE is jointly financed by the European Commission and the Turks and Caicos Islands National Trust and National Trusts in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands under the 9th EDF.The European Commission is contributing EURO 2,475,000 to the project. Under the project The Turks and Caicos Islands National Trust (the Trust) projects total of EURO 973,840.

The overall objective of the project is to fulfill international environmental agreements and in so doing, support sustainable development in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), the Cayman Islands (CI) and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The purpose of the project is to implement integrated plans for conservation management and sustainable use of protected areas and their surroundings.

The project will deliver the following results:

  1. Improved eco-tourism facilities
  2. Improved environmental awareness among citizenry
  3. Improved conservation measures
  4. Implementation of documented Environmental Management Plans
  5. Improved institutional capacity

In the TCI, the project will enable the TCI National Trust to develop several visitor attractions at Bird Rock Point, Wade’s Green, Little Water Cay and Cheshire Hall. Other aspects of the project at the visit sites include construction of Botanic gardens. development of trails with interpretative signage, waste collection, operation of site to local concessionaires and gift shops for ongoing business and employment creation and creation of park and relaxation areas.