TURKS AND CAICOS WEEKLY NEWS
THE TURKS and Caicos Islands and 11 other overseas countries and territories (OCTs) will benefit from €40 million earmarked for sustainable energy and marine biodiversity projects.
The news came when leaders of several OCTs met at a resilience summit held in St Maarten on October 25.
The high-level summit marked the beginning of a Caribbean regional programme which deals with three areas - resilience, marine biodiversity and sustainable energy.
During the event, the participating countries officially signed the EU programme, which made the cash available from the European Development Fund (EDF).
The funds will now be accessible for individual governments to use over the next five years to invest in sustainable energy and for the protection of marine life.
The programme, which relates to the development agenda of the European Union, concentrates on empowerment of communities.
It will benefit the Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saint Barthélemy, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten.
Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson joined her overseas counterparts at the meeting and discussed the way forward under the theme, ‘Unite, prepare, adapt’.
After catastrophic climate events last year in the Caribbean, the need for more innovative leadership was stressed at the conference.
Premier Robinson shared the TCI’s initiatives thus far in its creation of a climate change policy, training for policy makers in embedding disaster risk reduction and climate change action and the move towards protecting the environment including the ban on single use plastic bags and the move towards further bans on plastic and Styrofoam.
She noted that the region must lead in being climate smart through the education of its people and in taking forward initiatives that will preserve the environment.
The premier underscored that although many countries desire to rebuild more resiliently and climate smart, it is costly.
"Building back better costs money, we must address this,” she said.
"We must seek to diversify our small economies as far as we are able and we must be responsive to the regional crisis last year and proactive for the years to come.”