The social, economic, and environmental impact of Covid-19 in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is the focus of a project, which officially launched in the TCI yesterday alongside a set of surveys to capture the views of local communities and businesses.
Photograph: Participants of the press conference to launch the 'RESEMBID Resilient Community Recovery from Covid-19 in the Turks and Caicos Islands' project.
Through the project – Resilient Community Recovery from Covid-19 in the Turks and Caicos Islands – the TCI Government Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) and JNCC are working together with other key project partners, including the TCI Fishing Co-operative, TCI National Trust, and Invest Turks and Caicos to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the islands, with a view to building the resilience of the islands’ communities, economy and environment against future disruption.
The project is designed to provide the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands with a unique opportunity to shape the islands’ economic and environmental recovery from Covid-19, to create a more secure and sustainable future. This process is starting with two surveys, a community survey and a business survey, which are now open:
- The community survey seeks to understand how people’s livelihoods and the environment have been affected by the pandemic. This survey will help to inform the development of training programmes across the islands through a locally led Community Hub established through the project.
- The experiences of businesses in the islands will be collected through a separate business survey, in order to understand how different sectors have been affected by the pandemic and to collect ideas for building a more resilient economy. This survey will inform the development of a Natural Capital Investment Plan to signpost opportunities for sustainable investment in the islands.
Photograph: Dr Ali Cotton (JNCC) presenting at the project launch.
The launch has been welcomed by project partners:
DECR Director Lormeka Williams, MSc, said:
"The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources' remit has expanded with the responsibility of Climate Change; and the environmental and climate pressures following the Covid-19 Pandemic have shown considerable impact in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Resembid Resilient Community Recovery from Covid-19 in the Turks and Caicos Islands project is supporting needs for skills’ training and development within and beyond the Department, to help us recover more sustainably and responsibly from the Pandemic. We look forward to the positive effects and impacts the project will have on those affected by the Pandemic."
TCI Fishing Cooperative Chair Pastor Oscar Talbot, said:
"We are grateful to be a part of this project, as it highlights the importance of sustaining livelihoods post Covid-19 and beyond of the most vulnerable."
Dr Gemma Harper, Chief Executive at JNCC said:
"JNCC is delighted to support this project with our partners in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This project will assess the impact of Covid-19 to build the resilience of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ communities, economy and environment against future disruption. Crucially, local communities and businesses are invited to share their experiences of the pandemic through surveys launched today to shape their islands’ recovery. We look forward to supporting the islands’ communities in creating novel opportunities for sustainable livelihoods through this work."
The project receives funding from the Caribbean OCTs Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID), a €40 million programme financed by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, the development cooperation agency of France.