Green Pages

Knowledge is Power

east-bayBy Brian Riggs, Curator, National Environmental Centre

In late 2001, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government signed an important and far reaching document. It was called the Environmental Charter. That document outlined our country’s commitment to the environment and conservation efforts on behalf of the people of the Islands. The very first guiding principle recognized that all people need a healthy environment in which to live and work, but also that it is the responsibility of all people to help maintain and sustain it.

We are at a crossroads. The Turks & Caicos Islands, still considered one of the most environmentally aware and ecologically pristine countries in the Caribbean, is developing swiftly. Our population is growing rapidly. And that hurried pace is beginning to threaten the very thing that we have treasured for many years.

The Islands are a treasure house of biological diversity. Many of our plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Fortunately, many of the TCI’s most important and sensitive areas have been included within a National Park system that is the envy of our neighbors. The 33 National Parks, Reserves, Sanctuaries and Areas of Historical Interest contain a wealth of natural, historical and spiritual treasures that can sustain our country for generations to come. It is our collective responsibility to preserve them. But the responsibility and the willingness to be the stewards of our natural wonders is not possible without knowledge.

This new section of Times of the Islands is intended to give you that knowledge. Many different groups need to know more about the TCI’s unique environments: teachers and students, civic groups, construction and development companies and, most importantly, our decisionmakers throughout government.

Times of the Islands has been publishing environmental articles of merit for almost 20 years. Its large national and international circulation puts the Turks & Caicos in front of tens of thousands of readers every quarter. And, importantly, this magazine is saved, re-read and passed along for years. Many of its articles are archived on the Web, giving them a circulation that goes far beyond our borders.

Enjoy the upcoming articles. We’ll be telling you about birds and bats and turtles and caves and beaches and plants and hundreds of other aspects of our unique and beautiful country. We’ll tell you about projects and opportunities that can turn our natural wealth into benefits for our entire society.

Don’t forget: We are the stewards of our wild places and the more we know, the more effective stewards we can be. Knowledge is Power.



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Photographer Marta Morton was enjoying another spectacular sunset when she spotted this lovely scene—a picture-perfect clump of Old Man Cacti and the pastel colours of what she later learned were crepuscular rays (see page 18). For more of Marta’s images, turn the pages of this issue and visit www.harbourclubvillas.com.

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