|U.K. program approves grant for Caicos Pine recovery effort|
|Thursday, 18 March 2010 19:17|
Assurance of the Caicos Pine’s continued study, research and rescue projects are at hand as the U.K. Overseas Territories Environment Program approved a financial grant to the Pine Recovery Project, which now enters the second year of the proposed 10-year plan.
The good news came at a time when continuation of the project was in limbo due to financial constraints.
In a letter to Wesley Clerveaux, director of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, the OTEP panel noted that the “proposal was impressive particularly with the level of stakeholder engagement, the comprehensive approach and the strong sustainability of the project.”
The project proposal mainly focused on continuing the efforts for species recovery of TCI’s national tree.
Based on the approved proposal entitled “Building capacity and awareness to save the National Tree of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” OTEP will provide $224,272, which will run for three years.
The grant will enable the project to continue the efforts to find solutions for the threatened pine ecosystem, rescue pine seedlings in the wild, enhance and expand the ex-situ nursery, GIS mapping, genetic studies, efficacy trial for the application of systemic insecticide to address the scale insect infestations, establishment of plots for controlled burning, and enhancement of the education and awareness aspect of the project.
The TCI Conservation Fund provided the budget for the first year of Phase I of the project that ended late last year, with the National Trust as the lead organization with strong support from the Royal Botanic Garden (RBG) Kew U.K., DECR and Environmental Health Department.
In December, the DECR assumed the lead role in the Caicos Pine Recovery Project following the announcement made by Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams, executive director of the National Trust, on Oct. 29, 2009, to relinquish the lead role for the project.
DECR officials also said that whilst budget was a concern for the time being, they kept the Pine Recovery moving forward, with collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and other organizations such as RBG Kew.
According to DECR officers, the grant, which was rigorous and highly competitive for UK Overseas Territories was one of the six (6) project proposals submitted by the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR).
They also added that the proposal received unconditional approval from the OTEP Review Panel.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 19:23|
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