The Blue Turtle heads to Turks and Caicos

 

The 2012 winner of JNCC's Blue Turtle Award for nature conservation in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies is Bryan Naqqi Manco from the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).Blue Turtle Award logo

 

Working in nature conservation on the islands for the last 13 years in the private, public and voluntary sectors, Naqqi is deeply committed to his work. He has made a real difference to local neighbourhoods, increasing people’s knowledge about the islands’ rich biodiversity, and educating communities and future generations.

 

By engaging islanders in on-the-ground conservation work through setting up the TCI Environment Club, Naqqi has generated greater awareness and understanding of the islands’ biodiversity and the challenges faced in protecting their unique flora and fauna. He played an instrumental role in the re-discovery of the endemic Caicos Barking Gecko, previously thought extinct and found nowhere else in the world. Naqqi also provided the TCI’s first record of Long Strap Fern and implemented a recovery plan for the Caicos Pine, a regionally endemic tree species threatened with extinction due to invasive pine scale insects.

 

An effective environmental educator, Naqqi has been actively involved in creating awareness of the threats to Rainbow and endemic Pygmy Boas due to a cultural mistrust of snakes. This work has been done through articles, talks and school visits, and his mentorship of young local people has resulted in individuals taking up employment or voluntary work in nature conservation, ensuring a strong future legacy for the islands’ wildlife.

 

JNCC’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Programme Manager Tony Weighell, one of the Award’s judges, said: “Choosing a winner for this award is always difficult because there are so many committed individuals and organisations in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies working to protect biodiversity. Naqqi is a great example of what one person, through years of personal effort, can achieve for conservation especially by working with local communities.”

 

Contact File

 

Tony Weighell

Head of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866852

 

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