Our Ocean EU ACP

Our Ocean EU ACP

Our Ocean‘ Conference of the European Union and the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states reaffirmed the support to the implementation of SDG 14 and have stressed the commitment to an ambitious, long-term vision of protection, valorisation, and sustainable use of our oceans, as well as to sustainable blue growth. access, use, and management of vital marine resources, Confirmed needs and commitment to strengthen ocean governance worldwide, reduce pressure on the oceans, improve ocean research and data; and to reinforce actions for sustainable inclusive growth of the blue economy for the benefit of all. Read  & read more

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Kedell Worboys MBE – preserving St Helena’s pristine environment

Kedell Worboys MBE – preserving St Helena’s pristine environment

 

Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, representative of the Government of St Helena in the United Kingdom and member of the Executive Committee of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), is committed to protecting St Helena’s environment and its rich fauna, flora and marine life.

As former President of OCTA Executive Committee, she chaired in February 2016 a Climate Change workshop in Brussels where she strongly put the case for preserving the OCTs’ unique biodiversity and pristine environment for the benefit of St Helena’s sustainable tourism development. 

 

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EU relations with  independent countries of the Caribbean

EU relations with independent countries of the Caribbean

The EU has historically maintained strong relations with the Caribbean. This stems in large part from the colonial presence of European countries in the region; many are still present through Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

The EU’s relations with the 16 independent Caribbean countries are shaped by various overlapping institutional frameworks, governing political relations, trade and development.

The 16 are members of the Cotonou Agreement (2000-2020) – the EU’s partnership agreement with  a group of 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The related European Development Fund (EDF) – revised every five years – provides national and regional development funding for ACPs. The current EUR 346 million regional envelope for the Caribbean under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) prioritises: regional economic cooperation and integration; adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, environmental disaster management and renewable energy promotion and security and crime prevention across the region.

It is complemented by the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), covering trade related issues and the 2012 Joint Caribbean EU Partnership Strategy, dealing with political issues.

The EU-CARIFORUM EPA is a pioneering agreement in the international trading system.Through the EPA, the two regions aim to build on their long-established economic ties to foster growth, jobs and development in the Caribbean.

The 2012 Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy is a structured framework for broader and deeper dialogue and cooperation, strengthening the political dimension of the relationship alongside the more traditional existing trade and development aspects. It intensifies cooperation in a number of core areas of mutual interest: regional integration, reconstruction of Haiti, climate change and natural disasters, crime and security and joint action in multilateral fora.

 

 

 

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Montserrat’s Energy Policy Forefront at EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference

Montserrat’s Energy Policy Forefront at EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference

 

The 2016 EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference took place in Barbados.

The conference run from October 10-11th, 2016. It is a joint EU-CARICOM/CARIFORUM initiative which is designed to foster partnerships between the European Union, the Caribbean, development partners and the private sector. Furthermore, the conference also worked towards unfolding the potential of the Caribbean region; and leveraging investment towards achieving the region’s renewable energy goals.

Montserrat’s renewable energy policy, championed over the last two years by The Honourable Minister with responsibility for Energy, Paul Lewis, was today a key feature at the conference.

Delegates at the conference were treated to a presentation delivered by Minister Lewis, as part of a Ministerial panel, that gave more insight into Montserrat’s renewable energy plans and actions thus far, to encompass geothermal development and solar.

Full article

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OCTs eligible for thematic chapter of EU’s Development Cooperation

OCTs eligible for thematic chapter of EU’s Development Cooperation

 

The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) can take part in projects financed under the thematic chapter of the European Union’s Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).

The instrument is fostering sustainable economic, social and environmental development as well as promoting democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human right in developing countries.

The DCI (2014-20) is divided into three parts: a geographic envelope benefitting 46 countries around the global: South Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. It also contributes to the achievement of other EU external action goals, in particular fostering sustainable economic, social and environmental development as well as promoting democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights and promotion of Pan-African cooperation.

The DCI budget breakdown is: EUR 11.8 billion for the geographic programmes, EUR 7 billion for thematic programmes and EUR 845 million for the Pan African programme.

There are two categories of thematic programmes: ‘Global Public Good and Challenges’ and an envelope for Civil Society and Local Authorities.

The Global Public Goods and Challenges chapter addresses environmental issues and climate change, sustainable energy, human development, – including health, education, gender equality, employment skills, social protection and social inclusion – as well as economic development-related aspects such as growth, jobs, trade, private sector engagement, food security and migration and asylum.

Its precise budget breakdown is: environment and climate change EUR 2 million; sustainable energy, EUR 800 million; human development, EUR 1.26 million; food security and sustainable agriculture and fisheries, EUR 1.79 million and migration and asylum, EUR 450 million.

The Civil Society and Local Authorities envelope promotes an inclusive and empowered civil society and local authorities, increases awareness and mobilisation on development issues and strengthens the capacity for policy dialogue on development.

Entities eligible to apply for funding include partner countries and regions and their institutions and decentralised bodies in the partner countries: municipalities, provinces, departments and regions, joint bodies set up by partner countries and regions with the community, non state actors, international organisations and EU agencies.

Find out more

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Covenant of Mayors – a foundation for Smart communities

Covenant of Mayors – a foundation for Smart communities

 

Communities seeking to participate in European Union funding opportunities for Smart cities – such as lighthouse projects for Smart communities – are advised to sign up to the EU’s Covenant of Mayors ahead of making applications.

The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is an EU initiative started in 2008, bringing together local and regional bringing authorities to implement the EU’s climate and energy objectives on their territory.

New signatories pledge – on a voluntary basis – to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to adopt an integrated approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The Covenant of Mayors now has 6,958 signatories within the EU. They share and learn from initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and increase access to secure sustainable and affordable energy.

In order to translate their political commitment into practical measures and projects, Covenant signatories commit to submitting, within two years following the date of the local council decision, a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake. The plan features a Baseline Emission Inventory to track mitigation actions and a Climate Risks and Vulnerability Assessment.

The adaptation strategy can either be part of the SECAP or developed and mainstreamed in a separate planning document. This bold political commitment marks the beginning of a long-term process with cities committed to reporting every two years on the implementation progress of their plans.

The European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) instrument – a funding tool of the European Investment Bank (EIB) – is supporting Covenant signatories.

ELENA grants help local authorities structure their energy efficiency or renewable energy investment projects in the most efficient ways so they can attract finance from local banks and other sources.

There is no call for proposals as local authorities can submit their project to the EIB at any time.

The Covenant of Mayors

 

 

 

 

 

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Covenant of Mayors – a foundation for Smart communities

Covenant of Mayors – a foundation for Smart communities

 

Communities seeking to participate in European Union funding opportunities for Smart cities – such as lighthouse projects for Smart communities – are advised to sign up to the EU’s Covenant of Mayors ahead of making applications.

The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is an EU initiative started in 2008, bringing together local and regional bringing authorities to implement the EU’s climate and energy objectives on their territory.

New signatories pledge – on a voluntary basis – to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to adopt an integrated approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The Covenant of Mayors now has 6,958 signatories within the EU. They share and learn from initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and increase access to secure sustainable and affordable energy.

In order to translate their political commitment into practical measures and projects, Covenant signatories commit to submitting, within two years following the date of the local council decision, a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake. The plan features a Baseline Emission Inventory to track mitigation actions and a Climate Risks and Vulnerability Assessment.

The adaptation strategy can either be part of the SECAP or developed and mainstreamed in a separate planning document. This bold political commitment marks the beginning of a long-term process with cities committed to reporting every two years on the implementation progress of their plans.

The European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) instrument – a funding tool of the European Investment Bank (EIB) – is supporting Covenant signatories.

ELENA grants help local authorities structure their energy efficiency or renewable energy investment projects in the most efficient ways so they can attract finance from local banks and other sources.

There is no call for proposals as local authorities can submit their project to the EIB at any time.

Covenant of Mayors

 

 

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Sharing for innovation in environmental risk mitigation

Sharing for innovation in environmental risk mitigation

 

Some kinds of Innovation can be expensive for small enterprises in smaller territories. The large projects under Bo Aruba and Sint Eustatius the solar park project are evidence of the scale of meaningful work that smaller enterprises cannot undertake but can benefit from. Cost factors are perhaps the most important single barrier to technology transfer to smaller enterprises. While the bulk of the literature on seems to focus upon access to finance within the OCTs there have been isolated but very valuable cases of innovation support and transfer without the need for significant cash outlay from the government or smaller enterprises. One of the important characteristics of climate change, particularly in small island tourist-based territories, is that they affect both large and small enterprises at the same time.

When large enterprise address environmental risks, they simultaneously addresses the problems faced by smaller ones. In several cases, the benefits can be passed on as part of corporate social responsibility or at a marginal cost to smaller enterprises. The CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa in Anguilla is one example of this, where it provided water to residents during a drought in that territory. The Cooper Island Beach Resort is another such example where it engages community and tourist involvement in waste management and food production.

Going forward, the OCTs must explore of the symbiotic relationships that can be formed between large enterprises and smaller ones in the area of innovation for environmental risk mitigation. Co-operatives and similar associative structures are another method of reducing the cost of innovation per user. Co-operatives are democratically organised, member-based business structures founded upon the principle of sharing. Co-operatives can amass sums of money from their members to acquire technologies that can be communally used, operated and maintained. Co-operative structures exist within the agricultural sectors of several of the OCTs but several countries noted that there is a need for strengthening the movement and for refocusing them upon environmental risk mitigation, obtaining common technologies and for diffusing knowledge on best practice within specific sectors. These will be explored for agriculture and fisheries among the OCTs.

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Research: Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

Research: Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

 

‘Black and Bloom’ project explores how microorganisms help to determine the pace of Arctic melting.

Researchers are fanning out across the Greenland ice sheet this month to explore a crucial, but overlooked, influence on its future: red, green and brown-coloured algal blooms. These darken the snow and ice, causing it to absorb more sunlight and melt faster.

The £3-million (US$4-million) Black and Bloom project aims to measure how algae are changing how much sunlight Greenland’s ice sheet bounces back into space. “We want to get a handle on just how much of the darkness is due to microbes and how much to other physical factors”, such as soot or mineral dust, says Martyn Tranter, a biogeochemist at the University of Bristol, UK, and the project’s principal investigator.

Team scientists arrived near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, this week for 6 weeks of observations. The work will continue for two more summers, exploring different parts of the ice sheet. Ultimately, the scientists hope to develop the first deep understanding of  how biological processes affect Greenland’s reflectivity.

Full article.

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Green Aruba 2016 – November 17th and 18th

Green Aruba 2016 – November 17th and 18th

Green Aruba is an annual conference born in 2010 with the specific aim to place dedicated emphasis on Aruba’s energy transition to 100% fuel independence. Besides showcasing Aruba’s progress and challenges to the accelerated penetration of renewables in the total energy mix, Green Aruba also exhibits the experiences and knowledge of other institutions and island nations in this field. Over the past six years, Green Aruba has evolved into a practical and valuable well-known platform within the region for the exchange of information and applied knowledge on sustainable and best practices for the shift to cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy sources and resources.

Green Aruba us a perfect example of innovation and creativity at Overseas Countries and Territories. Aruba is a leader in driving sustainable island growth.

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