16th OCT-EU Forum, Janice Panton MBE

16th OCT-EU Forum, Janice Panton MBE

Janice Panton, MBE, EU Representative of Montserrat called upon the heads of the governments of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories to embrace Systemic Innovation for the sustainable development of their regions. Innovation is the only way to progress for all economies and entities of the European Union and its regions as well as of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union.

Innovation needs to be impregnated in tissue of the economies across all sectors, to lead to the prosperity of the society of the Overseas Countries and Territories. To address systemic issues of the Overseas Countries and Territories, specific innovation approach and particular set of actions need to be taken to have innovation as a real driver of the economy and wider of the society. This specific approach has been recognised and developed to be implemented as Systemic Innovation for Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union.

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QR Code labelling of products made from Inuit sealskins

QR Code labelling of products made from Inuit sealskins

The EU recognizes that seal hunting is an integral part of the socio-economy, nutrition, culture and identity of Inuit and other indigenous communities. Geographically speaking, the relevant areas in this respect are primarily Greenland, Nunavut and Northwest Territories in Canada. It is recognized that seal hunting provides a major contribution to the subsistence and development of indigenous peoples in these areas: providing food and income to support the life and sustainable livelihood of the community, preserving and continuing the traditional existence of the community.

For these reasons the EU legislation allows under certain conditions for the placing on the EU market of seal products, which result from hunts conducted by Inuit.

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Intervention du Député Maurice Ponga au BRUZZ Nouvelle-Calédonie

Intervention du Député Maurice Ponga au BRUZZ Nouvelle-Calédonie

Discours d’introduction par le Député Européen Maurice Ponga à l’occasion du BRUZZ sur la Nouvelle-Calédonie, le 6 novembre 2017.

Monsieur le Président du Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie,

Mesdames, Messieurs,

Chers amis,

Je suis heureux d’être présent aujourd’hui avec vous pour cet évènement qui met à l’honneur la Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Comme vous le savez Bruxelles est à plus de 20 000 km de Nouméa, ce qui rend la communication parfois compliquée. Alors je suis content qu’un tel évènement ait lieu car il permet de renforcer les liens entre la Nouvelle-Calédonie et l’Union européenne.

Je suis de ceux qui défendent une relation approfondie et privilégiée entre l’Union européenne et ses PTOM.

Les PTOM devraient être selon moi des ambassadeurs de l’Union européenne dans leur région respective et ainsi faire rayonner les valeurs et principes européens sur tous les océans.

Mais les PTOM de par leurs atouts et spécificités peuvent également être des laboratoires d’expérience pour l’Europe. Je pense notamment en matière environnementale ou encore, énergétique, mais les domaines sont nombreux.

La Nouvelle-Calédonie a développé une véritable stratégie en matière d’innovation au service d’une économie durable et respectueuse de sa diversité biologique.

Cette dernière pourrait devenir un centre d’excellence européen dans la région Pacifique. Et j’en suis convaincu, le Pacifique est une région d’avenir et l’Europe doit y porter une attention toute particulière. C’est une région géostratégique à plusieurs niveaux et l’Union européenne se doit d’y être présente.

Je vous remercie.

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Reconstruction of EU Overseas Countries and Territories hit by hurricane

Reconstruction of EU Overseas Countries and Territories hit by hurricane

This letter from the European Parliament (EP) is requesting the European Commission (EC) to treat both Sint Maarten and Saint Martin equally with regards to the EU funding they can access for the reconstruction of the entire island. The French side due to its status as a European OR has access to many EU funding sources such as the solidarity fund and the newly adopted natural disaster fund that offer financial assistance for reconstruction after natural disasters. Last Wednesday during a debate at the EP many Dutch and French MEPs reiterated the need for the equal treatment of both sides of the island. The message being that we are all EU citizens and should therefore in times of dire need be treated equally and not abandoned by the EU. The Commissioner present promised after the debate to do all within his power to help. Although this will be a long process, it is a battle worth fighting, not only for Sint Maarten, but for islands, such as, Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba, Statia, BVI and TCI that have the same status as we do on the Dutch side. We have all been hit by hurricane Irma and need to do all within our power to acquire external assistance in order to rebuild our countries in a more sustainable manner to the paradises they have always been.

Original article

By Carol Voges

development strategy Caribbean news European Commission feature news europeanunion-en Sint Maarten Carol Voges

EU assistance for hit islands

EU assistance for hit islands

Hurricane Irma has left a trail of devastation across many countries…We stand in full solidarity with all those in the Caribbean… For as long as it takes. Last week we mobilised our emergency response tools and our 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been in continuous coordination with our EU Member States on any assistance required. Today additional EU funding is on its way. We have now released an initial amount of humanitarian assistance of €2 million for the most affected islands in the Caribbean. This will help support key sectors such as water and sanitation, health, waste management and logistics. Further EU funding for reconstruction efforts is of course available in terms of longer term assistance. This new support comes on top of our EU Copernicus satellite support, which has been providing essential mapping services since last week. EU humanitarian experts deployed across the region continue to help the local authorities and coordinate aid deliveries. Let me make it clear that any country in the region can request our help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We stand ready to provide any further assistance to the affected countries. Read more

Caribbean news europeanunion-en
Learning from EC ACP programmes on Science, Research and Innovation

Learning from EC ACP programmes on Science, Research and Innovation

OCTA Innovation was delighted that the Robert Burmanjer Head of Unit in the Knowledge, Performance and Results Task Force of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation & Development attended the 2IC. He shared invaluable knowledge of the EC’s research and innovation policies and programmes in African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations who are members of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement (2000-2020).

Mr Burmanjer emphasised that Research and Innovation are recognised by the European Union in meeting the challenge of nearly all of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, as they lay the foundations for new approaches, solutions and technologies to identify, clarify and tackle local and global problems.

The proposed European Consensus on Development blueprint for aligning the European Union’s development policy with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) reflects this importance.

Article 86 states that: “the EU and its MS will continue investing in research and development in and for developing countries, including enhancing national innovation systems; to strengthen measurable impacts on progress towards the SDGs through responsible research and innovation approach including education for science.”

Mr Burmanjer described some of the main programmes financed by the European Development Fund over the last 10 years to support Research, Science, Technology and Innovation in ACP countries. They include a project to enhance capacity building in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, demonstrating the added value of a mutually reinforcing capacity building and network development. Under this programme, trainees from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands also received training at Papua New Guinea’s National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). A Material Transfer Agreement, ensured that this transfer of knowledge continues in the long-term.

The ‘Improving Innovation Capacities in the Caribbean’ (INVOCAB) programme is building and strengthening educational science capacities in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), specifically Science Education, as an enabler for poverty reduction, growth and socio-economic development of Caribbean countries. It is improving teaching quality in science subjects at both primary and secondary levels, and stimulating interest and performance of students in selected science subjects.

We very appreciate chance of learning of and working with Mr. Robert Burmanjer, EC DEVCO Head of unit so versatile in different aspects of innovation, capacity building and knowledge sharing. You may watch video .

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New OCTA Presidency

New OCTA Presidency

Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, is the new Chair of OCT Association, a position that TCI last held in 2003 under the leadership of the Hon. Derek Taylor.

Mrs Cartwright-Robinson, an attorney, was born in the Bahamas to Turks and Caicos Islands parents who were working there. Her family returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands when she was six. She replaces outgoing Chair, Prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman.

During the 15th OCT-EU Forum, Mrs Cartwright Robinson signed the programming document for the Turks and Caicos for 11th EDF funds: “I am pleased that the focus of the 11th EDF harmonizes with my Government’s agenda for vocational training, climate change and marine biodiversity, which are highlighted in the Change Document, our manifesto,” she said.

The Premier added: “I will be establishing a steering committee to swiftly implement the programmes of the 11th EDF and which will ensure that there are appropriate levels of monitoring and management of the programme targets.”

Aruba news OCTA Turks and Caicos Islands europeanunion-en Conferences
Aruba hosts OCT-EU Forum

Aruba hosts OCT-EU Forum


Prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman, Chair of OCTA, hosted the 15th OCT-EU Forum in Oranjestad, February, 20-24th, 2017.

The strengthening of relations between different OCTs and with the European Union were themes of this year’s Forum. The programming of regional and thematic funds of the 11th European Development Fund also topped the agenda.

The ОСТА Ministerial Conference and trilateral meetings are organised in the margin of the OCT-EU Forum. The OCT-EU Forum was chaired by the European Commission while the OCTA Ministerial Conference was chaired by Aruba.

The Forum was an opportunity for Aruba to showcase its best innovative practice, notably in renewable energy and creative industries. An Energy Learning Tour was organized of the solar park and Windpark Vader Piet as well as the Cosecha San Nicolas which is a centre for design, creativity and craftsmanship.

Aruba news European Commission europeanunion-en