Meeting Deputy Government Commissioner Mr. Mervyn Stegers in Statia

Meeting Deputy Government Commissioner Mr. Mervyn Stegers in Statia

Meeting on 28 May 2018 with the Deputy Government Commissioner Mr. Mervyn Stegers and Innovation Manager Anthony Reid was about the support for innovation in entrepreneurship for OCTs stakeholders.

Other issues discussed:

  • Education and competence-building;
  • The company PUM Netherlands senior experts which is a volunteer organisation committed to the sustainable development of small and medium-size enterprises in developing countries and emerging markets
  • Greenhouses: already initial projects developed in schools
  • Agriculture: Statia could eventually use cooperation for salt potatoes growing.
Sint Eustatius news Innovation Missions Jezic von Gesseneck
Waste management plant in Statia

Waste management plant in Statia

St Eustatius is a small island with around 3500 inhabitants. An island on the verge of major developments that has been pending for so long. One of these developments was gifted to the island in 2014. A basic waste facility was built to introduce recycling to the island. For various reasons this recycling facility was never opened for full implementation of recycling.

Today they are celebrating the fact that the facility is open and processing the waste collected from the households, businesses and government offices on a weekly regular schedule. The Dumpsite is being covered and transformed into a large storing area for certain types of waste streams.

Some of the streams they have are: Green glass, Clear glass, Brown glass, Pet plastic, Hdpe plastic, Ldpe Plastic, PP Plastic, E-waste, Electrical waste, Tires, Cardboard, Green waste, Aluminum cans, Tin cans, Metal, Batteries (Lead), Used oils, Construction waste, Clean Styrofoam, and Appliances.

All waste material is weighed at the bridge and registered in the system. Then they monitor the trend of the recycling success. This information should give them a focus point on the areas that needs attention.



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Three Pillars: Intertwining innovation, education and commitment

Three Pillars: Intertwining innovation, education and commitment

OCTA Innovation under leadership of Mr Milan Jezic von Gesseneck (left on the photo) has developed into an innovation think tank committed to best outcomes in island states in the Atlantic and South Pacific. With innovation as the engine of sustainable development, Milan has lead developing innovation, including a new concept in learning, blended education. From his experience of working in developing countries, he developed a learning methodology that brings together most effortless in-job education, with structured distance learning enabling the students on minimal face to face support (often not available on the islands) to gain from the most advanced education tools and gain valuable qualifications.

In the summer of 2017 University of Aruba and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (University of Leuven) signed a 5-year partnership agreement for the Green Faculty at the University of Aruba. Under leadership of Mr Glenn Thodé (middle on the photo) the Green Faculty encapsulates an academic program focused on research in the field of sustainability, and application of new technologies related to green, renewable energy, in combination with economic and social sciences. The Green Faculty is a major leap forward for all region. By welcoming high-level experts and academic staff, the Green Faculty will, no doubt become the hotbed of learning in the Caribbean. Great work Glenn!

From economic hit-man to protector. Emerging from the world of hard, imperial economics where power is unscrupulously used to further interest of global finance, Mr John Perkins (right on the photo) has been reborn into one of the strongest protectors of natural life and resources. Advising small countries and organizations that protect resources and support economics that respects both environment and societal needs, John is using his economic knowledge and commitment to sustainable and circular economy. We love this work.

On the first sight these three approaches are unrelated. But they form the big picture of economic and societal prosperity in the Overseas Countries and Territories, the Three Pillars.

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‘Sunrise Solar Park’ one of the biggest solar parks in the Caribbean Region

‘Sunrise Solar Park’ one of the biggest solar parks in the Caribbean Region

To further raise the sustainability bar in the Aruban energy mix, WEB Aruba N.V recently was handed over 92.000 square meter of land, which was previously owned by the Refinery of Aruba (‘RDA’), following the contract signing of a 5.9 megawatt solar project with partner ISOTRON and the official groundbreaking of the ‘Sunrise Solar Park’ in the east side of the island of Aruba in Lago Heights, San Nicolas.

WEB Aruba is proud to initiate the ‘Sunrise Solar Park’ project. This is a significant event for WEB Aruba because of the 16 million florin investment, and the complete ownership of a project of this magnitude. The Sunrise Solar Park will be one of the biggest solar parks on the island and the Caribbean Region. The solar project is monumental because it states the lowest price achieved for solar photovoltaic (PV) on Aruba to date.

The main focus of the ‘Decentralized Solar Photovoltaic Integrated Project’ is to construct a ground mounted solar PV system in San Nicolas, east side of the island, with a capacity of 5.9 megawatts. In addition to contributing to a more sustainable energy mix, this project supports the government’s agenda of repurposing part of the refinery premises.

This project brings WEB Aruba closer to their goal of completing all solar energy projects that are part of the Aruba Renewable Energy Strategy (‘ARES’) and portfolio. WEB Aruba’s mission is to reach an average of 5% solar energy penetration.

WEB Aruba expresses gratitude to all its departments who have also contributed to the development of this project and also, the Government of Aruba, Utilities Aruba N.V, N.V. Elmar, ISOTRON, Aruba Investment Bank, Brown Lawyers, Refinery of Aruba and CITGO who have played a fundamental role in making the ‘Sunrise Solar Park’ become a reality for the island of Aruba. Find more about Green Aruba

renewable energy Aruba news Bianca Peters Jezic von Gesseneck
Turks and Caicos and Innovation

Turks and Caicos and Innovation

Turks and Caicos are not only the impossibly-white sands of Providenciales lined with myriad resorts and hotels, offering a gateway to sand and diving , some spectacular seafood including authentic conch. It is not only Hemingway’s laid-back atmosphere with with casual sips of rum. 


In parallel it is dynamic prosperous inclusive society with the innovation driven economy. We just received application from Alexa Cooper Grant, Turks and Caicos Innovation Manager. We may read : Dear Milan, I hereby accept your invitation to join the Innovation Studies Programme, whereby I can attain certification as an Innovation Expert. I look forward to completing this progamme for numerous reasons, one of which is to be able to impart the information gain to others here in the TCI and help to build a nation that values the importance of innovation in all pillars of society. This is a great opportunity for me, personally and professionally, and I look forward to confirmation of my participation. Kind Regards Alexa Cooper Innovation Manager Turks and Caicos Islands

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Main challenges and opportunities for the future

Main challenges and opportunities for the future

Similarly to other small economies, the economy is more vulnerable in terms of response to crises. In addition, there are still development challenges due to the archipelago’s geographical position, which entails extra costs for goods and services (transport, logistics, energy), as well as constraints on economic and social integration with other national and EU territories. There is also a lack of critical mass for certain economic, financial or scientific projects. Furthermore, it is difficult to balance the traditional production processes, local living conditions and protection of the environment and ecosystems with the need to boost the local economy in order to compete in a globalised world.
Nevertheless, the region also offers many opportunities due to its geostrategic position and its biodiversity (it is an Atlantic link to other continents). The tourism potential anchored in valuable natural and cultural heritage is also of great importance for the regional economy. The Azores is also exposed to climate change-related phenomena. However, this too can represent an opportunity to develop pilot projects for mitigation and adaption measures, and some such projects are already under way, such as geothermic energy production in the Azores. Read more about EP briefing about Azores
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