Nice example of sharing good practice, when on World Tourism Day St Maarten promotes Saba pride in its tourism product and the cleanness of its neighbor Saba Read more
Saba Innovation Manager, Menno van der Velde, is working on turning opportunities into the actions primarly strengthening renewable energy capacities and social housing. Menno has also strong influence on nature conservation, marine protection, sustainable fishery, improving organic farming and inspiring a new generation of creativity while reinforcing the values of traditional craftsmanship and art forms.
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The unspoiled queen, slogan of Saba, is reflecting very well its genuine beauty and charm. Saba is indeed a great place to admire the nature, to do diving, to do trekking to the top of the volcano, but also to enjoy in truly warm hospitality, the finest cuisine and exceptional atmosphere. Saba is one of the European Union Overseas Countries and Territories. This constitutional municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is at the same time the smallest Dutch Caribbean island and its highest point.
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Saba Innovation Manager, Menno van der Velde, is working on turning opportunities into the actions. Saba is gradually increasing its renewable energy sources and Menno is very proud stating that his island is moving to be 100% energy sustainable island. High tasks are including having hurricane proof buildings and having social housing on this hurricane prone island. However actions do not stop there as there are simultaneous actions on further recycling and waste treatment, activities in enhancing fishery, marine protection and diving, improving the transport and establishing Saba as favourite Caribbean Eco tourism destination.
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The hurricanes Irma and Maria caused significant damage on Caribbean Islands. Because of destroyed connections, trade and tourist flows have stopped almost entirely. A temporary ferry connection was established between Saba, Statia and St. Kitts. St. Kitts is connected to international and local air links which can help to revitalise tourism. This service provides the opportunity for visitors and locals to travel between the islands, which creates the possibility for the tourism industry to survive during a difficult period. This agreement would not be possible without the cooperation and assistance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands.
To support entrepreneurs, Dutch government secured 2.48 million euros available to the governments. Entrepreneurs can ask for a refunding request in case they have lost a large part of their turnover due to the consequences of the hurricane. With this scheme, the government helps companies interested in tourism to overcome this difficult period of reconstruction.
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, the Saba’s Ariport, is recognised as one of the most scenic airports (Travel Galleries, Privatefly 2017) and is known all over the world having the shortest commercial runway in the world, only 400m long. Jet aircraft are unable to land at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, due to the runway length, but small propellor aircraft and helicopters can land there.
The airport’s risky reputation arises from the airport’s physical position: it is flanked on one side by high hills; and on the runway’s other side and both ends, cliffs drop into the sea. Due to the island’s vertical shape, this strip makes for one of the trickiest landings (and take offs) in the world. Simply seeing Saba from the air makes for one of the most fascinating sites in the world, too.
Just a 20 minute ride from St. Maarten, Saba is worth a visit for the air experience alone.
This innovative project implemented in Saba is a sequel to the Housing Vision 2012-2015 with the same objective: providing a framework to be able to meet the housing need of Saba residents in the years to come. It aims to support the improvement of the living conditions of low income residents and reduce poverty on the island as well as help vulnerable groups in the society, in particular single mothers.
The program provides adequate and accessible infrastructure and services for socially deprived groups, supplying houses befitting the needs, and to establish a framework to meet th.e housing needs of Saba’s residents in the following years, ensuring a future-proof housing environment. An adequate organization is necessary to undertake the actions aimed at a supply of houses befitting the need and a future-proof social housing situation and physical housing environment.
Support, coming from both EDF 9 and EDF 10, is implemented via the sector budget support modality from December 2013 until December 2020 and is about EUR 2.8 million.
Saba is paying high attention to the biodiversity protection. Attention is paid to having sustainable and environmentally-sound fishery. The fisheries ecology includes implementation of responsible fishery and stock enhancement technologies and protocols but also augmentation of the fishery yields and advance basic knowledge about wild stocks. Menno van der Velde, Saba Innovation Manager is active in enhancing research for finding innovation solution for the capture of the Lionfish which is an invasive sort. Currently, popular wording is: “if you may not kill it, eat it”. Particularity lays in the fact that lion fish has been recognised as a delicious culinary speciality. But Menno is working also on innovation traps to enhance lobsters fishery. Namely in Saba lobster harvesters land their catches on the traditional way sinking baited traps to the ocean floor. There is a need of developing traps with enhanced protection of the lobster against the sharks.
The energy policy for Saba was developed through a robust process of technical studies, analysis, stakeholder consultations and a participatory consensus-building process. These culminated in the ‘Social development plan 2014–2020’ and ‘Saba’s energy sector strategy’. The vision is to become a 100% sustainable energy island, ensuring that energy comes from local renewable energy sources, and is affordable and reliable.
While energy independence is the main priority of the official energy policy, the cross-cutting strategies focus on four main pillars: sustainability, affordability, energy independence and reliability of the system. In particular, equitable access to and quality of energy for all sectors of society, particularly the poor, is an overarching goal. Specifically, the social development plan (SDP) states that energy independence is vital to the island’s economic stability and quality of life. It also establishes energy efficiency as a key step in making energy more affordable.
Saba’s energy policy aims at achieving affordable and sustainable energy supply for everyone. It is coherent with policies on infrastructure, poverty reduction, quality of life and social welfare. It also contributes to the overall objectives of protection and sustainable use of Saba’s natural resources, supporting sustainable and inclusive growth. As for all municipalities and provinces of the Netherlands, Saba’s energy policy is bound by the energy policy objectives of the Netherlands.
The OCTA Innovation International Conference took place in Ponta Delgada, Azores on 11-14 April 2017. It gathered representatives of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTs), the government of the Azores, the European Commission and innovation experts to look at how innovation is spurring sustainable development in small islands and to develop cooperation and future initiatives.
The pillars and values that are the basis of a society were considered as well as the capacities and needs of all stakeholders to underpin them. The implementation of different types and different levels of innovation have been under consideration. The vision of an economically prosperous and inclusive society should be based on innovation and entire collaboration between public and private actors. Innovation should support all stakeholders in society, in both economic and social fields and is perceived as crucial for tackling the issues of natural resources, climate change and sustainable development. The governments have to ensure enabling conditions for propelling innovation. Innovation Managers of the Overseas Countries and Territories of European Union, active members of OCTA Innovation, assembled in the Azores, commit themselves to feeding these dynamics.
Governments must take the lead in systemic innovation across all sectors; fostering partnerships between public and private entities and knowledge sharing and capacity-building. The ambition is to grow a number of thematic and regional centres of excellence among OCTs with a focus on those sectors where individual OCTs are already leading the way, and to share expertise among the OCTs and with regions.
Innovation Managers: Anguilla, Bren Romney; Aruba, Bianca Peters; Bonaire, Dianne Boelmans; British Virgin Islands, Lizette George; Cayman Islands, Jamaal Anderson; Curaçao, Fiona Curie; Falkland Islands, Michael Betts; French Polynesia, Bran Quinquis; Greenland, Lars Balslev; Montserrat, Angela Estwick; New Caledonia, Jean-Michel Le Saux; Pitcairn, Leslie Jaques; Saba, Menno Van der Velde; St. Barthélemy, Pascal Peuchot; St. Helena, Niall O’Keeffe; St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, Olivier Gaston; St. Eustatius, Roy Hooker; St. Maarten, Jude Houston; Turks and Caicos Islands, Alexa Cooper-Grant; Wallis and Futuna, Carole Manry.
OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck: email@example.com