OCT to OCT partnership building

OCT to OCT partnership building

This project is a great example of OCT to OCT partnership, here between the Falklands Islands Government Institute (SAERI) and the Government of Montserrat (GoM), to transfer knowledge and skills from the South Atlantic to the Caribbean. This skills and knowledge transfer focuses on information management and Marine Spatial Planning. The project is facilitated by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

The aim of the project is to enhance the GoM’s data collection systems in accordance with best practices for sustainable governance and management and to transfer knowledge and skills from the South Atlantic to the Caribbean.

The objectives of the project are to assist the government of Montserrat to:

1. Formulate a data infrastructure appropriate to the islands needs to support its Marine and Terrestrial spatial planning in the context of environmental management and socio-economic development;
2. Improve the legal framework for sustainable management and use of the ocean resources; and
3. Formulate a strategy to implement Marine Spatial Planning and produce a Marine Spatial Plan in the context of environmental management and socio-economic development.

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Public private partnership for rebuilding Montserrat

Public private partnership for rebuilding Montserrat

To rebuild the economy of Montserrat will require an effort that is both a mix of government policy and private sector execution. This statement is very correct, and you may Read more

Innovation strategy for sustainable growth, Action plan developed and fine-tuned in Public Private consultations and optimal set of the legislative, fiscal and financial measures to rebuild Montserrat in truly public private partnership

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Declaration

Declaration

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: innovation@octa-innovation.eu

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AQUA Montserrat launches volunteer holidays

AQUA Montserrat launches volunteer holidays

 

AQUA Montserrat, the company running aqua sports and conservation-themed aquatic activities in Montserrat, is launching volunteeer holidays – AQUA Blue. The bespoke packages are available to groups of six participants, and include accommodation, local travel and food (excluding flights). Prices start at £700 per week whereas four week packages start at £2,500 per person.

These all-inclusive experiences are for individuals from around the world, ranging from gap year students to those in between jobs or research students interested in business administration, sustainable development and tourism, or  those just wanting to have fun!

“We are uniting ocean conservation, communities and sustainable travel, into one memorable holiday experience,” says Veta Wade, owner of AQUA Montserrat.

The company relies on volunteers to fund its work and welcomes those from a range of backgrounds, such as pro/recreational free divers, (some may be completely new to diving), swim instructors, marine ecologists and conservationists, lifeguards, outdoor educators, underwater photographers or videographers. A blue volunteer holiday package covers everything from free diving, outdoor education, ocean conservation, project leadership, and Montserrat culture.

Volunteers are trained in snorkeling and free diving, next spending two weeks learning to identify the key marine species in Montserrat’s waters, learning about Montserrat, its culture and assisting in delivering community outreach programmes specifically aimed at the island’s youth culture. 

Once they have passed all the tests, they join the AQUA team patrolling the coral reef, identifying and removing marine debris and invasive species like Lionfish, and supporting the popular ocean kids club, Fish N Fins!. Fish N Fins is Montserrat’s club for 7-14 year-olds for aquatic sports, but also preservation of Montserrat’s coral reefs and culture.

The profits from the volunteer packages are pumped back into the business and used to fund a range of projects /events such as free scholarships for the local children to learn to swim snorkel and protect the ocean. 

Find out more

Montserrat blue economy news
BUBBLEMAKERS for 3-6 year olds

BUBBLEMAKERS for 3-6 year olds

Fish ‘N Fins, AQUA Montserrat’s non – profit for community interest, kids ocean club, has created a new ocean fun programme for 3-6 year olds. ‘Bubblemakers’ is for those not yet old enough to join the Sunday Ocean Club, but wanting to join in some ocean fun. The programme is focused on learning to have fun and be safe in the pool and at sea.  

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Montserrat workshop ADVANCING INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES MANAGEMENT

Minister Claude E. S. Hogan addresses International Workshop on “ADVANCING INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES MANAGEMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN UKOTs” in Montserrat.

The subject of this workshop recognizes that we face environmental challenges on a global scale and under global scrutiny coupled with the socio-economic challenges in our small island communities created by the very issue that we need to solve together. What confronts us today across the Caribbean is that we need to create development without transforming or damaging our environment and to preserve it for future generations to maintain human life on earth. The alien species threat is just one element of this bigger picture, but if left unchecked and not managed, could amount to putting our efforts at sustainable development across the region into clear and present danger.

Like some of the other UKOTs represented here, Montserrat was a partner in the recently concluded EC funded BEST 1 project entitled “Conserving Species and Sites of International Importance by the Eradication of Invasive Alien Species in the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories.” This is the predecessor project to this current initiative on the table before us this week entitled “ADVANCING INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES MANAGEMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN UKOTs”. We have learnt much so far and Montserrat has been a huge beneficiary to date in relation to the interventions to save our birds and addressing our feral livestock issues, which thanks to RSPB have become mainstream in the work of our Department of the Environment. It’s not that we had too much choice really, because feral donkeys have become a nuisance in residential areas such as Lookout and but for our Christian beliefs, we would have gone beyond the planned use of contraceptives to reduce the donkeys in Montserrat.

Our wish is to also save the last remaining pockets of bio-diversity in West Hill, Perches and Roaches Mountain, just to name a few areas of vast negative impact in Montserrat.

We are also conscious of scores if not hundreds of feral chickens in the Centre Hills, not to mention the increasing number of agoutis and iguanas destroying crops and products of our hardworking farmers on Montserrat, so we expect much from this workshop. If we can get a bigger share we can’t refuse the help.

We in the Caribbean, as small islands with relatively small populations and vulnerable economies are confronted with the need to achieve development which does not compromise the very environment upon which our social, economic and cultural survival is dependent. This sustainable development is predicated on the state of health of our environment including our marine and terrestrial biodiversity resources. As custodians of our natural resources, we as environmental managers and policy-makers, must address the risks and threats posed to our natural patrimony for the present and future generations. To do so effectively calls for our understanding of the threats posed to our resources and which threaten the health of ecosystems and for us to tackle such risks through proper planning and strategic action. This type of stepwise thinking is required to address the risk and the threats posed by invasive alien species.

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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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Aqua Montserrat Launches All-Inclusive Volunteer Holidays

Aqua Montserrat Launches All-Inclusive Volunteer Holidays

 

Aqua Montserrat has expanded its offerings with a new all-inclusive opportunity for travelers who love to give back.

Veta Wade, a local business owner and environmentalist is offering discerning guests it’s new AQUA BLUE experiences, an all inclusive Blue volunteer holiday package, covering everything from Freediving, outdoor education, ocean conservation, project leadership, and Montserrat culture.

Full article

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Delegation from the European Union visits Montserrat

Delegation from the European Union visits Montserrat

 

A delegation from the European Union (EU) comprising of Martin HANSEN, Desk Officer (OCTs), DEVCO G1, Marc THILL, Head of Operations, Barbados Delegation and Dr.Stephen BOYCE, Programme Officer, Barbados Delegation, visited Montserrat on September 7th, 2016.

The main purpose of the visit was to assess the impact/progress of past funding and discuss the progress on the programming of funds for Montserrat under the 11th EDF (European Development Fund).

The delegation met with DFID and Ministers of Government and some senior Government technicians. Janice Panton, EU representative for Montserrat, UK, Colin Owen, Financial Secretary along with Joseph Irish, Director of Economic Management, took the team on a tour to view various projects and examine potential areas for development. Honourable Premier, Donaldson Romeo and Minister of Communications, Works, Labour and Energy, Hon. Paul Lewis were present on the Island tour.

 

Photo album available in this Facebook post.

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