The Caribbean after Irma

The Caribbean after Irma

It is the cost of the region’s unimaginable natural beauty that, by the caprice of fate, there is the periodic risk of ruin. There is nothing to be said of this past week’s tragedies that has not yet been said, and our hearts go out to the people who died.What needs to be said is this: the Caribbean will rebuild. Caribbean people: they cannot be defeated. They rebuild, they restore and they live again.

It will not be easy, it may not be quick, but it will happen.

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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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Opening of diesel station on Saba and solar plant on St. Eustatius

Opening of diesel station on Saba and solar plant on St. Eustatius

 

The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs was given the honour to officially open two great energy projects. On August 29th he cut the ribbon at the new diesel station on Saba, together with the widow of Elmer Lindsey, founder of the Saba Electric Company, and whom the station is named after. This station is 16% more energy efficient than the old one and has more storage capacity. This means the supplying oil ship does not have to come as often as before. The best result of the new station is probably the fact that the harbour is finally free from the ear-splitting and bad smelling old station!

On Statia the Minister opened phase 1 of the solar panel plant, which has at its peakperformance the capacity to generate 89% of the electricity need of the island. The Minister said the project could serve as a great example of cooperation between the Dutch government and the islands for other (future) projects.

Ronald Vermeeren

 

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Saba signs Green Deal waste-recycling accord

Saba signs Green Deal waste-recycling accord

Saba will be able to improve its waste management and increase recycling with expert help from the Netherlands. Saba Commissioner of Public Works Bruce Zagers signed the “Green Deal, better waste management Caribbean Netherlands” in The Hague on Thursday.

The Green Deal is a cooperation format of the Government of Saba, the Dutch Government and a number of Dutch environmental organisations specialised in waste management and recycling. Saba was the only island to sign the Green Deal accord.

Full article

 

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Regional Innovation Workshop in Sint Maarten, 5-7 October

Regional Innovation Workshop in Sint Maarten, 5-7 October

Caribbean regional workshop will take place 5-7 October 2015 at Sint Maarten. The main aim of the activity is to improve OCTs and OCTA’s capacities and ensure better exchange of experience and expertise in Innovation by gathering the IMs and other relevant stakeholders in regional workshops and a project conference, which would contribute to facilitate the development, access and update of an effective innovation network.

Sint Maarten workshop will be attended by Innovation Managers and stakeholders from 15 OCTs (Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Greenland, Montserrat, Saba, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha Islands, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos Islands), and regional stakeholders from Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana as well as from the European Union.

Emphasis should be done on the entrepreneurship, especially on the Micro and Small enterprises active in blue and green economy; on biodiversity protection and on the creation of the set of the policy measures to support economic growth driven by the knowledge and innovation at the OCTs.

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approves US$100 million for Caribbean energy facility

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approves US$100 million for Caribbean energy facility

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has said it will support a proposal by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to establish a multi-donor energy facility for Caribbean sustainability.

The prime minister made the announcement on Monday night at a political meeting of her United National Congress (UNC) party.

She said the bank has agreed to provide US$100 million to co-finance projects in the energy sector over the next six years.

“This will enable promotion of energy diversification, energy efficiency and a reliable supply of alternative fuels at a reduced cost in the Caribbean. It is very exciting because it will bring stability, security and sustainability to our region,” Persad-Bissessar said.

She added that it would help Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

“Recently CARICOM declared its unequivocal support for the initiative. So you see with my government, Trinidad and Tobago is leading and energising the region,” she said.

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Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba and Dutch government embrace development plans

Press Release

March 14th, 2013

 

Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba and Dutch Government embrace development plans

 

The Hague – Ministries in the Dutch Government have reacted positively to development plans drawn up by the public entities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The Dutch Government has the ambition, together with the islands, to remove the physical and social backlogs. The Dutch government recognizes that more needs to happen. The pace at which the various backlogs will be removed is dependant on the budgetary possibilities of the Kingdom. The removed backlogs must however be maintained.

 

The plans formulated by the public entities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will be worked out in further consultation. With this correct priorities can be established. The Ministries of Home Affairs & Kingdom Relations (BZK), Economic Affairs (EZ) and Infrastructure & Environment (I&M) offer expertise to arrive at more detailed plans. The Ministry of Home Affairs & Kingdom Relations will further make available 0, 5 million Euros. For investments in nature a regulation for contribution is being developed in which a total of 7, 5 million

Euros will be made available. The remaining financing of the adjusted plans will be worked out further in the framework of the preparation of the 2014 budget. The Dutch Government-  preconditioned by budgetary space-will prepare the detailed plans (for example the integral plan for Rincon-Antriol-North Saliña) to realize the implementation by means of extra-ordinary allowances or interest free loans, or  subsequently  through the execution of the plans by the concerned ministries.

 

The Dutch government finds that the current rules with regard to interest free loans should not cause obstructions for realizing the implementation of plans with good potential. Here then applies the condition that the Commission for Financial Supervision establishes that the

public entities can comply with the financial obligations. The Dutch government therefore agrees to further work out how through own investments by the public entity and/or through the granting of interest free loans by the Kingdom plans can be realized.

The delegations are also satisfied with the confirmation that Minister Plasterk of Home Affairs & Kingdom Relations will expressly function as the coordinating minister for the development plans.

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Bonaire, Saba and Statia develop five-year nature policy plan

Bonaire, Saba and Statia develop five-year nature policy plan

Flamingos, BonaireThe territories of the Dutch Caribbean recently met to develop a five-year nature policy:

On October 13th the first workshop for the formulation of a Nature Policy Plan for the Dutch Caribbean [was] held in Bonaire. The main stakeholders of Saba, Sint Eustatius and Bonaire in the area of nature conservation and protection [came] together to discuss the structure and content of this policy.

As the basis for the workshop, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) evaluated the nature policy of the Netherlands Antilles of the past ten years. That evaluation is now completed and serves as the basis for establishing the structure of a new nature policy for the Dutch Caribbean for the next five years.

At the … workshop, the rough structure of the policy [was] discussed and developed further. The result will then be further developed in close consultation with all stakeholders into a complete nature policy. The definitive nature policy will then be presented to the Minister of EL&I who is responsible to establish it.

The formulation of a five year nature policy for the Dutch Caribbean is a legal obligation which is based on the Law of Principle of Nature Management and Protection BES. This law requires for the nature policy to contain at least the achievable objectives concerning nature and the landscape. It should also include: the priorities that should be addressed in the field of nature and the landscape; the conservation of values that should be taken into consideration and a list of national parks (both on land and at sea) that consist of nature parks established by Island Ordinance or Ministerial Decree.

(Source.)

[Photo: Dan Hershman]

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