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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Equine viruses in the West Indies

Equine viruses in the West Indies

The equine industry is having an increasing economic impact worldwide nowadays. Equines in the West Indies are used for recreational purposes, tourism industry, racing and agriculture or can be found in feral populations. With the rapidly changing nature of infectious diseases, knowledge on equine diseases (some with zoonotic potential) in a certain area plays a pivotal role in designing biosecurity measures. Little is known in the Caribbean basin about the prevalence of some major equine infectious diseases.

We are very proud of the scientific work of Dr Teresa Leslie, Doctor in Biological Anthropology, one of the key innovation stakeholders in Sint-Eustatius. Please find herewith attached the article Detection of West Nile Virus and other common equine viruses in three locations from the Leeward Islands, West Indies which illustrates how vector control needs to have an integrated approach and needs an interdepartmental effort.

Sint Eustatius health news Science
Knowledge on mosquito-borne disease

Knowledge on mosquito-borne disease

In the Caribbean, mosquito-borne diseases are a public health threat. In Sint-Eustatius, dengue, Chikungunya and Zika are now endemic. To control and prevent mosquito-borne diseases, the Sint Eustatius Public Health Department relies on the community to assist with the control of Aedes aegypti mosquito. Community based interventions are not always simple, as community perceptions and responses shape actions and influence behavioural responses.

The aim of this study was to determine how the Sint-Eustatius population perceives the Aedes aegypti mosquito, mosquito-borne diseases and prevention and control measures and hypothesized that increased knowledge of the virus, vector, control and prevention should result in a lower AQ1 prevalence and incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.

We are very proud of the scientific work of Dr Teresa Leslie, Doctor in Biological Anthropology, one of the key innovation stakeholders in Sint-Eustatius. You may find herewith attached the article. An analysis of community perceptions of mosquito borne disease control and prevention in Sint Eustatius Caribbean Netherlands

Sint Eustatius health news Science
Dr. Teresa Leslie, biological anthropology in Statia

Dr. Teresa Leslie, biological anthropology in Statia

Dr Teresa Leslie, a Doctor in Biological Anthropology, is the Head of the Eastern Caribbean Public Health Foundation in Sint-Eustatius. She worked previously as Director of Research and Scientific Development at the University of Sint-Eustatius, School of Medicine and as Research Associate and Senior lecturer at the University of Maryland College Park.

Dr. Teresa Leslie is also the project director of Sint-Eustatius OCTA Innovation Pilot project “Statia Blue” through the EU funded beneficiary Sint-Eustatius Foundation. The projects aims at creating sustainable practises for fisheries in Sint-Eustatius. The proposed solution is a mobile application that puts buyers of fish in touch with suppliers on a “real-time” basis. Find out more on the project.

Sint Eustatius news
OCTA Innovation Issue 12 / 2017 –  Innovation

OCTA Innovation Issue 12 / 2017 – Innovation

The pilot projects are part of the OCTA support for the implementation of the most promising and innovative ideas, innovative modalities of organization, and implementation of the advanced innovative technologies in the OCTs. The OCTA Innovation pilot projects are immensely important as one of the first actions in the implementation of the OCT innovation strategies. Keeping the innovation momentum, and securing these early steps have been funded by the European Commission.

Five pilot projects are already well progressing in their activities and monthly reports present great collaborative work in propelling innovation in territories. Four more pilot projects have been contracted and kick-offs are ongoing.

Smaller innovation projects (SIP) are currently under development to be contracted in the coming period. We are very proud with the high intensity actions as this period is simultaneously full filled with different innovation initiatives, innovation studies, innovation workshops, events, trainings and missions. Visit our web site for more news, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Milan Jezic von Gesseneck

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Statia Blue: Innovation towards Sustainable Fisheries

Statia Blue: Innovation towards Sustainable Fisheries

The project is on the world wide level an highly innovative project for developing sustainable fisheries, particularly in Sint Eustatius and Caribbean islands. Due to the small population of Sint Eustatius and the abundance of fish and other marine life in the reef in the marine park, fishermen in Sint Eustatius have to date avoided overfishing in the area. The pilot project, called Statia Blue, will create sustainable practices for fisheries in Sint Eustatius. The proposed solution is a mobile application that puts buyers of fish in touch with suppliers of fish on a “real-time” basis. A key component of Statia Blue is to ensure that fishermen increase compliance with the principles of sustainable fisheries and thereby play an active role as stewards of the protected reefs, parks and species which are the fragile natural endowments of the island and its people.

The proposed solution involves the engagement of fisher-folk in education on pricing and the market mechanism and support of that education using mobile application technology for creating a real-time market place for fish and seafood. The application will be used for ongoing education, supporting market clearing prices and monitoring and evaluation of catches to encourage sustainable practices such as fishing a safe distance from protected zones and management of the invasive species.

Working with a small group of fishermen, the project proposes to provide them a mobile app (“Statia Blue”) and waterproof mobile phones. As fish are caught, the fish is identified and described (size and weight) and reported back to a central database. At the central database the price of that fish and the total catch is estimated based upon the fish caught by all fishermen on that day. Prices are reported back to the fishermen so that they can make informed decisions about the harvesting of those fish. Fishermen can continue or stop fishing depending upon their satisfaction with the price estimated on the market. A pricing mechanism will be used to signal to fishermen which fish are in demand. The app will also have an educational element, administered by Sint Eustatius National Park (STENAPA) who will also raise the credit lines on fishermen’s access to the STENAPA credit card as an incentive for participating in the pilot project. Statia Blue will also have a consumer interface, reporting on which fish are advisable for eating during the season based upon data on the stock of fish in the Statia’s waters. The pricing element will also be present to reduce adverse selection.

The project is expected to benefit fishermen in primarily Sint Eustatius as well as Saba and St. Maarten and the closest off shore markets for fish- St. Kitts and hoteliers in Sint Maarten, as well as to other Caribbean islands. The successful deployment of this project in Sint Eustatius has benefits for the fishing grounds around the neighbouring islands. In addition, the innovation can be a best practice for all OCTs trying to develop their fisheries.

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Blue Statia

Blue Statia

The linkages between fisheries and tourism, maximizing potential benefits for local fishers and fishing communities, as well as to reduce the growing dependence on imported fish and fisheries products. Sourcing locally produced fish and seafood for the tourism sector,  quality assurance, reliability of supply, volume, product form and transportation, communication and information flow between fishers and tourist establishments. These issues are considered as key issues in the fisheries sector by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Read more . OCTA Innovation is proud that our Overseas Countries and Territories are leading the region in finding the most innovative solutions for moving forward in fisheries sector. Currently Sint Eustatius Innovation team lead by Roy Hooker, Innovation Director, with support of the Alan Cooper, expert from Trinidad and Tobago has developed a project called Blue Statia. Project is considered as very innovative and one of the most promising  creativity and technological innovation  initiatives.

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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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