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
Statia Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute

Statia Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute

Innovation workshop at the occasion of the OCTA Innovation Team Leader mission took place in the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI).

The CNSI at St Eustatius is a facility that fosters scientific curiosity and supports scientific research, capacity building, knowledge development and dissemination, addressing issues and questions relevant to the sustainability of tropical small island economies.

CNSI has a multifunctional objective. It serves a facilitating role for research and education for a wide spectrum of disciplines addressing issues and questions relevant to the sustainability of tropical small island economies. CNSI’s mission is to realise a permanent presence in the Caribbean Netherlands with research facilities, outreach facilities and accommodation for visitors, addressed within the scientific, political and socioeconomic context of the greater Caribbean region, based on: 1) mutual responsibility and understanding 2) sustainable development 3) commitment to multidisciplinary knowledge development and human and institutional capacity building.

Building

Sint Eustatius news Science

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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Sint Eustatius good practice news Innovation Missions Roy Hooker Jezic von Gesseneck
St Eustatius National Parks Foundation

St Eustatius National Parks Foundation

STENAPA (an acronym for St. Eustatius National Parks) is the national parks organisation of Sint Eustatius. STENAPA is a non-profit, non-governmental foundation which was founded in 1988, and registered in 1995. The function of this foundation is environmental protection. STENAPA currently manages the National Marine Park, the Quill / Boven National Park, and the Botanical Garden. STENAPA is one of the members of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.

The Statia National Marine Park was established in 1996 with the objective of conserving and managing the marine resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the people and future generations. The Marine Park surrounds the island from the high-water mark down to 30 meters depth, and also encompasses two Marine Park Reserves.

The Quill / Boven National Park was pronounced the first official national park of the Netherlands Antilles in 1998, making it a protected nature reserve. The park was created to protect unique biodiversity and ensure sustainable use by all stakeholders. The Quill / Boven National Park comprises two different areas or subsectors. One is the dormant stratovolcano known as the Quill, which is in the southern part of the island. The other area is a group of five hills in the northern part of the island: Bergje, Boven (the highest of the five), Venus, Gilboa Hill and Signal Hill. These five hills are the remnants of another stratovolcano.

The Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden was started in 1998. The main emphasis is on species that are or were native to the island and the surrounding islands. There is also an experimental area where researchers are studying methods of controlling the problematic invasive species Antigonon leptopus, the corallita vine.

Sint Eustatius news Environment

“Innovation for Growth” in St Eustatius

“Innovation for Growth” in St Eustatius

The framework for a European Union workshop was launched this week to promote more innovation on St. Eustatius. When all details are worked out by stakeholders, the resulting recommendations will be presented to government

Sponsored by Horizon 2020 EU Innovation, the workshop looked at the many ways innovation can be harnessed and the barriers to its realization. The leadership role at the event came from Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, whose EU task is to inspire innovation within European Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)

Given the change in political administration on the island, such a project may well seem doomed from the start. “Not so!” according to Von Gesseneck. “Government or no government, it is the role of those who control the public purse to build systemic innovation in OCT’s by creating an enabling environment for innovation, implementing all required measures and actions and promoting innovation implementation.”

These words were clearly not lost on Roy Hooker, Island Controller and former Director of Economy and Infrastructure. “Necessity may be “the mother of invention”, he told the meeting, “However, sometimes, such a need to be more creative in society has to be screamed from the rooftops.

Such a scream has already been heard and heeded in Bonaire, where an EU-funded scheme has resulted in the innovative cultivation of an algae farm. Called AlgaePark, the facility produces algae products that can be used as a replacement for soy oil, soy protein or fishmeal. “This project contributes to sustainable economic development, creates jobs and also will lead to a better environment,” insists Von Gesseneck.

Dr. Teresa Leslie, Director of St. Eustatius Foundation, who chaired and facilitated the innovation workshop, agrees. “There are a thousand ways by which we can put our imagination to work on this island. As individuals and a community on Statia, we must leave our fears and explore the excitement of a “can-do” mentality. By working in small groups behind the scenes and cooperating through the human and Internet web, we can reprogram our collective desires.”

Von Gesseneck endorsed this conclusion. “You do not need a lot of money from the EU or elsewhere to transform the economic climate. There are countless platforms for fascinating improvements, be they in marketing for tourism, cuisine, food production or the field of information technology. Creativity can be generated anywhere in the world by anybody who dares to dream and imagine a capacity for realizing that dream.

He referred to an EU project on the remote British Falkland Islands that sponsor as many as 100 students through the Erasmus Student Exchange Program. “The realization of such a dream makes a major contribution to learning, the economy and local community pride through involvement.

Cooperation was viewed by the workshop as essential for the progress of innovation. Its many participants were drawn from a wide spectrum of commercial and government activities. “Innovative future steps are expected to be announced within days, rather than weeks. And some will be mind-blowing,” Leslie said.

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Sint Eustatius news OCT events
St Eustatius: innovative waste management from waste to cash

St Eustatius: innovative waste management from waste to cash

Having just over 3500 inhabitants, St Eustatius is gearing up to lead the way in innovative waste management. In April 2018, the island Government penned a 5 years contract with a local company to manage the islands waste. The intention is to move away from open field landfills to a more innovative environmentally friendly waste management system. Been a Small developing island the administration is determined to find the most innovative and sustainable ways to use its resources. A proper waste management system with efficient recycling and sorting will benefit the islands eco, terrestrial and marine environment significantly.

Proper disposal of waste is top priority. The new recycling approach provides the island with twenty (20) different waste streams that are sorted and reintegrated into the community and/or exported for further usage. This approach has capitalized on the option of generating income and creating jobs from the islands waste. Green waste is been separated and used for composting while wood chips are been used for further fertilizing or decoration. Glass and Styrofoam are been used for the creative arts and plastic are been sorted into 5 different streams. The island is also busy building a waste data bank to provide accurate information on how the island produce and manage its waste.

This approach has significantly reduced the possibility of terrestrial and marine contamination currently the landfill is been secured to be rehabilitated for a greener community.

Sint Eustatius news
Renewable and sustainable energy in St. Eustatius

Renewable and sustainable energy in St. Eustatius

Sint Eustatius is positioned to be a regional trend setter in renewable and sustainable energy; they have already taken major steps to reduce their CO2 emission and dependence on Fossil fuel for their energy production.

Already, the Statia Utility Company (STUCO) has commissioned the second phase of their solar park. The 13,000 panel model covers a surface area of approximately 25,000m² producing 4.1 MW of clean energy amounting to 45% of the islands annual energy share.

Between the hours of 9am-7:30pm the Solar park with its cutting edge Hi-Capacity Lithium-Ion battery is able to guarantee 100% of the islands energy consumption reducing their annual fossil fuel usage by 1.7 million liters annually and reducing the islands carbon footprint by 4.5 million kg /year.

The integration of Renewable energy with water conservation and food security is high on the priority list of the island. The 2m elevated panels are angled to make use of a self-cleaning sprinkler system and provide enough surface area to collect over 25million liters annually. This innovative installation has been applied to combat the effects of climate change and water shortage due to extensive drought. The elevated panels also provide an optimum opportunity for agricultural exploitation, where the area under the panels will be used for cultivating leaf vegetables and flowers. The water from the panels will be collected stored and reused for irrigation purposes at the park as well as for the other agricultural initiatives. Under the 11th EDF program the EU has reserved 2.2 million euros to enhance the resilience of the electrical grid by the undergrounding of approximately 10km of MHV cables.

St. Eustatius will also be exploring its geothermal energy potential. In 2017 the local government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a French energy exploitation company for collaboration in the area of Geothermal Power Production on the island.

renewable energy Sint Eustatius news
Trade & export incentives in Caribbean Netherlands

Trade & export incentives in Caribbean Netherlands

Trade and export incentives for entrepreneurs of the Caribbean Netherlands and the Caribbean countries within the Kingdom.

As of 1 January 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened up the instruments for trade and export promotion to all entrepreneurs in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. Entrepreneurs with export ambitions from Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten can now take part in these instruments.

More information. 

Sint Eustatius Curaçao Aruba trade news Sint Maarten Bonaire Sint Maarten

Workshop in St Eustatius

Workshop in St Eustatius

Great interest of the local participants and significant experience of the expert Christian Harel made workshop in Sint Eustatius very intensive and successful. Follow up of this workshop is coming. Water collection must be considered as the main problem to be solved, for the already existing greenhouses as well as the pilot greenhouse project.

The other priority is the roaming goats which are devastating the vegetation and resulting with severe erosion of the soil. This can be considered as a priority. Irrigation of forage crops with a conservation and storage system (hailage) could be very innovative and would pave the way for a more intensive breeding system and starting to ban the roaming animals.

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Sint Eustatius agriculture news