We thank to Bren Romney and to his team for great cooperation for having well organised, successful OCTA Innovation Thematic Workshop in Anguilla on 11-12 of October 2018.
Montserrat Innovation Days have been very successfully completed from August 16 to August 21. Four days of extensive exchange of information among public and private Montserrat stakeholders, including EU experts in innovation, creativity and economy, tourism agglomerate sector, development of the “visitor economy” and all aspects of economies linked and developed around the sector. These include competences building and education, entrepreneurship, development of entrepreneurial innovation eco system, business support, incubators, start-ups and on the local level existing best practices and EU related programmes.
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The Government of Montserrat is organising Innovation Days in Montserrat on 16th and 17th of August 2018. Innovation Days will be held under patronage of the honourable Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat, who will personally open the Montserrat Innovation Days. That will be great occasion for local both public and private stakeholders to gather and to exchange relevant knowledge and best available practice in different aspects of sustainable development of the island.
Mrs. Janice Panton MBE, UK and EU Representative for the Government of Montserrat and Chair of the OCTA Innovation will present Association of EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) and OCTA Innovation, EU funded project for propelling innovation in the OCTs. As an introductory speaker at the Montserrat Innovation Days, Janice Panton will particularly highlight her call upon the heads of the governments of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories to embrace Systemic Innovation for the sustainable development of their territories.
Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, Brussels based OCTA Innovation Team Leader, will lead a group of EU experts who should provide some lectures and transfer of the best EU practices to Montserrat. Particularly Milan will share his knowledge and experience in innovation and sustainable development; Alan Cooper expert from Trinidad and Tobago will share his knowledge and regional experience in policy support for innovation, entrepreneurship and green business development; while James McGregor, knowledgeable eco-tourism expert will bring the best worldwide practice and experience in visitor economy.
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La conférence internationale de l’innovation, organisée par OCTA Innovation, s’est déroulée à Ponta Delgada aux Açores du 11 au 14 avril 2017. Elle a rassemblé des représentants de Pays et Territoires d’Outre-mer (PTOM) de l’Union européenne, le gouvernement açorien, la Commission européenne et des experts en innovation, afin d’étudier la manière dont l’innovation favorise le développement durable dans les petites îles ainsi que de mettre en place une certaine coopération et de créer un terrain propice à de futures initiatives.
Les piliers et valeurs à la base d’une société ont été examinés, tout comme les capacités et les besoins de toutes les parties prenantes pour les étayer. La mise en œuvre de divers types et niveaux d’innovation a été envisagée. La vision d’une société prospère et inclusive sur le plan économique doit reposer sur l’innovation et une collaboration totale entre les acteurs publics et privés. L’innovation doit soutenir toutes les parties prenantes dans la société, tant dans le domaine économique que social. De plus, son rôle s’avère essentiel pour lutter contre les problèmes liés à la raréfaction des ressources naturelles, au changement climatique et au développement durable. Les gouvernements doivent garantir de bonnes conditions pour promouvoir l’innovation. Les responsables de l’innovation des Pays et Territoires d’Outre-mer de l’Union européenne, membres actifs d’OCTA Innovation réunis aux Açores, s’engagent à entretenir ces dynamiques.
Les gouvernements doivent prendre les devants en ce qui concerne l’innovation systémique dans tous les secteurs, en encourageant la création de partenariats entre des entités publiques et privées, ainsi qu’en promouvant le partage des connaissances et le renforcement des capacités. L’objectif est de mettre en place plusieurs centres d’excellence régionaux thématiques dans les PTOM, en particulier pour les secteurs où certains PTOM ouvrent déjà la voie, et d’assurer un partage de l’expertise entre les PTOM et avec les différentes régions.
Directeurs de l’Innovation: Anguilla, Bren Romney; Aruba, Bianca Peters; Bonaire, Dianne Boelmans; Curaçao, Fiona Curie; Groenland, Lars Balslev; Iles Cayman, Jamaal Anderson; Iles Malouines, Michael Betts; Iles Turques et Caiques, Alexa Cooper-Grant; Iles Vierges Britanniques, Lizette George; Montserrat, Angela Estwick; Nouvelle Calédonie, Jean-Michel Le Saux; Polynésie française, Bran Quinquis; Pitcairn, Leslie Jaques; Saba, Menno Van der Velde; St. Barthélemy, Pascal Peuchot; St. Hélène, Niall O’Keeffe; St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, Olivier Gaston; St. Eustatius, Roy Hooker; St. Maarten, Jude Houston; Wallis et Futuna, Carole Manry.
Chef de projet d’OCTA Innovation, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck: email@example.com
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.
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.
It’s another exciting ocean summer for the children of Holy Trinity School, Barbuda.
“This is the fourth year of ocean camp on Barbuda, since the Blue Halo Initiative began ocean zoning work on the picturesque island, back in 2012, explains Site Manager, Robin Ramdeen.” It’s 2016 and we are shifting gears by partnering with Veta Wade a talented young woman who runs a novel swim & snorkel club on neighbouring island of Montserrat”.
“Blue Halo Barbuda is excited to partner with AQUA Montserrat” said Kathryn Mengerink, the Waitt Institute’s Executive Director. “The Blue Halo Summer Camp allows children to experience the marine environment first-hand, and inspires the next generation to love and protect our oceans.”
Miss Wade, Founder of AQUA Montserrat’s Fish ‘N Fins Club explained, “we are very thrilled to be working in partnership with Blue Halo in adding to the children’s ocean experience this summer. It will be fascinating to explore the diverse marine ecosystems of beautiful Barbuda. We also look forward to making new friends and creating new partnerships as we combine our passions for conserving our oceans and island cultures.”
This year, 25 children will participate in this one week-long ocean camp on Barbuda. Miss Wade commented, “The camp will be focused on lots of fun ocean games and activities”. She added “in order to better manage our oceans, not only do we need our communities to work together but our islands must too; and what better way to communicate this to our youth than by this collaboration between Blue Halo & Fish ‘N Fins.”
Supporting on the camp will be the Blue Halo Barbuda Team, led by Site Manager, Robin Ramdeen, and Miss Cynthia Yearwood, Grade 6 Teacher of the Holy Trinity School.
The camp will include lots of swimming; snorkelling, a boat trip, and beach cleanup. The week will end with a Fun Day at the Beach, where the parents will be invited to share in the experience with their children as they go fishing, and close out camp with a Beach BBQ. It looks like it’s going to be another fantastic ocean summer on Barbuda!
Additional information and resources on FISH’N’FINS:
Aqua Montserrat: http://www.aquamontserrat.com
The two-day (July 20/21) Pre -Joint Ministerial Conference (Pre-JMC) will be a precursor to the Joint Ministerial Council that will be held in London 31 October – 4th November 2016 and hosted by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The islands premier Dr. Rufus Ewing who will chair several of the roundtable discussions said “While the JMC is the highest political forum between the UK Government and elected leaders and representatives, this forum allows us to first meet and outline a clear strategy to address the challenges OTs face prior to the JMC.
”Following the vote of the UK referendum to leave the European Union (EU) the first session will explore the implication of the result on the OTs and their relationship with the EU.
”I have been attending these meetings for four (4) years now, and I am delighted to welcome all the attendees to our beautiful paradise, while we discuss such pertinent issues, the release read.”
Attending the meetings will be the Premier of British Virgin Islands, Dr. Orlando Smith OBE, Premier of Cayman Islands, Hon. Alden McLaughlin MBE, Premier of Bermuda Hon. Michael Dunkley JP, Premier of Monserrat Hon. Donaldson Romeo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar Hon. Fabian Picardo.
Representing, the Government of Anguilla Hon Evans McNeill Rogers – Minister of Social Development and representing the Government of the Falkland Islands Hon Roger Edwards MLA. The Secretary General of CARICOM, Irwin Larocque, will also travel to the Islands to meet with the Leaders of the Caribbean OTs.
Host Dr. Rufus Ewing is vice chair of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), post to which he was elected during a meeting in Brussels. The body was established to improve policy dialogue, strategic partnership and sustainable development in the overseas countries and territories.
Following the OCTA-EU political declaration research, education and innovation are the key in securing sustainable development and prosperity at the OCTs. In my role of the Chairman on Project Steering Committee for OCTA Innovation, I have at the first hand witnessed not only enthusiasm, creativity and innovation initiatives, but also wide-ranging innovation potential of all of the OCTs. OCTA Innovation initiates and guides this potential, helping to structure innovation initiatives with supporting development of innovation strategies, structured guidance and ensuring joint learning.
Leading this exciting work has been exceptionally rewarding, and it has provided me with an insight into potentials for harnessing OCTs’ dynamism for work in areas relevant for OCTs, from biodiversity and agriculture, to securing economic growth and sustainability.
From Montserrat experience, pushing forward education is at the centre of securing future for the island. Not only it develops knowledge and builds capacity, it also creates a positive societal dynamics that drives innovation and creativity.
Chairing our Project Steering Committee has been a pleasure as it enabled me to work closely with other members of the committee so we could jointly share our experiences and support moving the project forward.
For the first time, kids had the opportunity to take part in a snorkel club, Fish ‘N Fins, on Montserrat. Over six weeks, 75 kids participated in ocean and conservation-themed activities with the goal of increasing the confidence and awareness of young Montserratians to the ocean and the coastal area of their island.
Fish ‘N Fins was created by Aqua Montserrat Director, Veta Wade, and coordinated with Waitt Institute Program Manager, Stephanie Roach. The camp included daily snorkeling and swimming lessons, a beach cleanup in Carr’s Bay, guest presentations by local fishers and community members, as well as ocean and conservation-themed games, activities, and crafts.
“This summer has been a historic and extremely rewarding experience for me and the Aqua Montserrat team,” said Veta. “Never before in our island’s history has such an ocean camp been held, and we are proud to have created this opportunity for our island’s children.”
“The summer programme was well executed in introducing our children to the marine environment so that they can appreciate it’s beauty, usefulness, an participate in its protection and conservation,” said Hon. Claude Hogan, Minister of the Environment. “Our Ministry was honoured to sponsor to underscore the importance we attach to our marine environment.”
For many kids, Fish ‘N Fins was their first time snorkeling or swimming. “The kids were sometimes afraid, but what was amazing is the excitement and enthusiasm they have for the ocean, and how quickly they overcame their fears of the water,” explained Oslyn BLANK, an Aqua Montserrat volunteer who helped every day of the camp.
An excellent article about Vera Wade, Fish’N’Fins Director : http://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-short/montserrat-one-womans-mission-introduce-kids-sea