D66 wants Kingdom work group sustainable energy

The setting up of a work group for sustainable energy will be proposed at the June 16 Kingdom Conference at the request of Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Wassila Hachchi of the Democratic Party D66, writes The Daily Herald.

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk responded positively to Hachchi’s request, which she made at a debate on Wednesday. Hachchi wants Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands to cooperate in the area of clean, sustainable development. According to Hachchi, the three islands, but also Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, have a lot of possibilities for sun, water and wind energy, while the Netherlands has much expertise on sustainable energy. “Working together in this area is advantageous for the islands and for the Netherlands. It will provide innovation, employment and a clean environment,” she said. Establishing a work group for sustainable energy is really a “no brainer” because everybody agrees that this is important, said Hachchi at Wednesday’s debate.

Plasterk expressed his support for Hachchi’s proposal. “I see the importance and logic of it,” he said, but added that he could not singlehandedly decide to set up a new work group. Plasterk promised to bring up the D66 proposal at the Kingdom Conference in Curaçao.

Hachchi also brought up the multiple advantages of encouraging people on the islands to grow their own fruits and vegetables. She said that local farming was much cheaper and healthier than importing produce, and that it also resulted in more employment, all of which helped to combat poverty. The Netherlands has a lot of expertise in the area of farming, so why not make that know-how available to the islands, Hachchi suggested. Plasterk agreed. He mentioned the Organoponics Farm in Saba, to which he referred as a “beautiful project that shows that agriculture is cool.”

Hachchi’s colleague Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) hastened to add that in Saba, Island Council Member Ishmael Levenstone continuously pointed out the importance of local farming to accomplish more self-reliance, employment and better health.

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