Report advises creation of scientific network for entire Dutch Caribbean

Dutch Minister of Education, Cul­ture and Science OCW In­grid van Engelshoven was presented on Wednesday, June 16, with an advisory report that proposes the establishment of a scientific network organisation, the Dutch Caribbean Research Platform DUCARP. The report was commissioned by the Dutch Organisa­tion for Scientific Research NWO as part of the Carib­bean Research Programme.

The Caribbean Neth­erlands Science Institute (CNSI) in St. Eustatius has existed for just under 10 years. Its current funding period will expire in 2022. Therefore, NWO commis­sioned an independent re­port to identify options for its future.

Wiebe Bijker and cur­rent Member of the Dutch Parliament Jorien Wuite discussed the matter with numerous individuals throughout the kingdom of the Netherlands over the last year and summarised their findings and recom­mendations in this report.

They propose a transi­tion of the CNSI into DU-CARP, a network organisa­tion with a physical “anchor point” on each of the six Dutch Caribbean islands. The report says that DU-CARP should not perform its own research, but in­stead facilitate, support and promote research in the region. This can best be done by linking people and enabling collaborations be­tween organisations in dif­ferent parts of the kingdom. The authors of the report say that DUCARP is es­sential in strengthening the quality and quantity of sci­entific research on and into the Caribbean islands, and that over time it could de­velop into an international knowledge and expertise centre for issues pertaining to small island developing states (SIDS).

The report’s recommen­dations are directed to wards NWO, OCW, and other relevant players in both the Dutch Caribbean and the Netherlands.

The advisory report was written under the auspices of NWO’s Caribbean Re­search Programme, which exists to facilitate high-quality scientific research and to provide a sustain­able, locally-rooted infra­structure for the develop­ment of the Dutch Carib­bean.

It seeks to make research relevant to Caribbean peo­ple, to link society and sci­ence, and to engage locals. It promotes collaborations and partnerships between the six islands and between the Caribbean and Euro­pean parts of the Dutch kingdom.

The Caribbean Re­search Programme aims to strengthen the knowledge base and competences of the islands, and to contrib­ute to sustainable structure-enhancement and capacity-building in the region.

The Daily Herald.

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