Around forty students and fifteen other guests attended the ‘Sustainable Caribbean’ meet-up last Friday (January 12), an initiative of WeConnect Foundation in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research (WUR). It was an afternoon with various presentations from sustainable and green projects in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, which inspired Antillean and Aruban students.
Opportunities for the islands
There were presentations on themes such as ocean thermal energy, a delta plan for the corals and beginning a start-up on sustainable themes. A team from WUR presented the project AlgaePARC Bonaire, which investigates the use of algae as a raw material for food, feed, fuel and chemicals. In an animated film, researcher Iago Dominguez Teles outlined what could be the future of such algae production: “Let’s broaden our horizons and believe in these opportunities for the islands”, said the WUR researcher who gathered many enthusiastic students around him during the drinks afterwards.
Representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality told about their activities, particularly on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. Natural parks Stenapa (Statia), Stinapa (Bonaire) and Saba Bank National Park formulated concrete work and internship places aimed at island children who want to contribute back home. From Saint Maarten, information was available about sustainable building projects that should lead to affordable housing for young professionals when returning to the island.
WeConnect manager Tanja Fraai looks back with satisfaction: “A very successful meeting that will definitely get a sequel, also because we are still requesting to share the content of the meet-up. Various organizations on the islands are eager to use our platform in the search for the local brains that study in the Netherlands.” Both Cabinets of Aruba and Curaçao were represented, as were the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations; and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
More information www.weconnectworks.nl