Wescot-Williams eyes Aruba’s alternative energy example

POSTED: 06/25/12 2:50 PM

GREAT BAY – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams believes that Aruba provides St. Maarten and the rest of the region with an example of how to move forward on energy issues. She made the statement during an interview with ATV on the sidelines of the recent Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. Earlier in the day Wescot-Williams attended a session where Aruba’s Prime Minister Mike Eman presented the manner in which Aruba was forging ahead.
“We have spoken about it and I think these are areas where the islands and countries can share information, share best practices end even resources,” Wescot-Williams said.
The two member St. Maarten delegation also used the summit to gather information on forms of alternative energy and how energy supply can be maintained or returned on a speedy basis when there is a disaster like a hurricane.
“You can never be prepared enough when it comes to natural disasters and so we have taken up a process of being prepared for any eventuality, because you never know and matters like energy and the energy supply – a massive project that we had to undertake because of the natural disasters are making sure that all our wiring was put underground. That’s a place where we started many years ago. Now you’re looking that even with that program in place, at coming with other alternatives for energy and again that is where this conference here in Brazil is important for us as well,” Wescot-Williams said.
Learning how to strike the balance between economic development, developing the population and preserving the environment was also a key point for the delegation.
“St. Maarten is a main tourism destination and while that is extremely important for our economic development, you also want to include things like the human capital – development of your people. We also need to look at the environment of St. Maarten as we continue to promote our island. So, extremely important is the establishment of that balance between the different sectors of our community to come to a sustainable development. And naturally things like alternative energy – which is an issue all over the world – for a small island like St. Maarten it is also an issue and there too you see where we need to take things that will fit our community and see where we can apply them to the further development of our people,” Wescot-Williams said.
Presentations on climate change and food supply were also matters of importance to the delegation.

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