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Statia sustainable conference deemed a success
Published on September 28, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

ORANJESTAD, St Eustatius -- The second St Eustatius Sustainable Conference, which ended late Thursday, has been hailed as a success.

The two-day event, organized by the St Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation (STDF) with support from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), delved into a number of issues critical to the sustainability of this eight square mile island of about four thousand people.

Themed “Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future”, the conference explored a number of water-related issues, including who benefits from coastal management; the risks to wildlife and water along with the tourism opportunities that come with development; and water conservation in hospitality.

“The conference was very informative, very successful. I was very impressed with what was presented. A lot of what was presented will inform us as to what is available, what we must do locally; and will assist us in the further development and sustainability of our island and our people,” said Carlyle Tearr, the island’s commissioner of tourism.

The event brought together some 75 local, regional and international delegates. However, it was the participation of the locals that touched the director of tourism, Charles Lindo. In the lead up to the event, the STDF had appealed to residents to take ownership of the conference.

“I was really impressed with the number of locals who participated. It makes us feel that we have done something right. Sustainability means to maintain, to preserve, to continue and we are preserving Statia and Statia is nothing but the people,” Lindo said. “The presence of the people here has given me the added drive, motivation and fire to continue beating the drum of sustainability.”

As part of the programme and to strengthen the messages delivered at the conference, delegates are spending Friday on “Study Tours” to various places of interest on the island. These include a hike to the Quill National Park, the first official national park in the Netherlands Antilles; a historical walking tour and a bus tour of the island.
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