OCT Seminar Finds Biodiversity, Solar and Wind Energy Key to Reducing Import Dependence
10 July 2012: A seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, addressed the role of education, research and development in green growth in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). Participants identified biodiversity and solar and wind energy potential as key to reducing import dependence, while noting “insularity” as a challenge.
The seminar, “From Arctic to the Tropics: Green Growth in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs),” was organized by the Secretariat of the European Parliament (EP) Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development,” which is run jointly by the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It was organized in collaboration with the Government of Greenland, currently chair of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA). The seminar received financial support from the 10th European Development Fund for the OCTs.
Participants highlighted the importance of enhancing regional cooperation for sustainable development, noting the need for more financial aid, such as through the EU's LIFE programme and through private and public investments to break cycles of dependency on aid. Chloé Calvignac, President, OCT Association, said one of the central roles of her organization is raising the visibility of OCTs in Brussels. Theo Saramandis, DG-DEVCO, said the unilateral legal framework of partnership between the EU and OCTs will be reviewed soon to address challenges that have emerged.
Speakers included: Klavs A. Holm, Arctic Ambassador for the Kingdom of Denmark; Shirley Skerrit-Andrew, Ambassador for the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Dirk Pilat, Head of the Structural Policy Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD; Susana Calsamiglia-Mendlewicz, Research Programme Officer, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission; and Gerritjan Valk, Smart and Sustainable Energy Systems, TNO- Aruba. [EBCD Press Release]