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Farmers sign up to run world’s first floating farm in Rotterdam

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The world’s first floating farm, to be built in Rotterdam, has recruited two dairy farmers and a herd. Albert Boersen and Myrthe Brabander will be the faces of an experimental Floating Farm and their Montbéliarde cows its moos.

The AD reports on Thursday that the grass is already growing for Dutch floating projects developer Beladon, which plans to build a 1,000 square meter floating platform on the harbour. The aim is to produce 800 litres of milk a day and, potentially, yogurt or Comté-style cheese.

Urban farming

It follows a trend of ‘urban farming’, in which food production is brought back to cities where people live – for example, the UrbanFarmers project cultivating fish and salad greens in an empty Philips office block in The Hague.

Boersen told the AD: ‘People often don’t know where their food comes from, and I’d like to show them close up. But I also want to create awareness among farmers so that they know where their produce goes.

My parents sell their milk through [dairy collective] FrieslandCampina so it’s an anonymous project. I think that’s a shame.’ Applying for the job after studying in Leeuwarden, he added he expected his cows to be very curious and sniff around the structure.


According to Beladon plans, it will be built in concrete, with galvanised steel frames and a membrane floor that lets cow urine soak through; robots will top up food stations and mop up dried cow dung.

The cows will also be able to cross to a pasture on real land, which is already growing. Brabander has experience in cheese making, although the initial plans are to start with pasteurised milk and yogurt.

She added to the AD: “Don’t be afraid that the cows will be seasick. They are used to it.’ The project is due to cost more than €2 mln and is financed by private cash. It was inspired after Peter Beladon, chief executive of the developer, visited New York during Hurricane Sandy, saw the disruption to food supply, and decided to build an urban farm.

He has previously developed other floating projects. Minke van Wingerdon, partner at Beladon, told ‘We are very pleased that in addition to our information centre [now built], at the end of the year, we will start construction on the site.’

‘Drool-y and uncertain’

Andrew Cobner, junior vice president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association, told that cows might feel the effects of a sea voyage, according to a 2015 article on vehicle motion and animal welfare. But ‘in a sheltered harbour, it seems unlikely that any effect would be seen.’ However, if the cows do feel bad, he said, they would ‘look a bit drool-y and uncertain’. (DutchNews)


Dutch central bank introduces new stress test for climate change

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Financial institutions must increasingly factor in the consequences of a changing climate and the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, the Dutch central bank said on Thursday.

The bank now intends to make climate-related risks a bigger part of its regulatory role, with ‘the ultimate aim of ensuring sustainable financial stability’, the bank said in a statement.

A recent report by bank analysts on changes in the frequency of extreme weather and rising sea levels showed that the impact will be felt on the assets of financial institutions through various indirect channels.

In addition, the consequences of the Paris climate agreement to limit CO2 emissions will ‘create risks for the financial sector as a result of transition policy and technological developments’, the bank said.

‘The market for green finance is also emerging, with its own opportunities and threats.’ For example, Dutch insurers will have to deal with more claims as the result of climate-related damage.

Climate change is also making it more difficult to estimate the likelihood of extreme weather which may, in turn, lead to risks being under-estimated. As well as including climate-related risks in its role as regulator, the central bank said it is currently conducting a climate-related stress test at non-life insurers and working on a stress test for transition risks. (DutchNews)


Simpson Bay Bridge Operational. 10.00AM and 3.00PM Openings

SIMPSON BAY – The Simpson Bay Bridge is operational.  Scheduled opening times have been set at 10.00 AM and 15.00 PM until further notice.

Vessels should call the bridge attendant on Marine Radio VHF Channel 12 before transiting the bridge.  Outbound traffic will be allowed to transit first.

There is an obstruction near the south side entrance of the bridge channel.  Salavage Operator Koole Mamoet will be removing the aforementioned within short. 

All vessels will be transiting the Simpson Bay Lagoon at their own risk.  Mariners should contact marinas for guidance.  All vessels enter the lagoon at their own risk.

The Causeway Bridge is currently out of operation.  Technicians and a bridge repair kit will be arriving from the Netherlands shortly.  The marine community will be kept abreast when the aforementioned is back in operation.


WEATHER WATCH: System becomes Tropical Depression. To become 14th Tropical Storm/Hurricane Nate

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami on Wednesday upgraded a low-pressure system near Costa Rica to a Tropical Depression.  This system will bring torrential rains over portions of Central America.

Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for coastal areas of Nicaragua and Honduras while NHC advises the bay Islands, western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) to closely monitor the progress of the depression.


ARCHIVE, SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami is now monitoring a new weather system that has a 90 per cent chance of becoming the 14th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

This low-pressure system is located in the South Western Caribbean Sea near Costa Rica/Nicaragua.  An Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance Aircraft is scheduled to investigate the weather system on Wednesday afternoon.

The NHC has advised the countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico) and Western Cuba to monitor the progress of the system as watches and warnings could be issued on Wednesday afternoon.



Internet Week Guyana to kick off with ICT Awareness Day

SINT MAARTEN/GUYANA - In the Caribbean, our growing inventory of web-connected gadgets is constantly changing the way that we do routine business transactions and access critical services.

It is also raising interesting questions about how we can get more from information and communications technology, or ICT, while staying safe online. An upcoming ICT Awareness Day in Guyana, on October 9, aims to answer some of those questions. 

“The ICT Awareness Day is free of charge and open to the public. It is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about how to stay safe online, and how to get involved in the governance of the global Internet,” said Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), an organisation that distributes and manages Internet number resources in the region.

LACNIC is one of several Internet bodies taking part in the ICT Awareness Day. Others include the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG).

Sessions will focus on what the Internet economy, cyber security, network neutrality and telecommunications regulation mean for Guyana, and for the wider Caribbean.

The ICT Awareness Day is the first in a weeklong series of meetings hosted by the Guyana Ministry of Public Telecommunications.  Catherine Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, will be among the feature speakers at the opening.     

The five-day event, called Internet Week Guyana, will be held at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown. 

Registration and other information are available at or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Central Committee meeting about advice (re)appointment of an Ombudsman

PHILIPSBURG – The Central Committee will meet in a session on October 4, 2017.

The Central Committee meeting which was scheduled for October 2, 2017 will be reconvened on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 13.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is Advice regarding the (re)appointment of an Ombudsman.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.



PHILIPSBURG - Social & Health Insurances SZV would like to inform the public and its customers of the following important notices. SZV also encourages all to monitor its Facebook page and the media for daily general updates.

Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
OFFICE LOCATION: Building 3, Level 1 & Building 1 level 1

GENERAL INQUIRIES: SZV can be reached by phone +1721-546 6782 for general inquires Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Employer Desk and Senior & benefits Desk: Available during opening hours. Located in Building 1 level 1.

DOCTOR CONTROL: Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 12:00pm. No numbers will be given after 12:00 pm. Only visit if still unfit for work, with doctor or hospital letter as proof. Both ZV insured and Government workers will be attended.

DOCTOR CONTROL IF ABROAD: It is not possible to apply the doctor control procedures for persons who have temporarily evacuated. If you have evacuated you must inform your employer and make arrangements with your employer. If you are unfit for work and was not evacuated for medical reasons by the St. Maarten Medical Center, the doctor control procedure is not applicable.

STAMP PRESCRIPTION: Your prescription can be stamped during opening hours

REQUEST MEDICAL EXPENSES REIMBURSMENT: A request for reimbursement of medical expenses can be filed during opening hours. Always bring original receipts or proof of payment. The SZV doctor will review your request.

DOCTOR CHANGE SEPTEMBER EXTENDED: Doctor Change requests can be submitted up until October 13th, 2017 during opening hours. The procedure for doctor change remains the same. The next opportunity after this deadline is the month of March 2018. 

BABY GUARANTEE LETTER: Baby Guarantee letters can be requested at SZV during opening hours.

LOST VALID INSURANCE CARD DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA/MARIA: If you have lost your VALID insurance card due to the effects of Hurricane Irma/Maria please visit the SZV office before October 13th to report this and request a new card. 

SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS FOR INSURANCE CARDS: All persons who were scheduled to have an appointment at SZV to re-new or apply for an insurance card in the period of September 5th – September 30th; your appointment will be re-scheduled. SZV will contact you with a new appointment date. If you have an expired insurance card or soon to be expired insurance card at the moment and require medical attention; Health Care providers locally have been given a list of persons who are insured and can assist you based on this. This will remain in place until further notice.

MEDICAL REFERRAL REQUESTS: SZV is currently not processing new referral requests. Emergency medical referrals are processed by the St. Maarten Medical Center.

WEBSITE WWW.SZV.SX: Due to unstable internet connectivity on the island at the moment; it may happen that our website is not available or online. Please check again later or for contact with SZV, message us on FB or call us during opening hours.

SZV Facebook page:


Two suspects arrested with gun for extreme violence

COLE BAY - On Saturday September 30th two men identified with initials A.M. and M.O. were arrested in Cole Bay for extreme public violence.

During their arrest, the suspect A.M. was found in the possession of an illegal fire-arm and was arrested immediately by the investigating officers.

The fire-arm was also confiscated. Both suspects were taken to the police head quarters where they remain in custody for questioning. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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