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Whale and dolphin research expedition in the Caribbean

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - The three-month whale and dolphin research expedition Ti Whale An Nou started May 15, 2021 and the objective is to register the number of whales, specifically sperm whales, and the routes they take in the Caribbean. The results will be used to determine what is needed to protect these large mammals. This expedition is coordinated by the Caribbean Cetacean Society and is made possible thanks to the partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA).

The name of the research project Ti Whale An Nou is a mixture of French Creole and English and it means ‘our little whales’. In the Caribbean, 33 out of the 90 known species of whales have been documented, which is more than a third of the world's total diversity. This makes the Caribbean an essential habitat. The main objectives of this study are to assess population size, distribution, movements, social structure and vocal clans of Lesser Antilles sperm whales as well as improve knowledge on the other species. Vocal clans are social groups of whales that sound acoustically similar. The biggest threats to whales are noise from ship traffic or coastal development, pollution, hunting, and bycatch.

Migration and numbers
The research of this expedition can make an important contribution to a better understanding of the population size and distribution of whales. Similar research has been conducted in previous years. The difference with this expedition is that the research area is extended and includes the region from Saba to Anguilla. Mammal presence and absence will be monitored in the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, around Saba, Saba Bank, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius. By comparing the results of this expedition with previously gathered data, concrete follow-up actions for the protection of the whales can be planned. This research mission receives great support by not only DCNA and WWF-NL, but from Corail Caraibes, Orange, the EDF Group Foundation, Animal Wellfare Institute, and Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique as well.

Importance for other Caribbean islands
This research will provide an understanding of the migration routes of marine mammals and therefore an opportunity to improve the protection of these animals. A stable population of whales and dolphins is an indication of healthy oceans. In healthy oceans, fish stocks are stable which is important for the fisheries and the economy on the islands. Furthermore, whales play a significant role in capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Each great whale isolates an estimated 33 tons of CO2 on average, thus playing their part in the fight against climate change.

Credit Alexis Rosenfeld

Photo Credit Alexis Rosenfeld

 

 

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“Hiking on St. Eustatius” a Tropical Open-Air Museum by Author Marion Schroen

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Sint Eustatius is a Dutch island in the Caribbean. This special municipality has an enormous variation in nature and is worth putting on your bucket list. Marion Schroen has explored the island extensively and shares her passion in the newly published book Hiking on St. Eustatius, English version. June 19, 2021, the book signing took place at the building, formerly known as Mazinga on the Bay, at Oranjebaai on St. Eustatius.

In less than six month the very much wanted translated version in English is a fact. This could not have been possible without the help of all the sponsors on St. Eustatius, private sponsors, and the government.

The book is for anyone who wants to walk or run on this small island and delve into the broader context of this tropical open-air museum, where the past reveals itself with every step.

Whether you are a hiker or an armchair adventurer, a lover of fortresses or nature, come for work or vacation, have an hour or a whole day, are a beginner or advanced; don't pass up the opportunity to experience this impressive beauty and diversity. Marion Schroen is a lover of hiking and running. She knows all the nooks and crannies of the island and makes you a personal participant in the hike-lights of Statia as the island is also called.

The book ‘Hiking on St. Eustatius. A tale of love and friendship’ contains background information about St. Eustatius, describes 22 walks in which the author shares personal stories and gives tips about hiking and trail running in the tropical climate. Free GPS tracks of the routes are also available.

Both the Dutch and English version can be ordered via www.anoda.nl in The Netherlands and via the author. Both versions are also for sale on St. Eustatius at the Museum, the tourist office, the Gem store, the dive shops Scubaqua and Golden Rock Dive Center and of course at Stenapa.

On Sint Maarten both versions will be for sale from the end of June 2021 at the shipwreckshops in the Departure Hall at the airport and in Philipsburg.

On Curaçao the book is for sale at the newspaper Amigoe and at the Bruna bookstore.

From the beginning of next month, the English version also will be available via amazon.com.

Of course, the book is also available via the author (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

SEU NEW BOOK AUTHOR AND NATL PARK REP

Author Marion Schroen and A. Mitchell (R) from the St. Eustatius Natural Parks.

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12 COVID-19 Recoveries on Saturday. Six New Positive Cases today. 61 Active Cases. 150 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine. Four Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 19th, there were six (6) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, twelve (12) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to sixty-one (61). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred seventy (2570).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring fifty-seven (57) people in home isolation. Four (4) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-two (32).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred seventy-seven (2477). Ninety-three (93) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 146 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley would like to thank everyone who came out to the vaccination pop- up clinic today at the Jose Lake Ball Park. Together we can achieve our goal.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 18th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, seven (7) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to sixty-seven (67). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred sixty-four (2564).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-three (63) people in home isolation. Four (4)) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-two (32).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred sixty-five (2465). Ninety-one (91) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 141 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

All persons who were vaccinated at CPS on May 29th are encouraged to come out tomorrow Saturday, June 19th, to the Jose Lake Ball Park to receive their second dose. The pop- up will start at 9 AM until supplies last.

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Seven New COVID-19 cases on Thursday. 71 Active Cases. 12 Recoveries. Five persons Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 17th, there were seven (7) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, twelve (12) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-one (71). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred sixty-one (2561).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-six (66) people in home isolation. Five (5) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-two (32).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred fifty-eight (2458). Eighty-six (86) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 131 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

This weekend’s pop-up vaccination clinic will take place on Saturday, June 19th between 9 AM and 4 PM or until supplies last. All persons who were vaccinated at CPS on May 29th are encouraged to come out to the Jose Lake Ball Park to receive their second dose.

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SER Exploration 'The contribution of migrant populations to the socio-economic development of Curaçao'

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - On June 11, 2021, the Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao, with due regard to the provisions of Article 2, third paragraph, of the National Ordinance regulating the establishment, organization, composition and authority of a Social and Economic Council for Curaçao (A.B. 2010, no. 87, appendix p, as amended by P.B. 2017, no. 70) adopted an exploration entitled: 'The contribution of migrant populations to the socio-economic development of Curaçao.'

This study is the second in a series of studies in the series 'Migration and Socio-economic Development Curaçao' and is based on a study conducted by the SER Curaçao into the contribution that migrants make to the socio-economic development of the island.

The first foresight 'The Future of the AOV' was published in March 2020. In this first foresight study, the financial sustainability of the General Old Age Insurance (hereafter: the AOV) was analyzed using different future migration scenarios. A key finding of the projections made in the study is that legal immigration acts as an inhibiting factor with respect to the increasingly unsustainable financial situation of the AOV system. The projections also show that taking measures aimed at making the pension system more future-proof can no longer be postponed.

The present study, starting from a historical perspective and looking at the various migrant populations on Curaçao, lays the foundation for policy starting points on the theme of migration and socio-economic development. The third study in the series follows on from this and deals in a broader sense with the contribution of immigration to the economic development of Curaçao and offers leads for further policy development in the area of migration, labor market and education.

Socio-economic issues related to migration have had the attention of the SER for quite some time. In May 2019, SER Aruba, SER Curaçao and SER Sint Maarten jointly organized a two-day symposium "Migration and Socioeconomic Development, Policy Challenges and Options" in Willemstad, Curaçao. The symposium highlighted the many sides of migration, and labor migration in particular. The symposium provided valuable insights, knowledge and networks that are important for further policy development in the field of labor migration.

Central to this is the insight that labour migration policy must be considered in conjunction with the policy fields of labour market and education, and population policy. Integrality, consistency and effectiveness of policy are essential starting points in this context.

Within such an integrated policy framework, the challenges and opportunities of (labour) migration should be weighed as much as possible against the background of the need and capacity of Curaçao society.

With this technical exploration, the SER wants to make a follow-up contribution to the discussion on policy options concerning migration and socio-economic development. The extent to which different migrant populations contribute to the socio-economic development of Curaçao is analyzed. This analysis is largely based on data from the last census of the Central Bureau of Statistics Curaçao (CBS) in 2011, supplemented with data from the period 2014-2018.

The publication of this Outlook was originally planned shortly after the publication of the first Outlook in March 2020. However, throughout the year 2020, the SER of Curaçao received an exceptionally high number of requests for advice from both the government and parliament. In addition, due to the situation resulting from the Covid-19 crisis, a large number of requests for advice from the government had an urgent character. For these reasons, the publication of this report and the other reports has been postponed.

The report (SER-Verkenning: ‘De bijdrage van migrantenpopulaties aan de sociaaleconomische ontwikkeling van Curaçao’) is availbale on the website of SER: www.ser.cw

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11 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Six persons Hospitalized. 76 Active Cases

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 16th, there were eleven (11) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, four (4) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-six (76). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred fifty-four (2554).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring seventy (70) people in home isolation. Six (6) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-two (32).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred forty-six (2446). Eighty-nine (89) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 128 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Starting on Thursday, June 17th, Caribbean Cinemas in Cole Bay will be used as a new vaccination location. This location will be open for walk-ins from Monday to Friday during the hours of 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Minister Ottley encourages everyone to come out and get vaccinated. All persons who are interested in getting vaccinated are asked to bring any form of photo ID for registration.

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Disaster Mangement coordinates VNG conference on communication for ESF members

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Government of St. Maarten, through the Office of Disaster Management, hosted a conference at the Government Administration Building with VNG International, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten) and communication and public relations personnel and officers from the Department of Communication, the Ministers’ cabinet, and various branches of the Emergency Support Function (ESF) members.

The name of the conference is: “Crisis communications for Communications advisors, PR officers and DCOMM” and the training was provided by the VNG organization, which represents since 1950 all Dutch municipalities, including, since 1995, the public bodies Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba as well as the constituent countries of Aruba, St. Maarten, and Curacao.

VNG’s general goal, according to their website, is to “support and promote the strength and quality of local administrations” and “facilitates municipalities with the exchange of knowledge and experience regarding the implementation of national and local policies.”

The aim of the conference on St. Maarten is to work along and assist with disasters and crisis communication issues.

Secretary General of the Ministry of General Affairs, mr. Hensley Plantijn, provided some opening remarks to the session.

“After Hurricane Irma, we realized again that communication is vital to the whole organizational structure of Government. To preserve the integrity of Government, corrective, clear, and informative communication messages had to go out to the public in a timely and accurate manner to information the general public about the current crisis situation. This conference serves as a team building exercise among different communication organizations that will be keep working together. The fact that you reserve your time to participate, is highly appreciated, and shows that you all understand the importance of accurate information be provided to the community,” Plantijn said.

VNG (International) members Anke Hendriks and Esther Lans, who moderated and facilitated the conference training, were honored to be part of this unique first conference for all the communication professionals on Sint Maarten who share the responsibility of informing the public and stakeholders during crises. “We were impressed by the level of professionalism and the collective ambition to expand collaboration between communication professionals. We are confident that these professionals will form a solid network for crisis communications on Sint Maarten. Being stronger together means sharing knowledge and learning together, and this conference today has laid the foundations.”

The conference focused on key principles of crisis management; explored different experiences and perspectives and the ramifications thereof; stipulated possibilities for future collaboration

All in all, the conference was a success, Maurice Lake, Head of the Department of Communication, said at the end of the conference. I am glad for the contribution of Anke Hendriks and Esther Lans of VNG International and of all the participants here today. We shall continue as ever before in providing up-to-date and accurate information to the public of St. Maarten.

Present at the conference were members from the different Government communication sectors, Vaccine Management Team, St. Maarten Medical Center, Police, National Detectives, Airport, Port, Prosecutor’s office, NRPB/National Recovery Bureau, GEBE, Tourism Board, and the DCOMM.

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11 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. 10 Recoveries. 69 Active Cases. Six Persons Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 15th, there were eleven (11) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, ten (10) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to sixty-nine (69). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred forty-three (2543).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-three (63) people in home isolation. Six (6) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-two (32).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred forty-two (2442). Ninety-one (91) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 118 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley encourages everyone to remain cautious when in public places. For your safety, come out and get vaccinated, you do not need to make an appointment. Just bring a form of photo ID for registration.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Omar Ottley extends his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 32nd COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. He wishes the family strength during this time.

As of June 14th, there were ten (10) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, thirteen (13) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to sixty-eight (68). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred thirty-two (2532).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-two (62) people in home isolation. Six (6) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to thirty-two (32).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred thirty-two (2432). Ninety-seven (97) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 103 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges the public to take COVID-19 seriously. Persons who have not yet registered to be vaccinated, please do so. Walk-ins are also accepted to accommodate everyone.

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Four New Positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 72 Active Cases. Four persons Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 12th, there were four (4) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, five (5) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-two (72). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred twenty-two (2522).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-eight (68) people in home isolation. Four (4) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-one (31).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred nineteen (2419). One hundred twenty-one (121) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 079 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley encourages the public to go out and get vaccinated.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 11th, there were seven (7) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, eleven (11) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-three (73). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred eighteen (2518).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-nine (69) people in home isolation. Four (4) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty-one (31).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred fourteen (2414). One hundred thirty (130) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 065 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 889 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to remain cautious. For your safety, wear your mask in public places, practice social distancing, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Omar Ottley extends his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 31st COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. Heartfelt thoughts go out the family in this time of sorrow.

As of June 10th, there were eight (8) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, one (1) person had recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-seven (77). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred eleven (2511).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring seventy-three (73) people in home isolation. Four (4) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to thirty-one (31).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred three (2403). One hundred thirty-six (136) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 063 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 424 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley would like to urge our residents and visitors to be mindful and practice the public health interventions; mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand washing. If you have not been vaccinated, please go out and do so.

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Eight New Positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. 71 Active Cases, Five Persons Hospitalized. 12 Recoveries. 207 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of June 9th, there were eight (8) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, twelve (12) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-one (71). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand five hundred three (2503).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring sixty-six (66) people in home isolation. Five (5) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at thirty (30).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand four hundred two (2402). One hundred forty-one (141) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 062 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 30, 424 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley would like to encourage the public to remain vigilant and observe the COVID-19 guidelines for your safety.

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