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CCRIF Launches 2023 Scholarship and Internship Programmes for Caribbean Nationals… Supporting Tomorrow’s Leaders Today.

~Supporting young people to do their part on the journey to making the Caribbean the first climate-resilient region in the world!~


Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands:---CCRIF invites Caribbean nationals to apply for its scholarship and internship programmes for 2023 ( and for scholarships and for internships). Since 2010, CCRIF has been providing undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships to Caribbean nationals in areas related to disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, meteorology, environmental management, and civil engineering among others. In 2015, the Facility launched its flagship internship programme for Caribbean nationals by partnering with regional organizations and governments to host these interns and provide them with the opportunity to integrate their academic knowledge with the work environment.
In addition to being the world’s first risk pool providing parametric insurance to its 24 members, (19 Caribbean Governments, 3 Central American Governments and 2 Caribbean public utilities), CCRIF is also committed to building capacity and resilience in disaster risk management among its members. This is done through the CCRIF Technical Assistance Programme, whereby support is provided to member countries and regional organizations in the development and implementation of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation projects and programmes. The CCRIF Scholarship and Internship Programmes are also part of the TA Programme. The CCRIF TA Programme operates as the Facility’s corporate social responsibility programme and consists of four components.
At the launch of this year’s scholarship and internship programmes, CCRIF CEO Mr. Isaac Anthony said “As a development insurance company, CCRIF is committed to creating a more sustainable future for the region we call home. The scholarship and internship programmes were designed to build a cadre of professionals who can effectively contribute to comprehensive disaster risk management and reduce the vulnerabilities in the region, build resilience and fulfill the
Components of the CCRIF Technical Programme
ambition of making the Caribbean the world’s first climate-resilient region in the world”. Since the first scholarships and first internships were offered in 2010 and 2015 respectively, CCRIF has provided 165 scholarships for postgraduate and undergraduate study totaling US$1.7 million and 152 internships totaling US$409,000.
For 2023, CCRIF will continue to provide 4 scholarships of US$8,000 each to UWI students for the second and final years of their undergraduate degree. At the postgraduate level, CCRIF will provide 6 scholarships of US$11,000 each to students at Caribbean universities including The UWI (Cave Hill, Mona, and St. Augustine campuses), the University of Technology Jamaica, the University of Guyana, and University of Trinidad and Tobago among others. Eligible areas of study include but are not limited to Geography/Geology, Disaster Risk Management, Natural Resources Management, Climate Change, Civil Engineering, Meteorology, and Land Management.
The deadline for 2023 applications to both scholarship programs is: July 3, 2023.
CCRIF’s Regional Internship Programme is designed to provide opportunities for recent university graduates who have degrees in the areas of disaster risk management, environmental management, actuarial science, geography, climate studies, and other similar areas to be assigned to national and regional organizations in the Caribbean where their educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments. Host organizations have included national disaster management and meteorology agencies as well as regional entities including the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), Office of Disaster and Emergency Management (ODPEM) - Jamaica, and departments and centers within The UWI – among many other organizations. CCRIF provides stipends to all its interns and accommodation allowances when interns are assigned to organizations outside of their home country.
The deadline for 2023 applications to the regional internship program is June 9, 2023.
The CCRIF Internship Programme is one of the largest in the Caribbean Region for areas related to disaster risk management and is welcomed by both young graduates and host organizations. Mr. Kenneth Kerr, a former Climate Specialist at the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service had this to say after hosting interns for a few years, “The program continues to grow the local scientific community footprint/talent in many ways and provides opportunities to foster relationships through mentorship and training. It allows for building a stream of young and qualified talents and offers them scope to try out different avenues along their career paths.”
Some of the benefits of the internship program are: Application of studies from a degree in a work setting Knowledge of new cultures Experience with technical software and models Increased accountability Exposure to experts and specialists in the DRM field Learning how to be more diplomatic Learning how to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines in a high-stress environment Improved ability to work in a team setting Exposure to diverse stakeholders (e.g. farmers, government officials) Positive feeling of having contributed to the work of host organizations and to the region Encouragement to “think outside the box” and at a higher level than previously required, leading to increased confidence Improved skills in GIS, mapping, database design, research, data collection and analysis Access to new and cutting-edge information and policy direction and ability to provide host organization with new and innovative ideas

Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations (IPKO) to be held in The Hauge, the Netherlands.

PHILIPSBURG:---  A delegation from the Parliament of Sint Maarten left for The Netherlands to participate in the Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations (IPKO) from June 1–5, 2023, with the Netherlands as the host country. Delegations from the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao, and the Netherlands will also be participating.

The IPKO will commence on Wednesday, June 1, 2023, with opening remarks by the Chairperson of the IPKO, followed by speeches by the three delegation leaders of the Parliaments of the Countries. The opening speeches will be open to the public.

The four parliamentary delegations will be discussing a number of topics that include:

Recent developments in each country; a presentation by the quartermasters, John Leerdam, Peggy Brandon, and David Brandwagt regarding the to-be-established National Slavery Museum; Processing the colonial and slavery past: “filling in the space behind the comma”; Kingdom Conference; a presentation by Ed Nijpels on advice Climate Table Bonaire; and a presentation by the Ombudsman concerning a progress report on the report “Concerns of Caribbean students”. The program includes work visits focused on climate change.

The delegation of Sint Maarten has been preparing for the last few weeks for its participation in these meetings. The Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Interparliamentary Relations requested the necessary information from the Government in writing and subsequently met with the Government in a closed-door meeting to further discuss the topics.

The Interparliamentary consultations will conclude on Monday, June 5, 2023, with the signing of an agreement list and a joint press conference by the four delegations.

On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the Sint Maarten delegation will host and participate in a Tripartite meeting with delegations from the Parliaments of Aruba and Curaçao. The objective of this meeting is to prepare for the Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations and to discuss topics of mutual interest.

The delegation from the Parliament of Sint Maarten will also host the annual meet and greet with students and (young) professionals residing in the Netherlands on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. The purpose of this gathering, which will take place at the Sint Maarten House in The Hauge, is to interact with students and (young) professionals on what is happening back home and to hear from them about topics of interest and importance as it relates to the development of Country Sint Maarten. 

The Sint Maarten delegation participating in the IPKO and Tripartite meetings consists of the following members:

Mr. William V. Marlin, 1st Vice Chairman of Parliament, Chairman Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Interparliamentary Relations & Delegation Leader;

Mr. Rolando Brison;

Mrs. Grisha S. Heyliger-Marten;

Ms. Melissa D. Gumbs;

Mrs. Sarah A. Wescot-Williams;

Mr. Chanel E. Brownbill;

Mr. Christophe T. Emmanuel;

Mr. Akeem E. Arrindell;

Ms. Solange L. Duncan;

Ms. Ludmilla N.L. de Weever; and

Mr. Garrick J. Richardson, LL.M., ML, Secretary General.

The plenary sessions of the IPKO can be followed live via the Parliament's official Facebook page, @sxmparliament.

Saba Electoral College votes for First Chamber.

sabaelectoralcouncil30052023SABA:--- Saba’s Electoral College on Tuesday, May 30th voted for the Dutch First Chamber. All five votes went to Labor Party (PvdA) Senator Jeroen Recourt. PvdA and the green left party GroenLinks have combined their forces in the Senate.
Three of the five Members of the Electoral College, Elsa Peterson, Rolando Wilson, and Vito Charles, voted at the temporary polling station set up in the Court Room of the Government Administration Building at 9.00 am in the presence of the Chairman of the Main Voting Bureau, Island Governor Jonathan Johnson. Two Members voted by proxy on behalf of the two other Electoral College Members Bruce Zagers and Eviton Heyliger who are currently in the Netherlands on a working visit.
Though the role of the Electoral College is not that well-known among many people, it does play a cardinal role in the process to elect the 75 new Members of the First Chamber, together with the Electoral Colleges of Bonaire and St. Eustatius, the Electoral College for Dutch citizens abroad and the Provincial States.
“We believe our participation matters to continue to advocate the interest of the Saba people in The Hague, especially on important issues like the social minimum and other matters that affect our socioeconomic development. It is important to have that influence,” said Vito Charles.
“Especially if we organize and vote united, we can help to make the difference that is needed. It’s also about wanting to be taken seriously in voting in elections that benefit the islands. We were granted the constitutional right to have a say in the composition of the First Chamber and it is important to make use of that,” said Elsa Peterson, the second-highest vote-getter in the March 15, 2023 elections for the Electoral College.
“It is very important to have an influence on the composition of the First Chamber, because just as in the Second Chamber decisions are taken there that directly affect Saba,” said Rolando Wilson.
The five Members of the Saba Electoral College all voted for the combined PvdA/GroenLinks list which they found has the best interest of Saba at heart. The PvdA reached out to Saba and Bonaire for support to vote for the PvdA/GroenLinks list. The Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM) was the only party that took part in the March 15 elections for the Electoral College.


CBCS Calls on Community to Boost Circulation of Change.

WILLEMSTAD/PHILIPSBURG:--- The Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS) has observed that the circulation of smaller denominations of Netherlands Antilles coins (5, 10, and 25 cents) is low. One contributing factor is the substantial amount of change kept in containers (piggy banks). This situation is putting a strain on CBCS's coin supply. Additionally, considering the substantial lead time required for coin production and the upcoming introduction of the Caribbean Guilder along with entirely new coins and banknotes by the end of 2024, any newly minted coins prior to that would have a quite limited period of circulation. As such, the CBCS kindly urges the community to cooperate by utilizing any stored coins for cash payments or by exchanging them.
Using small changes for payments
Research on financial inclusion conducted by the CBCS has revealed that a large proportion of households in Curaçao and Sint Maarten pay their bills and purchases in cash. Consequently, small denominations play a crucial role in facilitating change during commercial transactions. This is why we kindly urge individuals to make cash payments with exact change whenever feasible and/or to use coins for small transactions.
Exchange at the CBCS
Accumulated coins can be exchanged at the CBCS’s Cash Department free of charge and without the need to deliver them in rolled form. In Curaçao, our office hours are, on workdays, from 8:00 to 11:30 am and from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. If you have a significant amount of coins, we recommend scheduling an appointment via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
On Sint Maarten, coin exchanges at the CBCS are by appointment only. To arrange an appointment, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The CBCS greatly appreciates your cooperation.
Willemstad, May 30, 2023

Hammerheads Hang in the Balance: Why These Sharks Deserve a Helping Hand.

hammerheadsharks30052023BONAIRE:--- (Hammerhead) sharks play an important role in maintaining healthy oceans, which is important for the fisheries and the economy of the Caribbean islands. Later this year, the Dutch and French governments will officially propose that three species of hammerhead sharks are added to the SPAW Protocol Annex II list during the next Conference of the parties for the Cartagena Convention (COPS) on Aruba. This increased protection will give the Dutch Caribbean the tools they need to further protect these vital sharks moving forward.
Hammerhead sharks, Genus Sphyrna, are found all around the world. Three of nine world’s species can be found in the Caribbean, including the scalloped hammerhead, the smooth hammerhead, and the great hammerhead. These species have a similar overall appearance, which makes identifying these sharks at the species level complicated. This has resulted in varying success for management and conservation actions, allowing loopholes for unwanted hammerhead shark mortalities to continue.
(Hammerhead) sharks are apex predators, which means that they are at the top of their food web and have no natural predators. Sharks help keep their prey population healthy by eating the sick and injured, while also affecting their prey’s distribution. In healthy oceans, sharks help to maintain stable fish stocks and healthy coral reefs and seagrass beds, which is important for the fisheries and the economy (tourism) of the islands. (Hammerhead) sharks are vulnerable to human threats. Overfishing, pollution, and climate change are all factors that can have a negative impact on these animals.
There are many organizations and individuals working to protect hammerhead sharks and their habitats in the Caribbean. A significant milestone was the establishment of protected areas such as the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary between the BES islands. However, additional efforts are crucial to create more marine protected areas, reduce pollution in the ocean, and promote sustainable fishing practices.
The SPAW Protocol is a regional agreement where member counties have committed to the protection and sustainable use of coastal and marine biodiversity within the Wider Caribbean Region. Within this agreement, species have been divided into three lists of varying levels of protection, named Annex I, II, and III. Annexes I and II include a list of species that require the highest level of protection. For these species, the possession, trade, or even disturbance of these species is forbidden. Annex III includes a list of species of which the exploitation is authorized, but highly regulated.
In 2017, hammerhead sharks were added to the Annex III list of the SPAW Protocol, but this has not resulted in the desired recovery of their populations. Therefore, the Kingdom of the Netherlands along with the Republic of France plans to submit a proposal during the next conference of the parties for the Cartagena Convention (COPS) to upgrade these sharks to the Annex II list. This will allow for these species to receive additional protection moving forward, ensuring these sharks are free to roam the Caribbean waters and contribute to healthy ecosystems for years to come.
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