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Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)’s Board Meeting: strategizing nature conservation.

dnca11102021The Board of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) recently held their first Board Meeting for 2021 in a mixed virtual and in-person setting, making decisions and discussing strategies crucial to ensuring the continuation of the conservation management activities executed by the Park Management Organizations of all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. Originally an in-person meeting was planned for Sint Maarten, but due to a spike in COVID19 cases on the ABC islands, it was decided to host a mixed meeting, with some members joining from Sint Maarten while others joined from their respective home locations throughout the Dutch Caribbean and the Netherlands.
The DCNA Board meetings are critical for discussing and strategizing on the most effective way to support protected area management organizations in the Dutch Caribbean, especially in light of the significant challenges brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic and other pressures faced by the Park Management Organizations. Park Management Organizations also had the opportunity to update each other on some of the challenges and successes the parks are experiencing as they continue to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean. Various governance decisions were also taken including decisions related to financial good-governance, the disbursement of the Conservation Trust Fund, and the support the DCNA network provides in terms of its regional and international lobby on behalf of the conservation organizations in the Dutch Caribbean.
The DCNA conservation network provides support to the Protected Area Management Organizations on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean: Aruba National Parks Foundation, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI Curaçao, STENAPA St. Eustatius, the Saba Conservation Foundation, and the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation. Another critical component discussed during the Board Meeting is the importance of implementing a strategy that will help foster the development of sustainable tourism for the islands, enabling the Dutch Caribbean to emerge from the challenges brought about by the Pandemic with a greater focus on green and blue economies. Aside from conservation managers and the various experts of the Board of DCNA, observers from the World Wild Fund for Nature the Netherlands (WWF-NL), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN-NL), BirdLife Netherlands, Observation International, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality (LNV) also participated in the last DCNA Board Meeting.
The next DCNA Convention is planned for the 22-24th of November in Curaçao. The DCNA convention not only has the DCNA Board Meeting on the agenda but also several workshops for the protected area management organizations from the six Dutch Caribbean islands, bringing scientific institutions, local stakeholders, and youth nature ambassadors together for knowledge exchange and capacity building.


Health authorization QR code allows for fully vaccinated residents of Sint Maarten and BES islands to enter country without testing protocols.

omarottley23022021PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley would like to inform the public that as of Monday, June 14th, residents of Sint Maarten, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Bonaire can enter the country without a negative rt-PCR or antigen test once they are fully vaccinated for two weeks or more after their second dose in a 2-dose series of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

EHAS has been updated and will now issue a QR code with each Health Authorization Pre-Approval as of June 9th. This QR code is primarily meant to make travel and access on the island wherever required easier. For non-residents (tourists) their information will have a green background and residents' information will have an orange background.

If health authorization is pre-approved, passengers will receive a pre-authorization PDF via e-mail. This PDF will also contain a QR code which will show the vaccination status of passengers allowing health authority to determine if vaccination requirements are met to gain access to Sint Maarten. Although residents traveling from high-risk or banned countries will still require to adhere to the test protocols as stipulated in the EHAS travel requirements, a QR code will also be issued as it will contain their COVID-19 test results. Passengers traveling from high-risk counties are to keep the original rt-PCR or antigen test results even if they are vaccinated.

The QR code will be valid for the duration of the stay on Sint Maarten and can be scanned with a QR code reader app on any device. Returning residents will also receive the QR code for travel purposes, but this will expire a day after landing.

Comedians Onicia Muller and Devin Whitlock Premier Hilarious New Podcast about Scams.

swindels10062021CHICAGO/SINT MAARTEN:--- Former crime reporter turned comedian Onicia Muller and fellow Chicago comedian Devin Whilock have joined together to produce a comedy podcast exposing scams. ‘Scam, Swindles and Schemes’ is a weekly show about trending stories, everyday problems, and practices that may be more pervasive than people realize.
Lighthearted, opinionated, and very much not to be taken seriously, ‘Scams, Swindles, and Schemes’ cover everything from beauty bloggers and get-rich-quick ideas to travel hacks and lies about freelancing—nothing is safe! And don’t get Devin started on reality television shows.
Devin and Onicia have been friends for many years and decided to put their scam detection skills to good use and save the general public from shady characters and businesses. The bite-sized episodes provide the perfect chance for listeners to enjoy good banter, jokes and protect their retirement savings by staying in the know.
‘Scams, Swindles, and Schemes’ premieres on Friday, June 18, 2021. Audiences can find full episodes and bonus content at

Ministry of Justice: More than 300 books donated by community to help furnish prison library.

annarichardson10062021PHILIPSBURG:--- On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the Ministry of Justice launched a book drive aimed at furnishing the prison library and providing additional educational resources for the inmates at the Point Blanche Prison and Detention Center. In an effort to expand the selection of programs and activities available to the inmates at the prison, the Honorable Minister of Justice, Ms. Anna E. Richardson, met with various entities prior to the launch of the book drive to discuss ways in which these plans can be realized. Furnishing the prison library was an essential part of the process in order to stimulate inmates in their pursuit of self-development.
With the collaborative efforts of the University of Saint Martin(USM), the book drive was launched and hosted over a two (2) week period which started on May 18, 2021, and ended on June 1, 2021. As a means to motivate the inmates, a survey was conducted to identify what their educational interests are and the genres of books that appeal to them most. The genres identified as a result of the survey included amongst other types were poetry, fiction, science non-fiction, and history. The public was encouraged to support the development and growth of the inmates by donating at least (1) one used or gently used book to replenish the library with quality literature.
Minister Richardson stated that when the book drive was launched, she had hoped for large community involvement and support. After seeing the results, she expressed how pleased she is to see those hopes came to fruition. “It’s an amazing feeling to see our community come out and show their support to achieve this goal meant to benefit the inmates at the Point Blanche Prison and Detention Center. The support of our community over these past two weeks will provide positive opportunities for so many of the inmates”, said the minister.
The book drive was concluded on June 1, 2021, in which over 300 books were collected from donations by the community. The donations covered various genres that were of interest to the inmates including a variety of other genres.

“It is always an honor and pleasure for us to participate in these types of initiatives. We believe that education and access to literature is a human right. If we think of Malcom X, Nelson Mandela, and many other heroes who spent a considerable amount of time in prison, we can recall that they did a lot of reading. We were also very happy to collaborate with the Ministry of Justice, and we continue to applaud their efforts.,” said Dr. Carmona Báez, the President of the University of St. Martin (USM).
Having been the drop-off point for the book drive, the Management team of the USM was pleased to present the book collection to Minister Richardson along with the Acting Director of the Prison, Mr. Aartwichgt Bell, and a member of the Management Team at the Prison; Mr. Steven Carty, who expressed their gratitude to the community for making such a donation.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Justice, I would like to extend a special thank you to the USM for their partnership in this initiative. We were fortunate to have the USM respond quickly to our request for using their institute as the designated drop-off point, allowing us the means to move forward with the book drive. I would also like to thank the people of Sint Maarten for showing your support and contributing to this success. Our goal is not just to fill the shelves of the prison library, but to also provide more opportunities that inmates can make use of to continue developing themselves and sharpen their skills that they will be able to use in the future”, stated Minister Richardson.
Consideration for different types of development programs is currently in the execution phase. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice will be carrying out a needs assessment to determine the next steps in being able to effectively offer the GED course at the prison, while also assessing proposals for the implementation of classes and other courses.

Police urges graduates to consider joining law enforcement.

kpsmgraduates10062021PHILIPSBURG:--- The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM urges young people who have completed their education to consider serving their country by donning the blue uniform and tackling law and order as a police officer-in-training.
The call comes as students wrap up high school, college, and university studies and coincide with KPSM’s recruitment drive. This drive seeks to add at least 20 police officers-in-training to KPSM’s ranks thereby boosting the country’s safety and security.
Expressing congratulating to all students, their parents, and family, KPSM advises all to explore the wide range of opportunities the police force can offer and to consider this as a way to build an exciting, varied, and highly rewarding career.
No two police officers are the same. However, they all have something in common: a fierce commitment to integrity and securing the strong foundation of law enforcement. Why think about joining KPSM? The reasons are many and includes:
• The job is never routine
• Police officers help people make better choices
• Police officers are problem solvers
• Police officers trusted members of the community
• The daily opportunity to save someone’s life
KPSM offers a myriad of possibilities to progress from patrol officer to detective, intelligence or forensic specialist, and from detective to motorcycle officer. These are only a small part of what the organization offers to young men and women looking to serve the Sint Maarten community in a very hands-on and tangible way.

Learn more about the recruitment drive, visit our Website:


KPSM Press Release.

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