Launch of MAERI: from left, Governor Tim Foy, Calvin Samuel, Cora Richardson-Hodge, Curtis Richardson, Chanelle Petty-Barrett and Karl Dawson.
ANGUILLA–The Mid Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (MAERI) was officially launched and introduced to the public at the Anguilla Community College (ACC) where it will be headquartered, on Tuesday, March 13. Its stated vision describes MAERI as “an internationally recognised academic institute, based in Anguilla and operating in the Caribbean and beyond, conducting world class natural and physical research, teaching students and building capacity within and between the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Caribbean Overseas Territories (OTs) and beyond.”
Welcoming remarks were made by Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs, Chanelle Petty-Barrett, with additional remarks from Governor Tim Foy, Minister of Home Affairs and Education, Cora Richardson-Hodge, Minister of Fisheries, Agriculture and Environment, Curtis Richardson and ACC President Karl Dawson, all highlighting and acknowledging MAERI’s importance to Anguilla’s strategic environmental management and sustainment.
The Governor remarked that “MAERI reflects the UK’s commitment and vision to recognise the unique value of the eco-systems in all 14 Overseas Territories and the need to correctly manage, balance and preserve the systems according to world standards because of their importance to the livelihood of the citizens of the OTs, among other things.”
Also present were stakeholders from partnering overseas UK environmental agencies to include Tara Pelembe, Deputy Director of Innovation at the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) located in the Falkland Islands, and Environmental GIS consultant Dr. Jamie Williams along with Environmental Director Dr. Katie Medcalf, both with Environment Systems Ltd located in Wales, the UK. They each made short knowledge-based presentations on their institution’s work globally, and on how they will tailor their expertise to enhance MAERI.
Following the official launch and unveiling of MAERI’s logo, Anguilla’s Department of Environment led by Calvin Samuel, in conjunction with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, UK Environmental Studies, will hold a three-day conference entitled “A Data Portal and Data Strategy for Anguilla.” Anguilla will be used as a regional focal point for project management, training and workshops with the aim of building long-term institutional capacity to undertake environmental work and research.