GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Sint Maarten is getting ready for Agricultural research and development, which enables sustainable cultivated crops.
In 2014, Sint Maarten embraced the Millennium Acceleration Framework (MAF) methodology as a tool, which helps the country to systematically identify and prioritize feasible actions that could accelerate progress toward Millennium Development Goal 1: Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and 7: Ensuring environmental sustainability.
Sint Maarten assumes responsibility for implementing the MAF Country Action Plan. The Department of BAK (Binnenlandse Aangelegenheden en Koninkrijksrelaties) has finalized the MAF Report 2014-2018 and the accompanying Country Action Plan, that is recognized as being the first globally to accelerate progress on two instead of one MDGs (as well as being the first to address sustainable community development).
To eradicate extreme poverty and still have a link with environmental sustainability, the stakeholders of the MAF process have chosen an agricultural Pilot project. ‘The Community Gardens Project’ of Spaceless Garden’s conducted agricultural research and the development of a training center, which is based in St. Peters.
Research in developing organic fertilizers and pesticides, composting, water reservation, coal production, sustainable crop types that fits our climate, soil adjustment and assessments, waste water management and medicinal crop types are incorporated. Relevant learnings and data will be gathered for future use.
Since the international Millennium Development Goals agenda has been replaced by the new Sustainable Development Goals agenda, it is relevant to mention that the pilot project is in alignment with these new Goals: nrs. 1 and 2. ‘Achieve food security’ and ‘Improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. The New Sustainable Development agenda was adopted by the United Nation in September 2015.
After reaching consensus on the interventions, the bottlenecks, common goals as well as how to address the solutions, Denisio Wyatt, managing director of Spaceless Gardens, kicked off the project a few weeks ago. In first instance this was done with the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office on Sint Maarten.
The Community Skills enhancement program and Community Market Day are phases in the project and right now in full execution in St. Peters.
During the first phase, the training program will be closed off with an award ceremony and a Community Market Day, which currently scheduled for December 4th. After that, the program will continue for the trainees with the support of BAK and the ministry of VSA (Health, Social Development and Labour).
The project is projected to be finalized in February 2017. Sint Maarten government is very supportive of this MAF pilot project that has been made possible by the exchange of dialogue between governmental stakeholders (VSA and BAK), non-governmental organizations (UNESCO & NGO’s) civil society and the private sector.
Engaging sectors of society and collaboration with stakeholders is one of the fundamental principles of the United Nations per the 1th of January 2016 as agreed upon program on Sustainable Development Goals.