USM hosts lecture on sustainable development, agro-ecology Sept. 13 | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–University of St. Martin (USM) will begin its public seminar series for the 2018-2019 academic year with lectures on Sustainable Small Island Development, Environment and Agro-ecology on Thursday, September 13.

Doors to the conference room will open at 6:30pm. Guest speakers will include Nature Foundation’s Tadzio Bervoets; social researcher and civil servant Arjen Alberts and Eco St. Maarten Agricultural Research and Development Foundation’s Denicio Wyatte.

Wyatte will talk about food security and ecological farming, which has become a growing topic especially after the passing of Hurricane Irma. Alberts will speak on tourism and current challenges to small island development, while Bervoets will cover island/marine ecology and the impact of our current development model. Following the talks, there will be room for structured public dialogue where everyone can participate.

USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona said the seminar series is to promote the production of knowledge, science, research and ideas of innovation already flourishing in St. Maarten and the region, with the purpose of building a university that caters to the social needs, collective hopes and well-being of the country. “Through these seminars, USM is reaching out to the community and we are asking ourselves: what kind of university and what sort of programmes will help place St. Maarten on a healthy, sustainable path to recovery?” Carmona said in a press statement over the weekend.

The seminar series is placed in the context of the 2030 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. “For us it is important to congregate local experts, professionals and activists whom, together with the general public and government, can generate guidelines for academic programmes, research, future courses and publications on the most pressing issues affecting the people of St. Maarten,” said Carmona.

In 2018, government initiated a public discussion on the UN Agenda 2030, whereby countries commit to reaching 17 goals related to equitable, diverse, and inclusive socio-economic development, healthy environments and preparedness for climate change. This year USM will hold public debates with the transversal SDGs by offering once-a-month seminars on (mental) health, science, technology and innovation, law, language, economy and the arts.

Source: The Daily Herald