27th February 2015
The Hon. Premier of Montserrat, Donaldson Romeo made a presentation this morning (Friday 27th February 2015) on geothermal energy at the conference of the European Commission and EU Overseas Countries and Territories being held in Tortola British Virgin Islands.
Mr Romeo was at the time taking part in a round table event captioned ” Regional Cooperation: Unlocking the Potential of OCTs”.
It was part of the 13th Overseas Countries and Territories – European Union Forum, which ends today.
The other members of the round table were: Anguilla, Bonaire, New Caledonia, Sint Maarten, and Saba.
The session was chaired by the Hon. Premier of the BVI, Dr.Orlando Smith.
Montserrat’s presentation focused on the exploitation of geothermal energy.
Premier Romeo’s presentation
Commissioner for Development, representatives of Member States, Heads of Delegation, ladies and gentlemen, I wish, on behalf of the Montserrat team to pay special tribute and thanks to the Commission and the Government of BVI for the arrangements which have been made on our behalf. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring greetings and thanks from Montserrat the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean for your continued support.
My brothers and sisters we can no longer depend on fossil fuel for energy.
The extremely high cost of importing fossil fuel is stifling development in our territories. Every sector within our economy is impacted by the fluctuation of prices in this market.
“Turning ash into cash”. The volcano is seen to many as a negative, but we see it as an opportunity to turn ash and other distinct feature of the volcano into cash and as an opportunity for greater regional cooperation.
Geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy can greatly reduce the need to import fossil fuel to generate the energy required to sustain the lifestyle we now enjoy.
This energy can be used for domestic cooking, for transportation, or for any other purpose that we currently use fuel in other forms in our daily lives. Wherever electricity can be easily substituted, we must see it as an opportunity.
In addition, for many of our territories, importation of fossil fuel is a significant component of our trade deficit. We need to reduce the large amount of money currently being spent on the importation of diesel fuel to the island retaining valuable foreign exchange.
Cheaper and cleaner energy will encourage the development of existing and new businesses that are heavily dependent on energy. This in turn creates new jobs, expands the amount of goods and services available on island, thus boosting the economy.
The National ICT policy for my country seeks to engage the populous to develop the skill sets which it is hope will support a vibrant environment to allow for the development and use of industries in this field that will be able to take advantage of reliable low cost energy.
Renewable energy development should be seen by all as a key resource in the future development of our territories, but it needs to be fully exploited in order to have a really vibrant and sustainable future.
It is in this regard why we have chosen Sustainable Energy for both our Territorial and Regional envelope.
26th February 2015
Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo
Dr. Ayanna Johnson, Executive Director Waitt Institute/Blue Halo Maritime Preservation Project
Hon. Minister for Agriculture, Housing, Trade, Lands and Environment, Claude Hogan
25th February 2015
The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo will represent Montserrat at a meeting of the European Union Overseas Countries and Territories – European Union Forum which will take place in Tortola this week.
The series of meetings involving officials of the European Union and OCT leaders will be held from February 24th to 27th in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
The meetings will discuss funding via the European Development Fund (EDF) for projects and programmes in Montserrat and other EU overseas territories.
Premier Romeo will also chair a meeting of the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council.
Among matters to be addressed are a review of the current disbursement of funds and performance of projects funded under 10th European Development Fund programme.
Preparations for the 11th EDF funding cycle will also be considered.
Mr Romeo and other leaders will also examine the relationship between the overseas countries and territories and the European Union (EU), as well as other international and regional partners, in a bid to create regional hubs and centres of excellence.
Montserrat and the other OCTs will also reaffirm their commitment to the sustainable use of natural resources and emphasise the importance of coastal marine management and climate change adaptation.
They have already stated that they recognise their economic, environmental, scientific and strategic value to the EU and wider world that can be developed through EU support for research and development in several areas.
These include renewable energy, climate change, biodiversity, conservation, and science and technology among others.
This approach is said to give Montserrat and the other Overseas Countries and Territories a greater competitive advantage due to their association with the EU.
Premier Romeo has also attended a meeting of the East Caribbean Currency Union’s Monetary Council in St Kitts.
That meeting looked at legislative reform for the financial sector as well as monetary and credit conditions in the member countries.
23rd February 2015
The senior command of the Royal Montserrat Police Service gave a comprehensive briefing to the media on Friday 20.2.15 covering policing, safety and security in Montserrat.
Present were Police Commissioner Steve Foster, Deputy Commissioner Charles Thompson and Acting Superintendent Bennett Kirwan.
Some of the key points: Major crime down by 30%, arrests up by 300%, burglaries also down but the need for vigilance remains high.
23rd February 2015
The Government of Montserrat on Friday(20.2.15) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) with the Waitt Institute of the United States to include the island in the organisation’s Blue Halo Initiative of coastal and maritime preservation and fisheries management.
The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo was the principle signatory for Montserrat with Dr Ayanna Johnson, Executive Director, signing for the Waitt Institute.
The Blue Halo Initiative is aimed at “empowering communities to restore their oceans, and use ocean resources sustainably, profitably, and enjoyably for this and future generations”.
Featured in this press conference are: Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo, Dr Ayanna Johnson, Executive Director, signing for the Waitt Institute and Hon. Minister for Agriculture, Housing, Trade, Lands and Environment – Claude Hogan.