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Curacao 2030; Society 5.0

It is through governance that society takes care of basic needs like food and climate.

Climate change is a severe problem. The effect is leading towards loss of land, health, homes, work, and everything we know the world of today. It is the result of a continuous cumulative action that is embedded in our social and economic systems since the industrial revolution. Using (abusing) its earth resources and discarding the consequences has a negative chain reaction effect on the environment of which we humans are extremely dependent on upholding our existence.[1]

Curaçao is experiencing the consequences of this ‘negative chain reaction and effect on the environment,’ which is de facto disruptive on a national scale. In essence, a glitch in our worldwide man-made faulty ‘eco-system’ can mean an immediate effect on our national income and a severe drop in food availability. Curaçao depends on imports for practically 95%[2] of its food and 70%[3] of its energy.

According to the document ‘Green New Deal’[4] this ‘deal’ consists of two main parts: first the goals we should reach to stop the adverse chain reaction and effect on the environment and second to protect the people of their basic needs, jobs, health, education, human rights, safety, etc.

For Curaçao, an island which has its typical environmental and geographical characteristics, social-economic structures and cultural signature, means that executing these Green New Deal goals (re-balancing the climate and re-adjusting our economy and economic system) should be localized[5] and must include at least the following actions, taking the limited space of 444 square kilometers into account: Grow food locally and set up an effective distribution system.

  • Harvest natural resources durably sustainably. We are talking about wind, rain, soil, sun, coastal- and ocean waters.
  • Cultivate key study ingredients to boost the ecological (food) chain, e.g., mangroves, photo plankton, which is the food source for small fishes and will scale up to sufficient fish for the local fish resources, as well as composting, rainwater catchment and wastewater reuse for agriculture.
  • Energy saving is the point of departure. Democratize energy harvesting and distribution (wind and solar) and introduce an intelligent system that collects data, manages the production and redistribution of energy.
  • Strengthen local knowledge and expertise. Adjust the curriculum on all levels of the education to create a collective body of knowledge resulting in the perfection of a Green New Deal-system.
  • Set Up a smart system to calculate the footprint of all activities that result in the localized ‘Green New Deal’ goals. This objective data should be unilaterally used as input for checking, altering, and adjusting each part of the effort to re-balance the climate and re-adjust our economy & economic system. In this context, recycling and reuse of material are essential.
  • Set up a seed & growth capital policy to create a cheap financial influx and supply the SME crop & energy producers of the island. This capital should be democratized and disabused from too much monopolized forces or foreign geo politics.

The implementation is setup in layers or stages, each one of them a precondition for the next one. This multitier approach should be a embedded in a long term policy of Governmental institutions and NGO’s in order to safeguard it’s long-term maximized effect. The overall mission of this multi-layered policy should be to 1) ensure food supply & safety for the island, 2) ensure food supply & safety for the other sister islands (Aruba, SXM and the BES islands) as matter of cultural hegemony and strategical value, 3) Provide export products to the rest of Caribbean region for foreign currencies and regional cohesion.

The layered implementation is as follows:

Layer 1]

a) Establish law that regulates land scarcity and ‘bestemmingsplan’,

b) Establish law that regulates cheap capital flow, including crypto assets,

c) Establish interinstitutional & governmental protocols that facilitates the food production industry,

d) Provide long-term investment capital

e) Establish curriculum in educational institutions to provide the industry with knowledge and human resources,

f) Establish law that protects the environment and that is more congruent with the Green New Deal targets,

Layer 2]

a) Secure import of goods needed for food production by establishing/facilitating partnerships,

b) Establish and secure market outlet in the Caribbean region,

c) Establish/stimulate local packaging production and innovation,

d) Stimulate a smart market system for local use of buying and selling produce,

e) Stimulate and democratize food production,

f) Integrate R&D and the production, logistics and sale of produce,

g) Establish Food & Environment knowledge center,

Layer 3]

a) Replace imported goods needed for food production with local productions,

b) Integrate market outlet in the Caribbean region,

c) Grow local packaging production and innovation to supply the Caribbean region,

d) Stimulate a smart market system for Caribbean use of buying and selling produce,

e) Upscale and adjust food production to exact market needs in the Caribbean region,

f) Integrate R&D and the production, logistics and sale of produce on Caribbean scale.

g) Integrate Food & Environment knowledge center in the Caribbean.

Climate Change

Curaçao will reach zero carbon emissions by using a mix of renewable energies, sun, wind, sea, and hydrogen energy.

Aqualectra should reinvest their revenues in upgrading the electricity grid to support distributed energy generation. Energy can be generated with solar panels on local residential and business locations, and this can ultimately support self-sufficiency and the avoidance of dependence on oil imports, especially during times of crisis. This can further reduce poverty and promote energy independence. In addition, this can support the local economy. It can also stimulate the use of all kinds of electric vehicles (EVs), which lends itself to self-sufficiency. People will naturally want an EV, which is charged by solar panel power stations. And thus, there is a reduction in carbon emissions and even less dependence on foreign oil resources. I also want to touch upon Wastewater reuse in Curaçao. Freshwater is a precious commodity and resource, and it can be reused for agriculture purposes with the right investment in wastewater treatment facilities. With wastewater reuse, the island saves energy used to generate clean water and thus tremendously reduces its carbon footprint.

A few additional vital objectives:

  • Curaçao has developed a local packaging and reuse system that have lowered the single-use plastic to 0%.

  • No wastewater discharge into the sea (seawater quality, hygiene, coral reefs).
  • Reduce runoff of rainwater to the sea.
  • Waste prevention (selective imports, recycling, composting), (no incineration)
  • Aqualectra: define new tasks. (We need a new policy and entity to sustain decentralized energy systems).

[1] When discussing climate change for any island nation or territory, Coastal Zone Management Planning should be discussed with respect to near-shore resources, sea level rise, port renovations, etc.

[2] CBS /data not found

[3] CBS / 879.2 mljn kWh, electricity produced in 2019 and is a combination of windmills production (approx 20 mWh and fossil fuel-generated electricity approx 67 mWh). The energy consumption of diesel and gasoline for combustion engines are not included.

[4] Green New Deal document: https://neweconomics.org/uploads/files/8f737ea195fe56db2f_xbm6ihwb1.pdf

[5] Localized carbon footprint calculation combined with calculation of social-economic benefits.

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