SIMPSON BAY LAGOON/COLE BAY - Biodiversity Protection and Sustainable Development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, a Waste-Water Treatment Plant in the Cole Bay Area servicing both sides of the island and Flood Mitigation Projects are three of the Operational Program Projects for joint collaboration between French and Dutch St. Maarten, explained the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on Friday.
“The operational Program of Cooperation between Dutch and French St. Maarten, or the cross border operational program, is part of the European Development Fund. As the Minister of General Affairs I am responsible for the Department of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and this Department is responsible for funding the projects on St. Maarten.
“We have successfully negotiated the tenth EDF which is being used for our neighborhoods and specifically the upgrading of Dutch Quarter. This money is managed and administered by my Ministry. I am also, as Minister of General Affairs, responsible for Foreign Affairs. Over the years there have been many actions regarding the cooperation between the two sides of the island.
“However, because St. Maarten south has a higher level of Autonomy with regards to St. Martin North there is a tri-partite committee involving St. Maarten, St. Martin and the Government of France and based on meetings with this tri-partite committee we have come to various agreements. I encourage everyone to look at the Operational Program input between the two sides and look at some of the projects involved, for example biodiversity management, environmental protection and sustainable development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, a Waste Water Treatment Plan for Cole Bay and Flooding Alleviation for the Belle Plaine Area.
“I consider the wastewater treatment plan and the rehabilitation of the Simpson Bay Lagoon as key areas. Also reducing the risk of flooding for the Belle Plaine area is also very crucial. All of this information is on the Sintmaartengov.org under the tab of European Programs.
“We are looking at enhancing biodiversity and protection for the Simpson Bay Lagoon while simultaneously ensuring balance for sustainable development. Similarly we are looking at a wastewater treatment plan for the Cole Bay area that will reduce wastewater being entered into the Lagoon and also we are actively looking at the solving of the flooding issues ion the Belle Plaine area. Again I encourage everyone to have a look at the Sintmaartengov.org website to look at he current European Program,” concluded Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)