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KINGSTON — As part of its mandate to develop the 'green sector' in an applied way, the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has commissioned its Green Energy Project.

The project, developed through sponsorship from the Canada Fund for Local Initiative, is designed to provide low cost solutions to fisherfolk on the Pedro Cays, for keeping fish healthy after catch, while creating a green entrepreneurial pilot training programme targeting youths from inner-city communities.

Speaking at the commissioning on Wednesday July 6, 2011 at the institution in Kingston, Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, said the project, speaks to the outreach of the Institute and their level of forward thinking.

“When you see young persons in large numbers, galvanized by a single set of activities which involves both intellectual input and various social considerations centered on humanity and the environment, it all points to the direction of a comprehensive and worthwhile initiative,” he said.

Mr. Henry said that the training offered at the Institute plays a pivotal role in the nation and, as such, expansion of the facility is being explored so that optimum benefit can be accrued.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Hon. Gregory Mair, said the project encourages unattached youths to seek to develop skills in specific areas, so they can earn and contribute to society.

Acting High Commissioner for Canada, Andrée Blouin, said the project touched several core values within society, such as energy conservation and the development of young people.

“This project will provide the first solar ice freezer on the Cays and demonstrate, in a simple and environmentally friendly way, that the problem of keeping fish fresh can be addressed and, in so doing, utilize the country’s most prized resource, youth labour,” she said.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Fritz Pinnock, lauded the initiative, stating that it is a great example of the institute’s Blue Ocean Strategy.

The Blue Ocean Strategy challenges the institute to break out of the hitherto ‘red ocean’ bloody competition, by exploring and exploiting uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant.

He said that the CMI, within the next two years intends, to convert at least 20 per cent of its energy consumption to renewable energy. The project will also facilitate the development of a fresh water resource solution for the Cays, and produce 100 pounds of ice per day for the residents who have no regular source of power to preserve their catch on a daily basis.

Sixteen inner-city youths with no income, from the communities of Spanish Town and Tivoli Garden, were taught, via a wind generator course, to make simple wind turbines, using a 50-gallon drum and an automotive generator producing 200 watts of power. They were also taught to build solar stills to produce potable water.

                                                                     

By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter