SW Associates, LLC: Sustainable Development through Tourism

Aruba to be Global Model of Social and Economic Sustainability

This week the Prime Minister of Aruba, a country with a population less than a Washington, DC neighborhood, declared sustainability a major strategy for his country.

During a talk at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Prime Minister Eman said that “by harnessing a natural abundance of sun, wind and water, Aruba can become less energy-dependent, and leave future generations with a more sustainable landscape.

“This is how we can use the strategic location of Aruba for the benefit of the entire kingdom,” he said. “We will feel the benefits of a sustainable society in this generation and the next.”

The Kennedy School reported that Aruba has established a Renewable Energy Research and Education Institute, which will help the country “reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and rely to a much higher degree on alternative sources of energy, such as wind, solar and wave. Currently ten wind turbines create 20% of the island’s energy, with an additional ten to follow and solar power expected to be added next year.”

In an interesting turn away from a pillar of their economy — tourism — Eman said that “instead of building additional hotels and tourist spots on available land…the focus in Aruba has been on refurbishing existing gathering spaces and creating additional recreation venues for residents.”

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