The Star (St. Lucia) - - BUSINESS -

En­sur­ing global align­ment of Saint Lu­cia’s en­ergy agenda through di­a­logue and par­tic­i­pa­tion: Saint Lu­cia is among 105 coun­tries and 14 in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions par­tic­i­pat­ing in an ex­ten­sive, three-month en­ergy ex­po­si­tion in Kazak­stan. Held un­der the theme “Fu­ture En­ergy”, As­tana Expo 2017 brings the global com­mu­nity to­gether to ex­change in­for­ma­tion and ideas that can in­form the global re­sponse to present day en­ergy chal­lenges.

As­tana Expo is the largest en­ergy ex­po­si­tion of its kind. It is a unique global plat­form for the busi­ness, pol­icy and tech­nol­ogy stake­holder groups with a view to keep­ing peo­ple at the heart of sus­tain­able en­ergy de­bate. To this end, the ex­popo­si­tion also in­te­grates art, cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment as ve­hi­cles through which to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and knowl­edge trans­fer. The ex­po­si­tion opened on June 10 and will run un­til Septem­ber 10, 2017.

With the sup­port of the Saint Lu­cia Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA), a con­tin­gent from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, In­no­va­tion, Gen­der Re­la­tions and Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment (MERGISD) is in Kaza­khstan for As­tana Expo 2017. Plan­ning to­wards the is­land’s par­tic­i­pa­tion has been on­go­ing over the course of a year, through the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort of TEPA, the Re­new­able En­ergy De­part­ment within the MERGISD, and key stake­hold­ers.

Saint Lu­cia’s stand is one of twelve form­ing the CARICOM Com­mu­nity Plaza and fea­tures Key Re­new­able En­ergy Projects and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties which align with the theme of the ex­po­si­tion. Other CARICOM Mem­ber States par­tic­i­pat­ing are Trinidad & Tobago, Bar­ba­dos, Belize, Do­minica, Gre­nada, Guyana, Ja­maica, Saint Vin­cent & the Gre­nadines, Suri­name, Saint Kitts & Ne­vis and An­tigua & Bar­buda.

As­tana Expo 2017 is de­signed to ad­dress the is­sue of en­ergy from sev­eral per­spec­tives, al­low­ing it to be ap­pre­ci­ated as a de­ter­min­ing fac­tor in how so­ci­eties and ev­ery­day life func­tion. Through ed­u­ca­tional mod­ules and in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments that in­spire be­hav­iour change in eco­log­i­cal and en­ergy ef­fi­cient life­styles, the Expo of­fers a plat­form for de­bate and dis­cov­ery for the ap­prox­i­mately 5 mil­lion vis­i­tors that it is ex­pected to at­tract.

Cross cut­ting is­sues be­ing ad­dressed through di­a­logue, de­bate and in­ter­pre­ta­tion in­clude C02 emis­sions and the pro­mo­tion of trends lead­ing to en­vi­ron­men­tal en­hance­ment, the ra­tio­nal use of en­ergy and the re­lated eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tions, and en­ergy ac­cess as a ba­sic hu­man need and right.

A di­verse cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence will form part of the expo, with over 3,000 events sched­uled to be held across 93 ex­hi­bi­tion days. Saint Lu­cia’s dis­play will also pro­mote the is­land as a des­ti­na­tion pre­sent­ing our au­then­tic prod­ucts, ser­vices and cul­ture. Saint Lu­cia Dis­tillers prod­ucts will be pro­moted and sold in the CARICOM Bar and sam­pling and tast­ings of other ex­port of­fer­ings will be con­ducted.

TEPA has been work­ing with the Cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (CDF) to mo­bi­lize two cul­tural con­tin­gents funded by the event or­gan­is­ers to per­form at the ex­po­si­tion. One group will be in Kaza­khstan for a week, while the other will be there for a pe­riod of 45 days. The ob­jec­tive is to en­able vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the is­land through lit­er­a­ture, sam­ples of prod­ucts and an in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence into Saint Lu­cia’s history, cul­ture and ex­port of­fer­ings with a spe­cific fo­cus on the is­land’s re­new­able en­ergy projects.

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