Following on from last week’s news of a Caribbean conservation summit on Necker Island, reports are emerging that the island is to play a further role in the Ten Islands Challenge commitment.
Never one to shy away from environmental innovation, Sir Richard Branson has this week volunteered his British Virgin Island paradise, Necker Island, as a so-called “demo-site” to test new green technologies which work towards reducing and eliminating the use of fossil fuels and electricity amongst small island communities.
Continuing his commitment made at last year’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Branson will work alongside climate change experts from American non-profit organization, The Carbon War Room in order to accelerate entrepreneurial solutions to creating profitable clean technologies across a broad array of industries.
Bids have been coming in thick and fast since the initial Request for Proposals was announced in February, with radical wind and solar solutions forming an obvious trend. Arriving from all corners of the world, including the US, Europe, Asia and even from within the Caribbean region itself, it is hoped that these systems will work towards a more sustainable future on Necker and beyond.
When questioned about his reasons for taking part, the Virgin boss issued the following statement: “I am excited about the prospect of ensuring that Necker becomes a greener, more sustainable island. We are working with the Carbon War Room to ensure that the lessons we learn can be used by other islands in their transformation to a sustainable and prosperous future.”
As well as the obvious implications for marine and coastal conservation, it is hoped that a conversion to renewable energy sources will encourage the economic growth of the region, both directly, through the implication of the technology and indirectly by creating a more sustainable tourism industry. With installation due to take place later this year, only time will tell.