The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) was held on Thursday, 5 April 2018.

The following is a summary of the main items discussed:

The Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) has been updated taking into account comments received during the consultation process, and a version with tracked changes was presented to the committee. This has now been endorsed as a final version and will be presented to Executive Council for approval before being made available to the public.

Enterprise St Helena (ESH) delivered a report for February 2018. This report saw the number of international enquiries increasing to 494 and visitors to the Tourist Office increasing to 370. There was an increase in the number of visitors to the Island due to the first St Helena International Conference (2018 Diverse Island Environments), the last voyage of the RMS St Helena and the yachting season (316 of the visitors were yachties).

International tour operators selling St Helena has risen to 32, 16 of which have dedicated webpages to St Helena. 31 additional operators are in discussions with the Tourist Office.

The first St Helena Conference was completed on Thursday, 8 February 2018.  For this conference, St Helena had 21 international speakers, including three Skype presentations and 18 local speakers, six of which were Prince Andrew School students.  The conference saw a total of 270 attendees from which 59 were international and 211 were local.  56 of the local attendees were individuals (not affiliated to an organisation). More individuals would have participated had there been availability of flights.

The draft Ordinance to regulate the use of Artificial Light at Night for the Protection of the Natural Environment was presented alongside the draft Exterior Lighting Management Plan. The objective of the draft Ordinance is to preserve and sustain the natural environment on St Helena by preventing, minimising or mitigating the adverse effects of artificial light at night, as well as conserving and enhancing natural beauty and geological or physiographical features of special interests including the night sky.

St Helena has wonderful dark skies and this Ordinance and Exterior Lighting Management Plan will help protect them for generations to come as well as being a key tourist attraction.

The Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) gave a presentation on the SHG/Public Private partnership for egg and pullet production with Roddy’s Chicken Farm, which was completed last year.  A number of challenges in meeting local demand for nucleus poultry for the Island at the present time were highlighted, including the sourcing of fertilised eggs and live chickens from biosecure suppliers and access logistics to the Island, both by air and ship.

Options were presented for meeting the Island’s short-term demand for egg layers, including importing new consignments of nucleus stock over the next few months, following the exercise to gauge public demand for chicks.  Roddy’s Chicken Farm will continue to supply chicks to egg producers in the interim period with the limited parent stock available and ANRD will assist this arrangement with imports of fresh stock to supplement short-term demand for egg layers. The EDC was informed that work on sourcing and logistics for import of this new stock against the recommended option of supply is being undertaken by ANRD, and the EDC and public will be informed of the additional supply option once sourcing and import arrangements are finalised.

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11 April 2018

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470