EPIC Restarts Internationally Recognized Green Key Certification and Blue Flag Award on Sint Maarten

MAHO – Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) Foundation is proud to announce its reinstatement as the National Operator for both the Green Key and Blue Flag programs for Sint Maarten, effective March 2024. Having previously held this role from 2008 to 2017, EPIC looks forward to once again collaborating with the tourism industry to improve sustainable practices and to ensure that Sint Maarten’s natural beauty and environmental health is retained. The renewed partnership with the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which operates the programs internationally, reaffirms the local commitment to fostering environmental responsibility within the tourism industry.


As National Operator, EPIC will play a pivotal role in spreading awareness about the Green Key certification and Blue Flag award programs. EPIC’s mission is to engage with all hospitality establishments, including but not limited to hotels, hostels, beaches, marinas, and tourism boats, to encourage and facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices that align with the stringent criteria set by the FEE.


Current President of the Board of EPIC, Fleur Hermanides, stated “EPIC is excited to finally be able to relaunch our certification and award programs for the island. It has been a long time coming, with the disaster caused by hurricane Irma and the deterioration caused thereafter by the pandemic, it took a while for the island to be ready to reimplement these processes, as well as be able to relaunch our National Operator status after our post-Irma hiatus. We are truly grateful to the Ministry of VROMI for having been an essential part of being able to do so, as well as to the businesses that have already stated their interest in reinstating their former accreditation and new ones having shown interest in joining as well.”


“It is with great pleasure that I welcome EPIC back as our Blue Flag National Operator for Sint Maarten. From 2011 to 2017, EPIC has shown tremendous efforts to implement our robust sustainable tourism programs. After years of recovery, it is now time to reestablish the Blue Flag and Green Key programs and to provide local and national stakeholders strong and holistic frameworks to push for climate action, protect biodiversity and fight against pollutants, the three pillars of the FEE’s Gaia 20:30 strategy. My gratitude goes to the EPIC team and stakeholders that will guide and support the programs to champion the sustainable tourism sector on Sint Maarten” said Johann Durand, current International Blue Flag Director, on the reinstatement.


Green Key recognizes accommodations for their commitment to environmental sustainability, covering areas such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste management. Meanwhile, the Blue Flag awards beaches, marinas, and tourism boats that meet certain standards in education, water quality, safety, accessibility, and environmental management. Although the processes are rigorous, EPIC aims to simplify this while highlighting the marketing advantages and reduced expenses related to water, electricity, and consumables.


EPIC invites all hospitality establishments across Sint Maarten to join them in this endeavor by reaching out to EPIC via Program Manager Mr. Delroy de Lain: ddelain@epicislands.org / +1 721 587 1318. Furthermore, EPIC would like to thank the Ministry of VROMI for their contribution, enabling the restart of this program, the continued partnership of the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association and the partnership with the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau from the initiation of the program.





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