OCTA

Overseas Countries
and Territories Association

Luchtfoto Saba 2
Diamond Rock
Saba overview

Saba

Saba

About Saba

Saba-01

Saba is located in the Leeward islands, 28 miles south of Saint Martin, in the Caribbean Sea. Its surface area is 13 km2 and its population 1 915 (2019).

The official languages are Dutch and English.

Saba
in a few numbers

3
Erasmus+ projects
2
BEST2.0 projects

Contact

Menno van der Velde
Territorial Authorizing Officer in Saba
Observer member of the Executive Committee of OCTA

Saba
Environment

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Saba is the top of a dormant volcano. The 871 m high Mount Scenery dominates the rugged terrain, which is covered in primary and secondary jungle forest. The population lives mainly in 4 small villages, dotted across the mountain and linked together by one road.

Daytime temperature on Saba averages 26°C, give or take a few degrees between summer and winter. Easterly trade winds and the mountain create ever changing cloud movements.

Saba has an extraordinary bounty of orchids, bromeliads, mountain fuchsia, mahogany, elephant and sea grape trees, wild plantains, massive ferns and other flora. Saba’s national flower is the yellow-petaled, dark-centered black-eyed Susan; petals can also be white or orange. There is also a multitude of birds such as the red-billed tropic and Audubon’s shearwater along with endemic critters such as Saba green iguanas.

Political & administrative status

Saba, including the islet of Green Island, became a public body (often referred to as “special municipality”) of the Netherlands, along with St. Eustatius and Bonaire, after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October. The legislative body of Saba is called the Island Council, which consists of 5 members elected every four years. The Executive Council is the executive body of the public entity and is responsible for daily management. It is responsible for the execution of policies and legislation. The Island Council and Executive Council are chaired by the Island Governor, who is appointed by the King.

Economic information

Saba’s traditional activities are agriculture, fishing, shipping and sailing and the export of Saba lace. The growth areas are eco-tourism (hiking, scuba diving and rock climbing) and the Saba University School of Medicine. Saba University School of Medicine students who successfully complete the requisite licensing examinations are eligible to practice medicine in Canada, Puerto Rico and all 50 U.S. states.

Saba has the ambition to increase the share of renewable energy. This goal was stated in the 2019 Energy Sector Strategy in which the Executive Council formulated the ambition to become a 100% sustainable energy island. Saba already has two solar parks, both located at the airport, and is currently completing the installation of a small solar park. Thanks to the generated solar energy and a contract that the Saba Electric Company (SEC) concluded with a new fossil fuel provider, SEC managed to make Saba the island with the lowest variable electricity tariff of the Caribbean Netherlands. Saba is now exploring ways to further expand the share of renewable energy, with one of the options being wind energy. For this purpose, a feasibility study is being carried out.

GDP: 47 million USD (2017)
GDP per capita: 22 600 USD (2017)

Participation in EU Programmes

Saba is increasingly taking part in EU programmes. So far, it has been successfully involved in Erasmus+ and BEST2.0.

For more information, click here