How it started
The Americas Sustainable Development Foundation was established in 1998 on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. At the time it was known as the Fundacion Arubano pa Medio Ambiente, or FAMA. The original founding members included the late Mr. Gerald Engelbrecht, Mr. Henry de Cuba, and Mr. Urbano Lopez. Building on the realization that environmental protection and sustainable development principles are critical for a proper and responsible economic development on Aruba, FAMA has since been an active voice in Aruba's planning and development process.
1998 - 2012
In the years after it’s inception, FAMA played a pivotal role in creating public awareness on the importance of addressing environmental concerns and challenges to allow for improved quality of life on the island. FAMA’s activities included among other providing education on environmental topics, create and disseminate awareness raising material, and facilitate stakeholder participation to allow citizens to voice their opinions regarding development projects and decisions.
2012 - 2015
In the summer of 2012, Kevin de Cuba, son of FAMA co-founder Henry de Cuba, approached the Foundation to consider the restructuring and rebranding of FAMA into the Aruba Sustainable Development Foundation (ASDF). Through the course of 2012, a new board was appointed composed of Henry de Cuba as President, Luis Huertas as Treasurer and Kevin de Cuba as Secretary. The process of converting FAMA into ASDF was finalized by December 2012. ASDF’s new focus included addressing key water, energy, material and food challenges to achieve sustainable development in Aruba and other island communities. In 2014, Ruben Contreras took over as Secretary of ASDF. Today, Luis Huertas continues to be an honorary advisory board member to ASDF.
Over the years the demand for sustainable development initiatives has grown significantly, both domestically as well as internationally. As a result, the Board of the Aruba Sustainable Development Foundation decided to broaden its reach beyond Aruba to also include the Western Hemisphere.
With a newly appointed Board, composed of Henry de Cuba (President), Ruben Contreras (Secretary), and Walter Pena (Treasurer), the renewed focus for ASDF was launched. This renewed focus included the rebranding of ASDF into the Americas Sustainable Development Foundation on August 25, 2015. In October of the same year, Kevin de Cuba, was appointed as the first Executive Director of ASDF.
2015 - present
With the replacement of Ruben Contreras with Geoffrey Wever in 2015 as the new Secretary of the Board, ASDF started its process of solidifying its position in the international arena by establishing formal partnerships with international organizations working in the same field.
In the past couple of years ASDF has made significant strides and positioned itself as the leading foundation in the field of Circular Economy in the Americas. In the summer of 2016 it launched the Circular Economy Platform of the Americas to pioneer the awareness raising and adoption of circular economy principles throughout the American Continent, and is the institutional founder of the Circular Economy Forum of the Americas, the largest international gathering of Circular Economy minded individuals, companies, NGO’s, academia, and governments from all over the American Continent to discuss the needs, challenges and opportunities to promote and make the transition towards a Circular Economy (CE) possible.
Moving forward, the change of name and institutional configuration will enable ASDF to have a larger scope of impact beyond Aruba, to other nations in the American continent. It will allow ASDF to share new innovation and best practices and facilitate the transition toward sustainable development for communities throughout the Americas.