Nature Conservation Needed in the Dutch Caribbean

On Saturday, June 18th 2022, State Secretary Her Excellency Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen visited the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) office in Bonaire. The DCNA made use of the opportunity to request her urgent attention to the conservation of the biodiversity hotspot in the “Kingdom of the Netherlands”. The six Dutch Caribbean Islands are well known for their beautiful and diverse nature, whilst at the same time its conservation has not been sufficiently addressed. The current support from the Netherlands is mainly directed to the BES islands. And, as nature does not have any borders, it is of the utmost importance that the Kingdom provides support to all the six Dutch Caribbean Islands for needed nature conservation plans and projects such as DCNA’s Dutch Caribbean Climate Action Plan.

State Secretary Her Excellency Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen receives an urgent message regarding nature protection in the Dutch Caribbean.

Urgent Message Received for Needed Nature Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean.

DCNA’s Treasurer, Mr. Norman Kuipéri, of the Aruba National Park Foundation, and board member Mr. Paul Stokkermans, of the Carmabi Foundation from Curaçao , together with DCNA’s Director, Mr.Tadzio Bervoets, gave a presentation to Her Excellency highlighting DCNA’s work, including the challenges and threats the Protected Area Management organizations on each of the islands are facing, in their efforts to conserve and safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean.

The lack of sustainable funding, policy support, and adequate spatial planning hamper conservation management efforts.

Amongst the most significant threats include poorly regulated (coastal) development, waste and wastewater management, as well as overgrazing, overfishing, the impact of invasive species, and of climate change (warming of the seas, changing weather patterns, and rising sea levels).

Constructive discussions were held on the above topics, including climate change, and DCNA’s Dutch Caribbean Climate Action Plan, which was launched in May of 2022.

This plan provides concrete recommendations for all six islands on both climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in order to combat climate change effects.

Sustainable development and combating climate change require an integrated approach that prioritizes protection of nature, energy independence, sustainable tourism, and a diverse blue economy. Most importantly, this needs to be a joint effort where the countries work together to strengthen each other’s effort and determination.

Nature Conservation Needed in the Dutch Caribbean Islands
Photo: left to right: Ms. Nina Zander (DCNA Climate Research intern), Mr. Diego Marquez (DCNA Research & Monitoring Workgroup assistant), Mrs. Tineke van Bussel (DCNA Research Communication liaison), Mrs. Emeray Martha-Neuman (DCNA Office manager), Mr. Tadzio Bervoets (DCNA Director), State Secretary H.E. Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen, Mr. Norman Kuipéri (DCNA Treasurer), Mr. Paul Stokkermans (DCNA board member)

About the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance is a nonprofit organization created to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean through supporting Protected Area Management Organizations.

DCNA’S NETWORK – The six islands of the Dutch Caribbean

The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The pristine nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile.

The lack of sustainable funding, policy support and adequate spatial planning pose the most significant threats.

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