Town hall meetings regarding the plans to establish a national park on Saba

The Public Entity Saba, Saba Conservation Foundation, SABARC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries held town hall meetings Monday and Tuesday, August 20th and 21st to inform the public of a proposal to establish a Saba National Park. Mount Scenery is one of the most unique places in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and being it’s highest mountain, it deserves a special status.

One of the sustainable development goals of the Public Entity is to establish a National Park in the northern part of the Island. The northern part of the Island features an extensive network of hiking trails and the economy of Saba relies heavily on international nature-related tourism. The Executive Council believes that Saba has the natural and cultural resources available to become a more attractive holiday destination and the establishment of a National Park will boost the tourism reliant economy.

During the meeting the general public were able to express their concerns and have questions answered. Land owners were reassured that the establishment of a park would in no way infringe on their property rights. IN practice it will stimulate the ongoing traditional agricultural use of the land and enhances the acces to the land by upgrading the walking trails to the northern part of the island.

In summary the establishment of a national park:

Has no consequences to landowners rights
Does not prevent any ongoing or traditional use of the land
Does not prevent access to the area
Prevents visitors from causing damage by removing flora and fauna
Prevents illegal export of endangered Saban species
Protects important living areas of protected species
Protects the integrity of the Mountain’s buffering capacity
Protects against erosion
Protects the archaeological heritage of Saba
Increases access to international and national funding

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