The upcoming convention of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) will be taking place on Bonaire this year and will focus on youth participation, marine park management, coral restoration, research, and strategic planning. All six National Park Management organizations from the Dutch Caribbean and the key players and other local stakeholders are joining forces to jointly enhance strategic nature management policies for the coming years. Attending the symposium will also be the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-NL), Bird Protection Netherlands, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-NL), the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and coral scientists from Wageningen University & Research and Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire. Also, during the convention youth from the Dutch Caribbean islands will be brought together to learn about each other’s nature conservation activities on their respective islands. There is also a public lecture on coral reefs on October 28 at 7:30 pm at Captain Don’s Hotel, Bonaire.
Collaboration is essential
A joint approach to address common conservation challenges across all six islands of the Caribbean will greatly benefit nature protection in the Dutch Kingdom. The park management organizations on all six islands are much stronger together than individually and several Dutch organizations indicate needing the
parks to achieve their goals and to implement joint plans for the enhancement of nature conservation activities on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), together with the invited organizations, aims to expand, professionalize and strengthen the expertise that the protected areas in the Dutch Caribbean currently have. It goes without saying that even things that go well can and should be better in the perspective of the serious consequences of climate change. Many issues that all islands face can better be solved together. Together we can achieve more.
Nature management is first and foremost dedicated to the benefit and the use of natural resources for future generations. During the upcoming DCNA convention, which will now be organized annually, special attention will be paid to the youth nature programs of the six Dutch Caribbean islands. From the youth programs of Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI on Curaçao, Saba Conservation Foundation, Sint Maarten Nature Foundation and STENAPA on Sint Eustatius, four teenagers have been selected per island and will be brought together at the convention. Thanks to co-financing of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Rabobank, and STINAPA, a weekend-long program has been organized, with overnight stays, field excursions and workshops in the Washington Slagbaai National Park, especially for the participants. It will be a unique experience where they will have the opportunity to learn about each other’s nature and have memorable experiences. They will complete their program with a presentation. The young nature ambassadors will present their own knowledge and experience and how they want to initiate further action together with the respective local organizations on their home islands.
DCNA’s various partners and other stakeholders in nature management in the Caribbean often have similar goals or goals that are in line with each other. During the various workshops under the theme “strategic planning”, the participating organizations will work on concrete work plans and specific assignment of tasks, thereby optimizing support for focused conservation efforts. WWF-NL, Bird Protection Netherlands, IUCN-NL and DCNA will all come together in this regard.
Coral workshops for biologists
As part of a soon to be released coral action plan and the coral restoration work being done by the six Dutch Caribbean islands, a special day of lectures, workshops and a field excursion has been compiled for biologists associated with protected areas in the Dutch Caribbean. In addition, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) will be present and will facilitate a workshop on the upcoming call for research proposals.
Public reading coral reefs
For anyone who is interested and committed to the status of the coral reefs on Bonaire and would like to meet the regional experts in person, there is a public lecture by dr. Erik Meesters of Wageningen University & Research on Monday, October 28 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Captain Don’s hotel, Bonaire.
Four themes, one convention
The aforementioned four themes form the common thread of the convention. Together we will make of it a huge success, which will represent the starting point of a new phase in nature management in the Caribbean.