Vermeij, M.

Description of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Proposed Marine Nomination Properties of the Bonaire and Curaçao Marine Parks (BCMP

This report describes the possible Outstanding Universal Value of the potential World Heritage nomination that combines the Bonaire National Marine Park (BBNMP)) and the Curaçao Marine Park (CC MP ) from the ecological , geological and biodiversity perspective. According to World Heritage natural criteria, these correspond to criteria (vvii)) (aesthetic and spectacular natural phenomena)) , (vviii)) (ggeological and geomorphific processes)) , ( ix ) (ecological and biological processes)) , and ( x ) (biodiversity)) , as defined by the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (UUNESCO 2017).

Based on expert advice to expand the size of the initial proposed nomination, which only included BNM,, and recent policy action towards reinforced management implementation of the Curaçao Underwater Park , the Curaçao Underwater Park is considered to be a necessary addition to expand the total area for the nomination. This expansion intends to strengthen the Outstanding Universal Values (OOUV) for a successful UNESCO World Heritage bid. We here document the OUV of the proposed nomination by combining the Bonaire National Marine Park and the Curaçao Underwater Park for a single nominatio , known as a serial site with two components,, herein referred to as the Bonaire and Curaçao Marine Parks (BBCMP). This report also highlights the benefits of and opportunities for f urther strengthening the OUV: by 1)) extending the bo undaries of the two MPAs – landward and seaward, and 2) considering additional areas that include wetlands, pelagic areas and deep benthic habitat. Such an expansion would benefit 1)) the geological values by encompassing examples of visible geological hist ory (ccriteria ( viii )); 2) the ecological values by including different habitats forming part of the connectivity continuum (criteria ( ix ); and the biodiversity and conservation values by including a larger number of endemic and threatened species and their key life-cycle stages (ccriteria ( x ) ).. In this report the additional areas are considered as part of the buffer zone,, as local authoriti es need to consider the feasibility of legal protection and management for a larger area.. Many of the values discussed in this report face important threats and have suffered documented declines in recent decades. This report does not address those issues or discuss possible management measures but only focusses on the values present and how these might contribute to potential OUV.   


Data type
Research report
Report number

Coral Reef Resilience Assessment of the Bonaire National Marine Park, Netherlands Antilles

Although Bonaire’s coral reefs remain among the healthiest and most resilient in the Caribbean, this IUCN report based on the IUCN Resilience Assessment of Coral Reefs highlights some of the threats that exist to Bonaire’s coral reefs, and which could have serious implications for resilience to future climate change and other threats. The report identi ed recommendations for addressing the current threats, as well as high and low resilience sites.

The threats and recommendations identified include:

Coastal development and artificial beaches.Recommendation: All coastal construction on Bonaire should be strictly regulated and follow the construction guidelines. The guidelines should become law in order to be enforced appropriately.

Leaching from septic tanks. Recommendation: It is strongly recommended that Bonaire invest in appropriate sewage treatment facilities to improve water quality and increase the resilience of its valuable coral reefs. It is also recommended that a water quality monitoring program be set up and sustained.

Increasing damsel sh populations. Recommendation: It is recommended that the shing of preda- tory sh species on Bonaire’s coral reefs be controlled and managed to a sustainable level to prevent population explosions of prey sh capable of modifying the reef habitat.

Trididemnum and Lobophora. Recommendation: It is recommended that the populations of Trididemnum and Lobophora are closely monitored and the factors contributing to the unnatural abundance of these coral-overgrowing organisms should be studied and then eliminated. 

Data type
Other resources
Research and monitoring
Geographic location