A National Park for Saba

Options for acquisition and management of the northwestern part of Saba.

Since 2004, Saba’s overall economic objective has been to generate growth of private sector activity and employment, mainly by stimulating small businesses and stimulating growth of tourism in niche markets (Economic Development Plan Saba 2004-­‐2007). Important challenges were, and still are: improving the tourist product of Saba, the marketing of the island for eco- and cultural tourism, and facilitating small businesses in benefiting from tourism development and other economic opportunities. Important targets for Tourism development are: Enlarging the quality and the Tourist accessibility of Saba’s nature areas and making the Saba tourism product better known to potential stay-over tourists.The goal of improving access to nature is also included in the first contours of a Nature Policy Plan for Saba.

A project that can clearly contribute to these objectives and targets is to develop the northern part of the island, from the coast up to Mount Scenery, which is currently not used at all, including the so-.‐called Muriel Thissel Park, as National Park. This area comprises about one third of the island.

During the past year, Commissioner Chris Johnson has personally committed himself to develop a plan to realize a National Park for Saba in this area. However, the problem is that nearly all land in this area is thougt to be private property. In a number of cases it is unknown who exactly is the owner of a certain area.

The Executive Council of Saba asked the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for support in order to clarify the ownership situation and to draw up a plan to acquire the land, or at least to achieve that the area will be safeguarded as a nature area. The Ministry assigned this work to EcoVision Curacao.


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