Climate change

A Framework for Assessing Climate Adaptation Governance on the Caribbean Island of Curaçao

Abstract

It is becoming increasingly clear that Caribbean islands are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, longer periods of droughts, loss of biodiversity, more extreme weather events (flooding and hurricanes), and increased freshwater demands. Addressing these issues encourages good climate change adaptation governance. So far, however, the literature has not discussed what good governance could mean in this context. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to address this knowledge gap by developing an assessment framework and showing its usefulness. The framework is based on a review of the literature and is applied in an assessment of adaptation practices in Curaçao. The assessment is based on a review of Curaçao policy documents and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. We found that the developed framework was useful for obtaining a better insight into the quality of adaptation governance on Caribbean islands, and that in the Curaçao practices, the good governance principles of transparency and inclusiveness are better elaborated in comparison to connectivity, accountability and government effectiveness. We conclude the paper with some reflections on the potential of the framework and some suggestions for further research.

Date
2022
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Journal
Geographic location
Curacao

Bonairian households not resilient to climate change vulnerabilities and action is highly needed

Nederlands and Papiamentu below.

 

Last May, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)‘s research intern Nina Zander requested via (social) media citizens on Bonaire to complete a questionnaire. This questionnaire was part of her research into how resilient Bonairian households are to vulnerabilities due to climate change. Her study has now been completed and the results suggest that there are still many barriers before households on Bonaire are resilient to the vulnerabilities due to climate change. Action to increase this resilience is required. 

Climate change and climate change vulnerabilities 

© Casper Douma

Global warming causes big changes in climate. These changes lead to climate vulnerabilities, which are expected to occur more often or intense in the future. Examples of such vulnerabilities on Bonaire are tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, and droughts. These can destroy Bonaire’s nature, like its coral reefs and mangroves. They can also harm Bonaire’s citizens. For example, it can cause injuries or sickness, and it can destroy vital infrastructure and buildings. Also, it can harm the economy and decrease household incomes. Small Islands, such as Bonaire and the other Dutch Caribbean Islands, are especially at risk. They are also expected to be most affected by the impacts of climate change. Therefore, it is important to make sure these islands and their households are resilient to climate change vulnerabilities. 

Research and results 

This is why Nina Zander, DCNA’s research intern and Master’s student of the University of Utrecht, has researched how resilient households on Bonaire are towards climate change vulnerabilities. The results of her research suggest that there is still a lot in the way for households to be climate resilient. For example, many households are not insured for damage caused by climate change vulnerabilities. Or they do not have enough savings to recover from such damage. Also, households often do not really know how climate change can impact them or how they can prepare for it. Poverty is another barrier. The results of this study also suggest that some household types, such as big households and households which have low education levels, are inclined to be less resilient.  

What now? 

© Casper Douma

Action to increase climate resilience is thus highly needed. Institutions like governments can initiate such action. For example, they can create an action plan. Protecting and recovering Bonaire’s nature should be part of this. Recommendations are made by the DCNA for this in their Dutch Caribbean Climate Action Plan.  

You can also take steps, like making sure your insurance covers climate change damage and becoming familiar with Public Entity Bonaire (OLB)’s disaster relief brochures . Also, make sure to stay updated on climate change impacts on nature by subscribing to DCNA’s free digital newsletter Bionews and by keeping an eye on DCNA’s social media channels. 

Interested in more information? 

Are you interested to learn more about this topic? You can find Nina’s thesis and the communication report in the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database.  You can also reach Nina through nina.p.zander@gmail.com

 

More info in the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database

 

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Nederlands

Bonairiaanse huishoudens niet veerkrachtig voor klimaatsveranderingen- actie is hoognodig

Afgelopen mei heeft de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)’s onderzoeksstagiaire Nina Zander via (social) media een oproep gedaan om een vragenlijst in te vullen. Deze vragenlijst was onderdeel van haar onderzoek naar hoe veerkrachtig Bonairiaanse huishoudens zijn ten opzichte van kwetsbaarheden door verandering van het klimaat. Voor iedereen die de vragenlijst heeft ingevuld: ontzettend bedankt. Inmiddels is haar onderzoek afgerond. De resultaten van dit onderzoek suggereren dat er nog veel barrières zijn voordat huishoudens op Bonaire veerkrachtig zijn ten opzichte van de kwetsbaarheden door verandering van het klimaat. Actie om deze veerkracht te verhogen is vereist.  

 

Klimaatverandering en kwetsbaarheden 

© Casper Douma

Opwarming van de aarde veroorzaakt veranderingen in het klimaat. Deze veranderingen leiden tot klimaat kwetsbaarheden. Het wordt verwacht dat deze vaker of intenser zullen voorkomen in de toekomst. Voorbeelden van zulke kwetsbaarheden op Bonaire zijn tropische stormen, orkanen, overstromingen en droogten. Deze kunnen de natuur van Bonaire, zoals zijn koraalriffen en mangroves, verwoesten. Daarnaast kan het ook de inwoners van Bonaire schaden. Het kan bijvoorbeeld verwoningen of ziekten veroorzaken en het kan vitale infrastructuur en gebouwen verwoesten. Ook beïnvloedt het de economie en kan het de inkomens van huishoudens doen afnemen. Kleine eilanden – zoals Bonaire en de andere Nederlandse Caribische eilanden – lopen vooral risico. Ook wordt er verwacht dat deze eilanden het meeste beïnvloedt zullen worden door de impact van klimaatveranderingen. Daarom is het van belang dat deze eilanden en hun huishoudens veerkrachtig zijn tegen kwetsbaarheden door klimaatverandering. 

 

Onderzoek en resultaten 

Dit is waarom Nina Zander, de onderzoeksstagaire van de DCNA en Master of Science studente van de Unversiteit van Utrecht, onderzocht heeft hoe veerkrachtig Bonairiaanse huishoudens zijn ten opzichte van kwetsbaarheden door klimaatverandering. De resultaten van haar onderzoek suggereren dat er nog veel barrières bestaan voordat huishoudens klimaat veerkrachtig zijn. Zo zijn veel huishoudens bijvoorbeeld niet verzekerd tegen schade veroorzaakt door deze klimaat kwetsbaarheden. Of ze hebben niet genoeg spaargeld om te herstellen van zulke schade. Ook zijn huishoudens vaak niet bewust van hoe klimaatverandering en kwetsbaarheden hun kan beïnvloeden of hoe ze zich hierop kunnen voorbereiden. Armoede is ook een barrière. Daarnaast suggereren de resultaten van deze studie dat sommige typen huishoudens, zoals grote huishoudens en huishoudens met lagere educatie niveaus, gemiddeld gezien minder veerkrachtig zijn.  

 

Wat nu? 

© Casper Douma

Actie om klimaat veerkracht te vergroten is dus broodnodig. Instituties zoals overheden kunnen zulke actie initiëren. Zo kunnen ze bijvoorbeeld een actieplan opzetten. Het beschermen en herstellen van de natuur op Bonaire moet hier een onderdeel van zijn. Aanbevelingen voor een actieplan worden door de DCNA gedaan in hun ‘Klimaat Actieplan voor het Nederlands Caribisch Gebied’. Ook u kunt stappen ondernemen. Zo kunt u bijvoorbeeld zorgen dat uw verzekering schade door klimaatverandering vergoedt en de rampenbestrijding brochures van het Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire (OLB) lezen. Zorg ook dat u op de hoogte blijft van de impact van klimaatverandering op de natuur van Bonaire door te abonneren op DCNA’s gratis digitale nieuwsbrief Bionews [Hyperlink] en door te kijken naar DCNA’s sociale mediakanalen.  

 

Geïnteresseerd in meer informatie? 

Bent u geïnteresseerd in meer informatie over dit onderzoek? U kunt Nina’s scriptie en het bijbehorende communicatierapport vinden op in de DCBD. Voor vragen kunt u Nina ook bereiken via nina.p.zander@gmail.com

 

 

More info in the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database

 

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Papiamentu

Kas di famianan boneriano no tin resiliensia pa kambio di klima – akshon ta altamente nesesario

Na luna di mei último Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)‘s su stazjèr di investigashon Nina Zander a hasi un yamada via medionan sosial pa yena un kuestionario. E enkuesta akí tabata parti di su investigashon pa haña sa kon resiliente kas di famianan boneriano ta relashoná ku debilidatnan kousá pa kambio di klima. Un gradisimentu ta bai na tur persona ku a yena e lista di enkuesta. Miéntras tantu su investigashon a terminá. E resultadonan di e investigashon akí ta sugerí ku tin hopi barera ainda ku ta stroba ku kas di famianan boneriano ta alkansá resiliensia pa kambio di klima. Ta nesesario pa tuma akshon pa halsa e resiliensia akí.  

Kambio di Klima i debilidatnan 

© Casper Douma

Keintamentu di mundu ta kousa kambio den klima. E kambionan akí ta trese ku nan menasanan (debilidatnan) di klima. Por premirá ku esakinan ta bai presentá mas frekuentemente òf mas intensivamente den futuro. Ehèmpel di e menasanan akí na Boneiru ta tormenta tropikal, orkan, inundashon i sekura. Esakinan por destruí naturalesa di Boneiru, manera su koralnan i mondinan di palu di mangel. Tambe nan por kousa daño na siudadanonan di Boneiru. Por ehèmpel, nan por kousa leshon òf malesa i nan por destruí infrastruktura vital i edifisio. Tambe nan por kousa daño na e ekonomia i baha e entrada di kas di famianan. Islanan chikitu – manera Boneiru i e otro islanan di Karibe Hulandes – ta kore prinsipalmente riesgo. Tambe ta spera ku e islanan akí lo sinti mas efekto di e impaktonan di kambio di klima. Pa e motibu ei, ta importante ku e islanan akí i nan kas di famianan ta resiliente pa e menasanan di kambio di klima.  

 

Investigashon i resultado 

Esaki ta e motibu dikon Nina Zander, kende ta e stazjèr di investigashon di DCNA i studiante di Master di Siensia na Universidat di Utrecht, a investigá kon e resiliensia di e kas di famianan boneriano ta pa konfrontá debilidatnan kousá pa kambio di klima. E resultadonan di su investigashon ta sugerí ku ainda tin bastante barera promé ku e kas di famianan alkansá sufisiente kalidat di resiliensia. Por ehèmpel hopi kas di famia no ta sigurá kontra daño kousá pa e debilidatnan di kambio di klima akí. Ni tampoko nan no tin sufisiente sèn di spar pa por kubri daño similar. Ademas, kas di famianan no ta na altura kon kambio di klima por hasi impakto riba nan ni kon nan por prepará pa esaki. Pobresa tambe ta un otro barera. Ademas e resultadonan di e investigashon akí ta sugerí ku algun sorto di kas di famia, manera kas di famianan grandi i kas di famianan ku tin un grado abou di edukashon, promedio tin chèns di ta ménos resiliente.  

Kiko awor? 

© Casper Douma

Pues akshon pa halsa e resiliensia pa klima ta altamente nesesario. Institutonan manera gobièrnu por inisiá e tipo di akshonnan akí. Por ehèmpel, nan por krea un plan di akshon. Protekshon i rekuperashon di naturalesa di Boneiru lo mester ta parti di esaki. DCNA ta duna rekomendashonnan pa esaki den nan ‘Plan di Akshon pa Klima pa Karibe Hulandes’. Abo mes tambe por tuma medida, manera sea sigur ku bo pólisa di seguro ta kubri kambio di klima i tuma bon nota di foyetonan di Entidat Públiko Bonaire (OLB) tokante kombatimentu di desaster. Ademas sea sigur di ta bon na altura di e informashon tokante impakto di kambio di klima dor di aboná riba e boletin di notisia digital grátis Bionews i dor di tira bista riba DCNA su kanalnan di medionan sosial. 

Bo ta interesá den mas informashon? 

Bo ta interesá den mas informashon tokante e investigashon akí? Bo por haña Nina su tesina i e rapòrt pa komunikashon tokante esaki riba Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database. Pa pregunta por tuma kontakto ku Nina tambe via  nina.p.zander@gmail.com.

 

More info in the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database

 

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 58.

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Governance
Education and outreach
Legislation
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author

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

Nederlands, Papiamento and Papiamentu below.

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 in nature conservation plans and projects such as DCNA’s Dutch Caribbean Climate Action Plan.

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.

 

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)

 

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Nederlands

Staatssecretaris Hare Excellentie Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen krijgt een dringend bericht over natuurbescherming in het Nederlands Caribisch gebied.

 

Op zaterdag 18 juni 2022 heeft Staatssecretaris Hare Excellentie Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen het kantoor van de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) op Bonaire bezocht. De DCNA heeft van deze gelegenheid gebruik gemaakt om haar dringende aandacht te vragen voor het behoud van de biodiversiteitshotspot in het “Koninkrijk der Nederlanden”. De zes Nederlands Caribische eilanden staan ​​bekend om hun prachtige en diverse natuur, terwijl het behoud ervan op hetzelfde moment onvoldoende wordt geadresseerd. De huidige steun vanuit Nederland is vooral gericht op de BES-eilanden. Maar, aangezien de natuur geen grenzen kent, is het van het grootste belang dat het Koninkrijk ondersteuning biedt aan alle zes de Caribische eilanden in diens natuurbehoud plannen en projecten, zoals DCNA’s Klimaat Actieplan voor het Nederlands Caribisch gebied.

DCNA’s penningmeester, dhr. Norman Kuipéri, van de Aruba National Park Foundation, en bestuurslid dhr. Paul Stokkermans, van de Carmabi Foundation uit Curaçao, gaven samen met DCNA’s directeur, dhr. Tadzio Bervoets, een presentatie aan Hare Excellentie waarin het werk van DCNA belicht werd, inclusief de uitdagingen en bedreigingen waarmee de beheerorganisaties van beschermde gebieden op elk van de eilanden worden geconfronteerd bij hun inspanningen om de natuur in Caribisch Nederland te behouden en te beschermen. Het gebrek aan duurzame financiering, beleidsondersteuning en adequate ruimtelijke planning belemmeren de inspanningen op het gebied van natuurbehoud. Tot de belangrijkste bedreigingen behoren slecht gereguleerde (kust)ontwikkeling, afval- en afvalwaterbeheer, evenals overbegrazing, overbevissing, de impact van invasieve soorten en klimaatverandering (opwarming van de zeeën, veranderende weerspatronen en een stijgende zeespiegel).

Er werden constructieve gesprekken gevoerd over bovenstaande onderwerpen, waaronder klimaatverandering, en over DCNA’s Klimaat Actieplan voor het Nederlands Caribisch gebied, welke in mei 2022 werd gedeeld. Dit plan biedt concrete aanbevelingen voor alle zes de eilanden over zowel klimaatadaptatie- als mitigatiestrategieën om de effecten van klimaatverandering te bestrijden. Duurzame ontwikkeling en de bestrijding van klimaatverandering vereisen een geïntegreerde aanpak die prioriteit geeft aan natuurbescherming, energieonafhankelijkheid, duurzaam toerisme en een diverse blauwe economie. Het belangrijkste is dat dit een gezamenlijke inspanning moet zijn waarbij de landen samenwerken om elkaars inzet en vastberadenheid te versterken.

Foto: van links naar rechts: mevrouw Nina Zander (DCNA Klimaat verandering onderzoeksstagaire) de heer Diego Marquez (DCNA Onderzoek & Monitoring Werkgroepassistent), mevrouw Tineke van Bussel (DCNA Onderzoek Communicatie liaison), mevrouw Emeray Martha-Neuman (DCNA Office manager), de heer Tadzio Bervoets (DCNA directeur), staatssecretaris H.E. Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen, Dhr. Norman Kuipéri (DCNA Penningmeester), Dhr. Paul Stokkermans (DCNA bestuurslid)

 

 

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Papiamento

Secretaria di Estado su Excelencia Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen ta ricibi un mensahe urgente tocante proteccion di naturalesa den Caribe Hulandes.

Diasabra 18 di juni di aña 2022, Secretaria di Estado su Excelencia Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen a bishita oficina di Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) na Boneiro. DCNA a haci uzo di e oportunidad pa pidi su atencion urgente pa conservacion di hotspot di biodiversidad den  “Reino Hulandes”. E seis islanan di Caribe Hulandes ta bon conoci pa nan naturalesa bunita y diversifica, mientras cu na mes momento su conservacion no a wordo suficientemente aborda. E apoyo actual di Hulanda ta dirigi principalmente riba e islanan BES.

Y, ya cu naturalesa no tin frontera, ta di suma importancia pa Reino brinda apoyo na e seis islanan di Caribe Hulandes den nan plannan y proyectonan di conservacion di naturalesa, manera e Plan di accion climatico di Caribe Hulandes di DCNA.

Tesorero di DCNA, Sr. Norman Kuiperi, di Fundacion Parke Nacional di Aruba, y miembro di  board, Sr. Paul Stokkermans, di Fundacion Carmabi di Corsou, hunto cu Director di DCNA, Sr. Tadzio Bervoets, a duna un presentacion na Su Excelencia destacando e trabou di DCNA, incluyendo nan desafionan y esfuersonan pa conserva y salvaguarda naturalesa den Caribe Hulandes. Falta di financiacion sostenibel, apoyo politico y planificacion espacial adecuado ta obstaculisa e esfuersonan di parti di maneho di conservacion. Entre e menasanan mas importante ta inclui desaroyo (di costa) mal regula, maneho di desecho y awa residual, tambe pastoreo excesivo, piscamento excesivo, impacto di e especienan invasor y cambio climatico (keintamento di lama, cambio den e patronchinan climatico y aumento di nivel di lama).

A tene discusion constructivo tocante e temanan anterior, entre nan cambio climatico, y e Plan di Accion Climatico di Caribe Hulandes di DCNA, cu a wordo lansa na mei di aña 2022. E plan aki ta proporciona recomendacion concreto pa e seis islanan tocante strategia di mitigacion y adaptacion climatico pa combati cambio climatico y efecto di e cambio. Desaroyo sostenibel y lucha contra e cambio climatico ta rekeri un enfoke integral cu ta priorisa proteccion di naturalesa, independencia energetico, turismo sostenibel y economia blauw diversifica. Loke ta mas importante,  emester ta un esfuerso conhuntamente den cua e paisnan ta traha hunto pa fortalece e esfuerso y  determinacion di otro.

Potret: di robes pa drechi: Sra. Nina Zander (stagaire di investigacion climatico di DCNA), Sr. Diego Marquez (asistente di grupo di trabou di investigacion y monitoreo di DCNA), Sra. Tineke van Bussel (liaison di investigacion di comunicacion di DCNA), Sra. Emeray Martha-Neuman (Gerente di oficina di DCNA), Sr. Tadzio Bervoets (Director DCNA), Secretaria di Estado S.E. Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen, Sr. Norman Kuiperi (Tesorero di DCNA), Sr. Paul Stokkermans (miembro di board di DCNA)

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Papiamentu

Sekretario di Estado Su Ekselensia Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen a risibí un mensahe di urgensia tokante protekshon di naturalesa na Karibe Hulandes.

Djasabra 18 di yüni 2022, Sekretario di Estado Su Ekselensia Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen a hasi un bishita na ofisina di Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) na Boneiru.  DCNA a hasi uso di e oportunidat pa hala su atenshon urgentemente pa konservashon di e atrakshon grandi di biodiversidat den “Reino Hulandes”.  E seis islanan di Karibe Hulandes ta konosí pa nan naturalesa bunita i diverso, miéntras ku na mes momentu e konservashon di nan naturalesa no a haña sufisiente dedikashon. E sosten aktual di Hulanda ta dirigí prinsipalmente na e islanan BES.

I, komo ku naturalesa no konosé frontera, ta di sumo importansia ku Reino ta duna sosten na tur e seis islanan di Karibe Hulandes ku nan plannan i proyektonan di konservashon manera DCNA su Plan di Akshon pa Klima na Karibe Hulandes / Dutch Caribbean Climate Action Plan.

DCNA su Tesorero sr. Norman Kuipéri, di Aruba National Park Foundation, i miembro di direktiva sr. Paul Stokkermans, di Carmabi Foundation di Kòrsou, huntu ku Direktor di DCNA sr. Tadzio Bervoets, a duna un presentashon na su ekselensia enfatisando e trabou di DCNA, inkluso e retonan i menasanan ku e Organisashonnan di Maneho di Área Protehá ta enfrentá na kada un di e islanan, den nan esfuerso pa konservá i salbaguardiá naturalesa na Karibe Hulandes. E falta di fondo duradero, sosten di maneho, i planifikashon adekuá di teritorio ta un estorbo pa esfuersonan di maneho pa konservashon. Entre e menasanan mas signifikante ta inkluí regulashon pober di desaroyo di teritorio (na kosta), maneho di shushi i awa di kloaka, i tambe komementu eksesivo di bestia ku ta kana lòs den naturalesa, piskamentu eksesivo, e impakto di espesienan invasivo i/òf kambio di klima (kentamentu di oséano, kambio di patronchi di wer i subimentu di nivel di laman).

Diskushonnan konstruktivo a tuma lugá tokante e tópikonan menshoná akiriba, inkluso kambio di klima i DCNA su Plan di Akshon pa Klima na Karibe Hulandes. ku a keda lansá na mei 2022. E plan akí ta presentá rekomendashonnan konkreto pa tur e seis isla tantu riba adaptashon na klima komo pa strategianan di suavisashon pa kombatí efektonan di kambio di klima. Desaroyo duradero i kombatimentu di kambio di klima ta eksigí un strategia integrá ku duna prioridat na protekshon di naturalesa, independensia di energia, turismo duradero i un ekonomia blou diverso. Mas importante ainda, esaki ta eksigí di ta un esfuerso komun den kua paisnan ta traha huntu pa fortalesé esfuerso i determinashon di kada unu.

Foto: di man robes pa man drechi: Sra. Nina Zander (DCNA stazjèr Investigashon di Klima), sr. Diego Marquez (DCNA asistente di Grupo di Trabou Investigashon & Monitoreo), sra. Tineke van Bussel (DCNA Empleado pa Komunikashon di Investigashon), sra. Emeray Martha-Neuman (DCNA manager di Ofisina), sr. Tadzio Bervoets (DCNA Direktor), Sekretario di Estado Drs. Alexandra van Huffelen, sr. Norman Kuipéri (DCNA Tesorero), sr. Paul Stokkermans (DCNA miembro di direktiva)

 

 

 

Published in BioNews 55.

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Governance
Education and outreach
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Sargassum Fertilizer Transfers Heavy Metals to Vegetables

Nederlands below.

 

A joint experiment between WWF-Mexico and STINAPA Bonaire found that vegetables grown in soil enriched with sargassum had higher levels of arsenic and cadmium, heavy metals that can be toxic to humans and animals.  Researchers warn that sargassum should not be used to compliment animal fodder, nor used as a fertilizer for consumables until further investigated.

Sargassum influx in Lac Cai

Sargassum is a floating brown seaweed that plays several important ecological roles. Although sargassum occurs naturally, due to shifting ocean currents and increased pollution, the Atlantic is experiencing episodic sargassum blooms.  Since 2011, the Caribbean has experienced several significant sargassum events, leading to a number of social, environmental and economic issues, particularly in the hospitality and fisheries sectors.  Sargassum influxes threaten the already fragile coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds.

The Study

To better understand the impact of disposed sargassum, a joint project between WWF-Mexico and STINAPA Bonaire explored whether sargassum-enriched fertilizer promoted faster seed development and if any heavy metals were detectable in the vegetables after harvest. Two planter boxes were used, one filled with 50/50 dried sargassum and potting soil and one with only potting soil.

 

The Results

Sargassum enriched soil testing set up

Although, in general, there appeared to be no significant physical differences (shape or quantity of vegetable production) between plants grown with or without the presence of sargassum, samples analyzed at the Radboud University laboratory found that arsenic levels were higher in vegetables grown in soil with sargassum. More specifically, bok choy had 37 times, zucchini 21 times, spinach 4 times and soil 13.5 times more arsenic than their counterparts grown in plain potting soil.  Cadmium levels were also higher in plants grown in sargassum enriched soil, with chemical analysis showing bok choy having 2.5 times, zucchini with 3 times, spinach with 1.3 times and soil with 2.7 times the amount of cadmium than samples without sargassum enrichment.

Furthermore, a Wageningen University and Research report titled “Opportunities for valorization of pelagic Sargassum in the Dutch Caribbean”, analyzed sargassum from the same source and found it to have high levels of heavy metals.  This full report is available from the Wageningen University and Research website (https://edepot.wur.nl/543797).

Implications

Decomposing sargassum in water

The health implications of these findings are still unclear. Arsenic can take several forms, namely organic and inorganic, where organic levels can be much higher before negative impacts are observed in people.  It should be noted that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has not yet set official thresholds for arsenic. In fact, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) published data in 2010 which stated that there are no ‘safe’ levels of arsenic.  Long term ingestion of inorganic arsenic has been connected to skin lesions, cancer, developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, cardiovascular disease, abnormal glucose metabolism and diabetes (CONTAM, 2010). More research is needed to understand impacts of these higher levels of heavy metals and the long -term effects when ingested.

As influxes of sargassum are becoming increasingly common, countries and individuals will search for innovative ways to use and dispose of this nuisance. Already, some reports have highlighted its use as a building material, animal fodder or fertilizer for home gardens. Until the health implications are more widely understood, it would be wise to limit sargassum use to non-consumable options.  This leaves the door open for sargassum to be used as building material (dried and pressed into bricks), biofuel or perhaps fertilizer for decorative plants or construction material, such as bamboo.

Submitted by: Jessica Johnson and Sabine Engel, researchers for STINAPA. This project was funded by WWF-Netherlands and received support from Radboud University.

 

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Nederlands

Zware metalen in sargassum-mest worden door planten opgenomen

De bevindingen van een experiment uitgevoerd door STINAPA in het kader van een gezamenlijk project met WWF Mexico tonen aan dat grond verbeterd met sargassum hogere arseeen (As) en cadmium (Cd) waardes heeft. Arseen en cadmium zijn zware metalen die schadelijk zijn voor mens en dier. De onderzoekers waarschuwen dat sargassum niet gebruikt moet worden als aanvulling voor dier voedsel of als bemesting van groenten, voordat verder onderzoek heeft plaatsgevonden.

Sargassum bij Lac, Bonaire

Sargassum is een drijvend bruinwier dat een aantal belangrijke ecologische functies vervult. Sargassum komt natuurlijk voor, maar door veranderde zeestromingen en toegenomen vervuiling komen er nu periodieke sargassum ‘blooms’ (woekeringen) voor. Sinds 2011 zijn er in de Caraïben verschillende heftige sargassum ‘blooms’ geweest die gevolgen hadden op sociaal-, milieu- en economische gebied, voornamelijk in de horeca, toeristen en visserij sector. De periodieke sargassum aanvoer bedreigt daarnaast ook de toch al kwetsbare koraalriffen, mangroves en zeegras bedden.

De studie

Om meer te weten over het lot of de mogelijke toepassing van het afgevoerde sargassum werd in een gezamenlijk WWF Mexico – Bonaire project door STINAPA onderzocht of planten beter ontkiemden op grond waar sargassum-mest aan toe was gevoegd, en of de zware metalen voor kwamen in de geoogste planten. Twee plantenbedden werden klaargemaakt: één met potgrond, en één met 50/50 potgrond en gedroogd sargassum.

De resultaten

Het kweek experiment

Over het algemeen was er geen zichtbaar verschil tussen de planten gekweekt in de twee bedden maar monsters geanalyseerd aan de Radboud Universiteit toonden hogere arseen waardes aan in groentes uit de bedden met sargassum. Om precies te zijn, bok choy had 37 keer, zucchini 21 keer, malabar spinazie 4 keer, en het groeimedium potgrond sargassum 13.5 keer meer arseen dan de planten en grond uit de bedden met alleen potgrond. Het cadmium gehalte was ook hoger in planten die gekweekt waren in de ‘sargassum’ grond. Bij bok choy was dat 2,5 keer zoveel, zucchini 3 maal spinazie 1,3 maal en het medium 2,7 keer de hoeveelheid cadmium dan de controle planten.

Aan de Wageningen Universiteit werden monsters sargassum van dezelfde bron onderzocht in het kader van de studie “Opportunities for valorization of pelagic Sargassum in the Dutch Caribbean”, en werden ook hoge waardes voor zware metalen aangetroffen. Het volledige rapport is te vinden op de site van Wageningen University and Research (https://edepot.wur.nl/543797)

Implicaties

De gezondheids implicaties zijn nog niet helemaal duidelijk. Er zijn verschillende organische en anorganische vormen van arseen. Pas bij hogere waardes van organisch arseen worden negatieve gevolgen waargenomen voor mensen. De Europese Voedsel Veiligheid authoriteit (EFSA) heeft nog geen drempelwaardes vastgesteld. In feite publiceerde het EFSA Panel Verontreinigingen in de Voedselketen (EFSA Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM)) in 2010 gegevens en stelde dat er geen ‘veilige’ arseen waarden zijn. Verband is gelegd tussen langdurige blootstelling aan anorganisch arseen en huidafwijkingen, kanker, ontwikkelingstoxiciteit, neurologische toxiciteit, cardiovasculaire ziektes, abnormale glucose vertering en diabetes (CONTAM, 2010). Er is meer onderzoek nodig om te bepalen wat de effecten zijn van deze zware metalen bij langdurige blootstelling.

Nu het op de kust ophopen van sargassum steeds vaker voorkomt zoeken landen en organisaties naar innovatieve manieren om van deze sargassum-overlast af te komen. Er zijn al publicaties die hebben aangegeven dat sargassum gebruikt kan worden als bouwmateriaal, veevoer of als huis & tuin grondverbeteraar. Maar zolang de gezondheidseffecten niet duidelijk zijn is het verstandig om sargassum niet te gebruiken voor voedselproductie. Het biedt dus alleen mogelijkheden voor bouwmateriaal (gedroogd en in blokken samengeperst), biofuel en misschien bemesting voor decoratieve planten of bouwmateriaal zoals bamboe.

Samengesteld door Jessica Johnson en Sabine Engel, onderzoekers voor STINAPA. Dit project is gefinancierd door WWF – Nederland, met bijdrages van de Radboud Universiteit.

 

Published in BioNews 54

 

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

DCNA Launches Dutch Caribbean Climate Action Plan

May 16th 2022- Today the DCNA launches a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean. This plan provide concrete recommendations for all our islands on both climate adaptation and mitigation strategies to combat climate change effects.

Photo credit: A.O. Debrot

Caribbean islands are at the forefront of the climate crisis, with effects already starting to become noticeable in the region. Experts have warned, including in the recently released IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, that we have just ten years left to avert the worst climate impacts but that this will require decisive action, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The Dutch Caribbean islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. People’s lives and livelihoods as well as most economic activities are located near coastal areas while the region’s unique nature is already under pressure from human impacts. This is compounded by the fact that, due to the island’s small geographic area and limited human capacity, the resilience to recover from disastrous events is low.

As stewards of nature in the Dutch Caribbean the parks united in the DCNA see first-hand how the changing climate is already affecting the islands. We see it as vital for all the governments, both in the Netherlands and in the Dutch Caribbean,  to embrace this plan and collaborate with local stakeholders on the implementation of a climate smart future for our beautiful islands and their communities.

As the impacts of climate change worsen, it is essential that greater efforts are placed on enhancing the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies in the Dutch Caribbean. Sustainable development and combating climate change require an integrated approach that prioritises, protection of nature, energy independence, sustainable tourism industry, and a diverse blue economy. But most importantly this needs to be a joint effort where countries work together to strengthen each other’s effort and resolve.

View the DUTCH CARIBBEAN CLIMATE ACTION PLAN —>

English >

Nederlands >

 

 

Published in BioNews 54

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

Hurricane Effects on Critically Endangered Reptiles

Caribbean flora and fauna have always coped with the destructive forces of hurricanes. However, climate change leading to an increase in their frequency and strength, and because many species have declined in abundance due to anthropogenic causes, a better understanding of how hurricanes effect local populations is essential.

The Quill before and after Hurricane Irma. Photo credit: Hannah Madden

2017 Hurricane Season

The 2017 Caribbean hurricane season was the most intense recorded to date. Both Irma and Maria, category-5 hurricanes, closely passed Sint Eustatius and caused major destruction on the island; reported in this Nature Today article. Although immediately after the storms it was clear that trees were heavily affected and mostly defoliated, understanding which species were affected and to what extent requires time for data collection and comparison. Since 2017, several studies have provided pieces of information in order to understand how local populations coped, or not, with the 2017 hurricane season.

Since 2017, researchers found that >90% of all trees were defoliated by more than ¾, and that especially trees at higher elevations (such as on the Quill volcano) were affected more severely. Another study that focused on the Bridled Quail-dove (Geotrygon mystacea), demonstrated that the population declined by 77% in 2019 compared to pre-hurricane levels. A follow-up study in 2021 (not yet published) recorded a further decline to just 125 individuals, and the Bridled Quail-dove will likely be re-assessed by the IUCN.

Reptiles

Focusing on reptile species, a novel study further aids our understanding of the ecosystem-wide impact that the 2017-hurricane season had on Statian biodiversity:

The new study, focusing on the Critically Endangered Lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima), shows that its population decreased by at least 20% during 2017. Comparing sighting and survey data from 2017–2018, the authors found a decrease in both the occupancy and population size of the iguana species. Importantly, no recovery was observed in 2019, suggesting that this already small population needs multiple consecutive years without major hurricanes to recover. Interestingly, similar to Statia’s forests, iguanas at higher elevations were found to have been affected more severely.

 

Letter Antillean Iguana. Photo credit: Philippa King

Importance

Small islands such as Sint Eustatius are home to declining populations of rare and endangered species. In many cases, these isolated populations are unable to migrate between islands and thus populations can only increase in size locally. These new studies highlight the need to improve habitat quality and lower anthropogenic threats to optimize the natural recovery of these species. Ideally, at least for population increase could be aided by a local head-starting project where baby iguanas are nourished in temporary captivity and released once they are larger and more likely to survive.

You can find the full study here entitled “Hurricane-induced population decrease in a Critically Endangered long-lived reptile” using the DCBD link below.

 

 

More info in the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database
 

Downloads & links >

 

Published in BioNews 54

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius

Powerpoint- https://www.dcbd.nl/document/%E2%80%98nature-based-solutions%E2%80%99-zijn-noodzakelijk-om-caribische-nederland-te-behoeden-voor-de

Veerkracht tegen klimaatverandering verloren door stapeling van drukfactoren

- stijgingen in de lucht

- en zeewatertemperatuur

- zeespiegelstijging

- verzuring van de zee

- toenemende verdroging van het klimaat

- woekerende invasieve soorten en tropische ziekten

- afname in biodiversiteit

- toenemend frequentie en kracht van orkanen

 

 

See also https://www.dcbd.nl/document/%E2%80%98nature-based-solutions%E2%80%99-zi...

 

Date
2022
Data type
Media
Theme
Governance
Education and outreach
Legislation
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

‘Nature-based solutions’ zijn noodzakelijk om Caribische Nederland te behoeden voor de gevolgen van klimaatverandering

Achtergrond

Caribisch Nederland (Bonaire, Saba en St. Eustatius) en de Koninkrijkspartners Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten worden nu en in de komende decennia met toenemende mate geconfronteerd met zware nadelige effecten van klimaatverandering. Die effecten zijn onder andere: - stijging van de zeespiegel - stijgingen in de lucht- en zeewatertemperatuur - toenemende verdroging van het klimaat - woekerende invasieve soorten en tropische ziekten - afname in biodiversiteit - toenemend frequentie en kracht van orkanen. Laaggelegen delen van historische steden zoals Willemstad (Curaçao) en Philipsburg (St. Maarten) en overige aan de kust gelegen infrastructuur zullen zonder ingrijpen uiteindelijk aan de zee moeten worden prijsgegeven. De eilanden beschikken over een rijke biodiversiteit met veel soorten en ondersoorten die niet of nagenoeg nergens op andere plekken voorkomen. Deze soorten zijn vaak bijzonder kwetsbaar voor invasieve soorten en veranderingen in het milieu, waaronder ook die veroorzaakt door klimaatverandering. Omdat de natuur slecht in stand is gehouden, is er sprake van een sterk verminderde veerkracht bij klimaatverandering.

In het verleden is menigmaal gewezen op de noodzaak om een actief klimaatbeleid en een adaptatiestrategie te ontwikkelen en implementeren voor Caribisch Nederland. Helaas heeft het daar tot nu toe aan ontbroken. Deze noodzaak is onlangs opnieuw benadrukt door recente standpunten van de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA, 2020) en Greenpeace Nederland (2022), en door een uitgebreide analyse de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2022) van de te verwachten gevolgen van klimaatverandering voor Bonaire.

 

See also https://www.dcbd.nl/document/powerpoint-httpswwwdcbdnldocumente28098natu...

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Governance
Education and outreach
Legislation
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Author

The Hydrogeology of Curaçao: an electrical resistivity study

Abstract

Worldwide, coral reef health is declining rapidly due to both global stressors (climate change) and local stressors (pollution). Reef maintenance on Curaçao focusses on reducing local stressors including terrestrial pollution. One f low path for terrestrial pollution is via submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). Yet, on the island of Curaçao these hotspots of submarine groundwater discharge have not yet been located, let stand quantified. With this research we aimed to increase our understanding of groundwater flow on the island. This will serve as a foothold for future SGD research. To do so, we have conducted 9 electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) measurements to understand (1) the heterogeneity of the lava formation, the main aquifer, (2) the saltwater-fresh water interface at the coast, and (3) the groundwater flow at geological interfaces. To assist in the interpretation of the data we measured groundwater levels and the discharge of Hato spring, in addition to observing local geological outcrops. We discovered that the lava formation is a very heterogenous aquifer due to variety in degree of weathering of the pillow basalt. As a result of the heterogenous permeability, the extent of seawater intrusion in the coastal lava formation is strongly variable. Yet, the lava formation does form a better barrier for sea-fresh water mixing than the limestone terraces. The midden formation (sedimentary rock) forms a thin aquifer near the surface. And, at the interface of lava and midden formation, the groundwater flow is hampered. As a result, the groundwater is confined within the lava formation until the lava formations reservoir “overflows”. The same occurs at the interface of the lava formation and the diorite intrusion. The next step in SGD research is quantifying the seaward groundwater flux where the lava formation is in direct contact with the sea or limestone formation. Here seaward groundwater flow is not hampered by the midden formation or the intrusion and thus forms hotspots of Submarine (polluted) Groundwater Discharge.

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Report number
MSc Thesis
Geographic location
Curacao

Household resilience to climate change vulnerabilities -a case study of Bonaire - RAW DATA SET

Abstract

Small Islands (SIs) often have a small capacity to resist or recover from the increasing impacts of climate change and, therefore, increasing climate resilience is necessary. However, knowledge and research on climate resilience, especially in the context of (Caribbean) SIs are limited in number and quality, although imperative for increasing it. Additionally, research, while proven beneficial, often overlooks the household-level. Therefore, this study researched household climate resilience (HCR) in Caribbean SI-context –in this case Bonaire. Since the aspects determining HCR depend on geographic context, this contextwas first studied for Bonaire. Through 13 key-informant interviews, complemented by desk research, the main climate vulnerabilities, their impact on Bonaire and its households, and the aspects making Bonairean households resilient for these were identified. These aspects were used as indicators to form a composite score measuring HCR through online household surveys. Hereby, the barriers to HCR and differences in HCR between socio-demographic groups were identified. Results showed an average HCR-score for the sample (N=183) of .455 out of 1 (SD=.11) –indicating HCR is not low, but also not high. The following aspects negatively contributed to HCR: expected damage to homes, amount of savings, insurance covering damage from climate change (vulnerabilities), incomes, dependent income sources, vulnerable neighbourhoods, alternatives to electricity, water, and food, social resilience, community response, government response, awareness of climate change, information and education on climate change impacts, and steps to prepare for this. Furthermore, the following households are less inclined to be climate resilient: bigger households, households with high kid ratios, households with younger household heads, households speaking fewer languages, households not fluently speaking English, and households with a higher level of obtained education.This study knows limitations that possibly impacted these results, like the limited representativeness of the household sample. Although this study adds to the knowledge base of SI-context HCR, additional research is beneficial. Therefore, recommendations forfurther research are provided. The same goes for policy recommendations.

 

 

For more information, please contact Nina Zander nina.p.zander@gmail.com.

Please also see:

Nina Zander's Masters Thesis https://www.dcbd.nl/document/household-resilience-climate-change-vulnera...

DCNA Policy Brief https://www.dcbd.nl/document/small-islands-%E2%80%93-large-climate-chang...

Date
2022
Data type
Raw data
Theme
Governance
Education and outreach
Legislation
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Author