landscape

Management areas Bonaire

Map of management areas for Bonaire. The management areas are projected on top of the Bonaire landscape map (see details here) to emphasize the diversity within a management zone. To maintain the diversity present, it is important to recognize these differences when developing and implementing management strategies.

Date
2022
Data type
Maps and Charts
Theme
Governance
Geographic location
Bonaire
Image

Pathways towards a sustainable kunuku landscape

Summary

Imagination is understood as a vital element of transformations towards sustainable human societies. This study explores scientific foresights and their relationship to ambiguity in the context of the kunuku landscape on Bonaire. This research constitutes out of four research activities. Firstly, six objects of ambiguity as well as four subjects with converging stakeholder frames were identified through a thematic analysis. Secondly, a stakeholder-driven stakeholder categorisation was conducted to portray the societal network connected to the kunuku landscape. Subsequently, three pathways – consisting out of 58 specific actions – towards a sustainable kunuku landscape in 2050 were co-created within a participatory backcast. Lastly, a novel analytical framework for foresight processes was applied to scrutinise the backcasting and its preceding visioning process.  Based on its findings, this study concludes by recommending a pluralistic, ‘opening-up’ approach towards anticipatory governance and by supporting calls for theory-backed, transdisciplinary foresight processes. 

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Report number
Master of Science in Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University & Research Environmental Policy group
Geographic location
Bonaire

Vegetation Study informs Spatial Planning on Sint Maarten

Commissioned by Sint Maarten’s Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI), a color vegetation map produced by CARMABI and Wageningen University & Research shows a 25% decrease in overall vegetation cover of the Dutch side of the island since 1956.  Results show that this loss can be attributed to massive urbanization and touristic development, overgrazing by introduced mammals (goats), the impact of hurricanes and the negative effect of invasive plant species. By investigating and mapping the vegetation of the island, spatial planning strategies can work to protect and connect the remaining sensitive landscape ecological units, to prevent further loss of biodiversity and vital natural resources.

 

Usefulness of vegetation maps

Credit: Marjolijn Lopes Cardozo: SHAPE/DCNA

Vegetation maps are a useful tool in understanding the status of the biodiversity and species make-up of a particular area (e.g. of an island). These maps are used by a wide variety of actors, -from scientists to policy makers- and are key to spatial planning and designing nature management and conservation strategies. This gains extra relevance based on the fact that St. Maarten is a biodiversity hotspot in the Caribbean area: the island is inhabited by over 100 species which can only be found within the Lesser Antilles region and 12 species which can only be found on St. Maarten.  Furthermore, the vegetation types that are associated with the hilly landscape (the dominant landscape of St. Maarten) belong to the most threatened ecosystems in Latin America and worldwide.

A well-developed natural vegetation plays a critical role in securing balanced and healthy ecosystems. Areas with such a vegetation influence soil properties, prevent erosion, aid in water retention and provide important buffers between land and sea (preventing damage to coral reefs by sedimentation).  Not to mention the importance they play in providing food and shelter for a wide variety of the island’s native animal populations.

Changes in the islands’ natural vegetation since 1956

Credit: Christian König: SHAPE/DCNA

The results of an island-wide field study done at the end of 1999 shows that in comparison to a vegetation map published in 1956, a 25% decline in vegetation cover has taken place. In addition, five different vegetation types -found in coastal areas- have disappeared beyond recognition over those 40 plus years.  The interconnectedness of ecosystems on islands make them vulnerable to the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation as well as the negative impact of grazing by introduced mammal grazers and invasive plant species. Of course, we must not forget the detrimental effects of hurricanes and global warming.

Over time, habitat loss and fragmentation on St. Maarten have been caused by agriculture, grazing by introduced mammals and since the 1960s by an explosive growth in tourism. Particularly since 1980 tourism has skyrocketed on the island. Some vegetation units described in 1956 have also disappeared due to actual vegetation regeneration and succession to a more diverse state following the decline in agriculture and livestock grazing.

Although there has been some regeneration, the overall process witnessed for St. Maarten is that of loss of natural and semi-natural vegetated areas in all parts of the island. The largest disappearance took place in the western parts of the island that in 1956 were characterized by the presence of two evergreen vegetation types. In the Low Lands area, a climax evergreen vegetation type covering a large part of the area in 1956 has disappeared almost totally except for a very small area still present but seriously threatened. Large areas of a vegetation type with a deciduous character to the west of the eastern hill range have been lost. One could observe that the general trend shows that the hills are regenerating while the low and coastal areas are degrading at a faster rate, resulting in a net vegetation loss. This trend demonstrates the economic shift from mainly agricultural practices towards an economy heavily reliant on tourism.

Towards a more sustainable future for St. Maarten

Vegetation maps similar to the one produced in the present report have been completed by Carmabi for other Dutch Caribbean islands as well.  This includes maps of Curaçao (1997), Bonaire (2005), St. Eustatius (2014) and Saba (2016).  Since the 1980’s land-use planning has become a hot topic, and understanding the current status of each island’s terrestrial areas is critical in both sustainable land development as well as implementing conservation and restoration strategies moving forward. The report ends with five recommendations to works towards a more effective terrestrial nature management on the island: establish a protected areas network, control of roaming livestock, protection of endangered plant species, an invasive species action plan and long-term vegetation monitoring. Findings of this report point to the importance of protecting and connecting rare and individual landscape units, such as those found in the Low Lands and at the remaining naturally vegetated beaches. It is also clear that the landscape ecological units that are characteristic of the high hills have a high conservation value that call for protection.

For more information, you can read the full report here

https://www.dcbd.nl/sites/default/files/documents/landscape_ecological_v...

 

Article published in BioNews 46

 

Date
2021
Data type
Media
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Maarten
Author

Landschappen van Caribisch Nederland

Over landschap en erfgoed van de voormalige Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba is relatief weinig gepubliceerd.[1] Toch bestaan de banden tussen Nederland en deze eilanden alweer bijna 400 jaar. Bovendien zijn de zes eilanden meer dan ooit verankerd in het Nederlandse staatsverband. Aruba, Curaçao en Sint-Maarten hebben inmiddels alle een ‘status aparte’ binnen het Koninkrijk. De drie andere eilanden, Bonaire, Saba en Sint-Eustatius, vallen sinds 2010 als ‘openbaar lichaam’ rechtstreeks onder Nederland. Kortom, reden genoeg voor het Tijdschrift voor Historische Geografie een themanummer te wijden aan deze zes zeer verschillende eilanden, met als rode draad de zichtbare, maar ook onzichtbare, sporen van de Nederlandse kolonisatie. Hoe, waar en waarom hebben de bewoners en bestuurders ingegrepen in het bestaande landschap en wat zijn daarvan de gevolgen geweest?

David Koren, gastredacteur voor dit nummer, draagt twee artikelen bij over Curaçao. In het eerste artikel analyseert hij de geschiedenis van het plantageverleden van Curaçao dat, behalve in de monumentale landhuizen, nog zichtbaar is in het landschap. In het tweede artikel wordt het moeizame proces van de werelderfgoedvoordracht van het Plantagesysteem van West-Curaçao nader bekeken. Koren draagt argumenten aan om vooral in te zetten op de waarde als cultuurlandschap en minder op de architectuurhistorie van de vier geselecteerde plantagehuizen. Daarbij mag het slavernijverleden niet uit het oog worden verloren.

Archeoloog Amy Victorina interviewt haar collega Claudia Kraan over hoe het Verdrag van Malta functioneert als een vehikel om op Bonaire cultuurhistorisch waardevolle landschappen te beschermen, zowel van koloniale- als van prekoloniale oorsprong. De Nederlandse kolonisatie is ook van invloed geweest op lokale bouwtradities, zoals blijkt in het derde artikel van cultuurhistorica Romy van Voren over de gedecoreerde kunuku-huizen (‘cas floria’) op Aruba.

Vervolgens komen de Bovenwindse eilanden aan bod. Dré van Marrewijk en Floortje Aldershoff tonen de bijzondere aanpassingen van de kolonisten aan de topografie van het eiland Saba en het bijzondere erfgoed dat dit heeft opgeleverd. Vervolgens laat archeoloog Ruud Stelten zien dat het erfgoed op Sint-Eustatius ogenschijnlijk ook onzichtbaar kan zijn (maar net niet helemaal). Wim Renkema neemt ons in de rubriek ‘Landschap op papier’ mee naar de uitbreiding van een zoutpan op Sint-Maarten.

Tenslotte geeft Cees van Rooijen daarna zijn visie op het boek ‘Archaeology of Domestic Landscapes of the Enslaved in the Caribbean’. Dit nummer eindigt met een volledig aan de Antillen gewijd Literatuuroverzicht.

Caribisch Nederland heeft in het verleden een belangrijke rol gespeeld in de internationale slavenhandel, een geschiedenis die tot op heden sporen heeft nagelaten in de Caribische en de Nederlandse samenleving. Voor de slachtoffers van de slavernij is internationaal de term ‘enslaved’ gangbaar. In overleg met de auteurs van de artikelen hanteert het THG daarvoor als Nederlandse vertaling: ‘tot slaaf gemaakten’.

 

 

Inhoudsopgave

Redactioneel 129

Artikelen

Een eeuwenlange strijd tegen droogte en teloorgang. Uiteenlopende waarden en betekenissen van het Curaçaose plantagelandschap 131
David Koren

Slavernijverleden werpt schaduw vooruit. Werelderfgoedstatus voor Plantagesysteem West-Curaçao? 152
David koren

Interview met Claudia Kraan. Cultuurhistorische landschappen op Bonaire: flexibele en duurzame bescherming van erfgoed 169
Amy Victorina 

Getuigen van de Arubaanse geschiedenis en identiteit: de kunuku-huizen en de cas floria 177
Romy van Voren

Saba, de onbedorven koniging van de Antillen 185
Dré van Marrewijk en Floortje Aldershoff

Het onzichtbare verleden van Sint-Eustatius 197
Ruud stelten

Landschap op papier: Een plan voor grootschalige zoutwinning op Sint-Maarten 207
Wim Renkema

Landschapselementen:. Sporen van een indigocultuur op Curaçao 213
Carel de Haseth en François van der Hoeven 

Boekbespreking 218
Literatuuroverzicht 221

 

 

Date
2020
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten
Image

Landscape map Bonaire

Landscape map that depicts the intersections of biophysical, cultural and aesthetic characteristics, delineating landscape types to which coherent sets of nature-inclusive measures are assigned. This landscape map was developed using clusters of nature-inclusive measures that were spatially located by local experts on a map of Bonaire, in combination with geological, soil , elevation , vegetation , planning and high resolution land cover maps.

See this report for more information.

Date
2020
Data type
Maps and Charts
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire
Image