Implementation agenda's (Dutch: uitvoeringsplan) for Nature & Environment Policy 2020-2023 for:
- Sint Eutatius
Implementation agenda's (Dutch: uitvoeringsplan) for Nature & Environment Policy 2020-2023 for:
Notes from a series of sessions to jointly define a biodiversity monitoring strategy. The sessions were organized by the Dutch Caribben Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN). Nature parks from Aruba (ARIKOK), Bonaire (STINAPA), Curacao (CARMABI), St.Maarten (Nature Foundation St.Maarten), Saba (Saba Conservation Foundation) and St.Eustatius (STENAPA) contributed to the sessions.
The unique natural world of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom plays the leading role in a special cinema film entitled WOW!. This was announced during the SMILE event at the University of Sint Maarten at a press conference by 360º of Innovation from Aruba and M&N Media Group from the Netherlands. The production of the film about Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten has begun and the film will launch in cinemas in 2025 both in the Netherlands and on the islands.
from left to right you see Wyb Meijer from SHTA, Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern from the Nature Foundation Sint Maarten, Ignas van Schaick from EMS films from the Netherlands, Bianca Peters from 360º of Innovation of Aruba, Elton Arends of 360º of Innovation of Aruba and Tadzio Bervoets of DCNA
Bianca Peters, co-founder and director of 360º of Innovation, is delighted: “For us, WOW! Is a dream come true. The film will not only portray the beauty, diversity and resilience of nature on the islands in a special way but also the vulnerability and importance of a healthy balance between people and nature. Audiences on both sides of the Atlantic are sure to be amazed and filled with pride. Viewers will not have realized before how special nature is in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.”
In close collaboration with the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), the WOW! production team has started visiting possible film locations. Discussions are also currently taking place with stakeholders to gain a good insight into all the ins and outs of the local nature and the stories and developments on the islands.
“Unfortunately, the islands are often negatively in the news in the Netherlands. With this film, we want to build a bridge based on the connecting power of nature to help improve cooperation between the Netherlands and the islands. Diversity and inclusivity in the film and the production team is an important starting point. After all, we are one Kingdom!”, says Peters.
In addition to the film, the makers are also working on a television series that sheds light on the individual islands from the perspective of the relationship between people and nature. What challenges will there be for the inhabitants of the islands in the coming years in their route to a sustainable relationship with nature? But also which solutions have already been created. Various educational and musical programs are also being developed in which local talents are involved.
“I am extremely proud that we as a distributor are so closely involved in the realization of this special film project. It is obvious that we will use music from the islands as a soundtrack for this,” says Jeffrey de Graaff, co-owner of M&N Media Group.
“It is a great honor to be able to make this film about the six Caribbean islands of the Kingdom. We have already made many worldwide successful films about Dutch nature, such as De Nieuwe Wildernis and De Wilde Stad, but this is the first time that we will be filming on this side of the ocean. Collaboration with local parties is extremely important in this regard. We look forward to visiting all six islands in the upcoming period and exploring what we want to film together with a team of talented makers from diverse backgrounds,” said Ignas van Schaick, EMS FILMS.
The production team of WOW! consists of 360º of Innovation, EMS FILMS and associate producer AM Pictures. M&N Media Group is responsible for worldwide distribution.
The film will be shot over the next two years and is expected to be shown in cinemas in the Netherlands and on the islands in 2025. To learn more about WOW! Visit www.wowthenaturefilm.com or visit the Facebook page @wowthenaturefilm.
Published in BioNews 52
Kralendijk – The recently concluded Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) convention reminded participants that nature is big business. However, many people are unaware of the varied ways in which nature’s resources can be leveraged to create sustainable economic growth. One of DCNA’s goals is to raise awareness of nature’s potential.
Nature’s Economic Value
Mrs. Hellen van der Wal, chairlady of DCNA, notes that “nature provides us with food and offers us alternatives for entertainment and relaxation. The unique biodiversity that we have in the Dutch Caribbean is a source of attraction for tourists who travel to the region purely to contemplate this nature.” Nature underpins all economic activity and according to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, nature’s contribution to global GDP was valued at US125 trillion in 2018.
Mrs. Van der Wal leading important discussions during the DCNA convention
While nature provides opportunities for considerable economic growth, DCNA believes that such growth should not be attained at the expense of natural assets. To protect its unique biodiversity, the Dutch Caribbean islands need to integrate sustainable development practices into policies and long-term plans. To achieve this, nature must be the point of departure in decision-making and in the creation of strategic plans.
During the recent convention in Curaçao, DCNA’s board renewed its commitment to intensify efforts to raise awareness of nature’s economic value, particularly among Dutch Caribbean governments. DCNA will also continue to engage the next generation in nature conservation discussions. Youth contribution is of great value, which is why DCNA has created a structural program for young people.
DCNA will also continue to encourage and facilitate credible scientific research, which is needed to navigate a future that will be shaped by climate change-induced challenges and crises. To achieve these important goals, DCNA will continue to build partnerships and raise funds. This is crucial, considering the challenges that resulted from the pandemic.
There is still a lot of work to be done, which is why close collaboration between the six Dutch Caribbean islands is of paramount importance. Mrs. Van der Wal believes the recent convention succeeded in strengthening existing relationships, but many challenges remain. “With the important changes we are making in our governance structure, we are equipping ourselves to better serve our Protected Area Management Organizations in their task to conserve nature and raise awareness. We also want to inform governments more effectively and will therefore continue working on strengthening our relationship and collaboration with the respective governments.” Van der Wal concludes emphasizing that “we cannot talk about sustainable development without talking about nature conservation.”
More information about the DCNA convention can be found on DCNA’s Facebook page: DutchCaribbeanNatureAlliance
Article published in Special Edition BioNews: 2021 DCNA Convention
Bonaire is facing major challenges including (mass) tourism, population growth, urban expansion, climate change, biodiversity loss and the unilateral dependency on tourism. In thirty years, Bonaire will inevitably look different. Here, two different possible futures are presented, to form a basis for dialogue amongst stakeholders and to stimulate a positive change and sustainability on Bonaire. One of these scenarios follows current trends (business-as-usual), and the other bends those trends into a nature-inclusive future after a vision developed by a trans-disciplinary team of researchers, local experts and stakeholders. For both scenarios drivers and impacts are visualized and documented on climate, tourist numbers, population, infrastructure, resources, land use, erosion and nature.
Visualizing scenarios is one important piece in creating awareness about the future as it allows to shed light of the difficult to grasp long-term effects, and explicitly showcases current trends. It gives opportunities to imagine a future that looks different from the prognosis, and to inspire to work towards a sustainable and desirable future.
DISCUSSION AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES (excerpt from the report)
With this study, we shed light on measurable impacts to Bonaire if current trends continue as usual; and provided an alternative which can be visualized as a result of nature inclusive policies, actions and land use changes. However steering changes towards nature inclusivity is not only a change in land (and sea) use and indicator values, but to make it a reality it is a change in mindset of an entire community. This cannot happen without the awareness of the trade-offs that nature inclusive actions can bring to the many different stakeholders involved. In this discussion we make a case for the importance of nature inclusivity on Bonaire, and make a start towards a dialogue about the risks, trade-offs and opportunities that may lie ahead.
We have documented the current trends: Bonaire has experienced a quadrupling in population size over the past half century. Cruise tourism started growing exponentially in the mid-2000s, and stay-over tourism steadily increasing. All while access to freshwater with the climate change projections becomes more difficult and costly. While some Dutch Caribbean islands might have experienced a much more explosive increase in tourism and population than Bonaire (e.g. Aruba), other islands experience more stability (e.g. Saba). Anecdotal evidence from other islands (see Bonaire reporter, 2022), as well as the projections showcased in this report imply that if Bonaire wants to stay relevant as a tourist destination and support its growing population the island needs to focus on its long-term assets.
The scenarios in this report were described using indicators that progress along the trends and rates of the past several years. While these assumptions include some climate change parameters like gradual warming, and gradually reduced precipitation, they fail to consider implications of unforeseen natural disasters, or increasing severe weather conditions which will take a toll on the island. Neither do the scenario projections consider any changes in world trade processes for food or fuel. An honest look at the state of the island for the next 30 years under the Business as Usual projections indicates that sustaining such growth under the current (environmental or political) conditions of the planet are relatively short-lived, and are built on a set of fragile assumptions.
Naturally, trends described in the nature inclusive scenario imply (policy) choices with varying effects on each sector as shown using several indicators. In some cases, the rates compared to the BaU scenario will be slower (population growth due to immigrants, stay-over tourism, urbanisation), while with other indicators/sectors growth rates will increase (greenness, agricultural land, green and wind energy use and water collection). Specific implications of a scenario can be beneficial, while others can be unfavourable, depending on the agenda of each particular stakeholder. An example of such a trade-off is the extensive local food production under the nature inclusive scenario: in the foreseen closed agricultural system there is far less need for off-island nutrient imports. As fewer nutrients are brought onto the island, this reduces the harm from foreign particles to the environment and the reef. As such, the reef is more likely to stay healthy and can continue to be a major tourist attraction. Nevertheless, individuals currently working in the food import logistics sector may experience a decrease in business. This may be overcome by jobs created through the growing local food production industry, but awareness of this trade-off is important when instigating changes. Attractiveness of the nature inclusive scenario in the short-term depends on the stakeholder. While in the long-term, the implication of the nature-inclusive scenario is of an island prosperity that is inclusive for everyone and ensures sustainability. One which is much less dependent on the few precarious pillars on which it is currently built: food and fuel importation.
Another crucial trade-off of the nature inclusive scenario is the implication of water and waste collection. This requires significant infrastructural investments (sceptic tank collection, or rooftop collection installations, appropriate facilities and road ways to ensure this, and home fitting) which requires not only government support, but individual support and repeated actions. It means a change in routine, from linear to circular consumption. Routine is a difficult circuit to make or break. This will require a cultural understanding of the benefits and wholehearted will to change the norm. It may require a big investment in time and energy in the short-term to create a long term self-sustaining infrastructure
Includes information about Caribbean Netherlands