resilience

Keys to Building Resilience in the Dutch Caribbean

Dutch below

Two new position papers presented to the Dutch Parliament, by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and Wageningen University and Research, emphasize the need for empowered Park Management Organizations as well as the use of Nature Based Solutions. These two strategies will build strength and resilience across the Dutch Caribbean to better combat the effects of climate change.

The Dutch Caribbean is already experiencing the effects of climate change, most of which will continue to worsen in the upcoming years.  This includes sea level rise, increased air and water temperatures, increased occurrence of invasive species and tropical diseases, overall diminished biodiversity and an increase in the intensity and change in the frequency of hurricanes, just to name a few.  Strengthening these islands to build resilience is no longer an option but a must.  Two new positions papers from the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) present impactful solutions to move forward.

Empowering Park Management Organizations

On November 19th 2022, the DCNA was invited by the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Kingdom Relations to participate in a round table discussion in the House of Representatives. Irene Kingma, DCNA’s policy and public affairs advisor, spoke on behalf of the DCNA. During this meeting, DCNA emphasized three core conditions which are essential for the Dutch Caribbean to combat the pressures of climate change.

  • The first is to ensure structural funding for the Park Management Organizations on the six Dutch Caribbean islands is provided so the organizations can execute their core tasks that are vital in ensuring our island ecosystems remain in good health.
  • The second was to stress that the availability of the budget required for the implementation-phase of the Nature and Environment Policy Plan BES (NMBP-BES) needs to be guaranteed. It is also vital that the CAS-islands (Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire) have a chance to benefit from this policy plan moving forward.
  • Lastly, DCNA insisted that representatives from all six islands should be involved in discussions about how to tackle the climate crisis. Park Management Organizations provide critical insights and experience which will prove key in designing and implementing future climate action policy.

 

Nature Based Solution

Dr. Dolfi Debrot (WUR) presented a position paper in which he stresses that ‘nature-based solutions’ will be vital in protecting the Dutch Caribbean. Nature has evolved over millions of years to naturally protect itself, so it only makes sense to use this to our advantage. Healthy local environments will aid in maintaining soil fertility, storing vital ground water, minimizing erosion, protecting critical coastlines and capturing carbon dioxide. WUR argues for, amongst others, forest and mangrove restoration and a reduction of free roaming livestock, improved agricultural methods (to include the use of drought-resistant species) and the introduction of innovative technologies. These include the use of artificial reefs to support the local protective function of coral and restore reef diversity as well as the use of Fish Aggregation Devices to shift of fishing pressures away from the reef to target pelagic species. Also noted are the need to improve coastal water quality through proper waste processing and sewage treatment plants as well as a “Coastal Setback Policy”. This latter refers to defining a strip along the coast where construction is prohibited to allow the growth of a wide margin of coastal vegetation that can serve to protect infrastructure against the onslaught of hurricanes. At the same time, such a coastal setback will equally protect the coral reefs and seagrass beds along the coast by limiting inflow of construction rubble and refuse during those same hurricanes. Implementing these changes will boost the islands’ natural ability to regulate these pressures and will give the islands greater resilience to the effects of climate change.

 

 

More information

Read more about DCNA’s Climate Action Plan and recent position paper as well as WUR call for more nature-based solutions through their position paper and presentation.

Or re-watch the round table discussion (in Dutch): https://debatgemist.tweedekamer.nl/debatten/duurzame-ontwikkeling-het-koninkrijk

 

 

Sleutels tot het bouwen van veerkracht in het Nederlands Caribisch gebied.

Twee nieuwe positie papers die door de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance en Wageningen University and Research aan het Nederlands Parlement gepresenteerd zijn, benadrukken de noodzaak om parkbeheerorganisaties te versterken en het gebruik van natuur gebaseerde oplossingen. Deze twee strategieën zullen in het Nederlands Caribisch gebied kracht en veerkracht bouwen om de effecten van klimaatverandering beter te kunnen bestrijden.

Het Nederlands Caribisch gebied ondervindt nu al de effecten van klimaatverandering, waarvan de meeste de komende jaren zullen verergeren. Dit omvat zeespiegelstijging, verhoogde lucht- en watertemperaturen, een toename in het voorkomen van invasieve soorten en tropische ziekten, algehele verminderde biodiversiteit en een toename in de intensiteit en een verandering in de frequentie van het voorkomen van orkanen, om er maar een aantal te noemen. Het versterken van deze eilanden om veerkracht op te bouwen is niet langer een optie, maar een must. Twee nieuwe positie papers van de Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) en Wageningen University and Research (WUR) presenteren impactvolle oplossingen om verder te komen.

Het versterken  an Park Beheer Organisaties

Op 19 november 2022, werd de DCNA door de Vaste Kamercommissie voor Koninkrijksrelaties uitgenodigd om deel te nemen aan een rondetafelgesprek in de Tweede Kamer. Irene Kingma, de DCNA’s adviseur beleid en publieke aangelegenheden, sprak namens de DCNA. Tijdens deze bijeenkomst benadrukte de DCNA drie kernvoorwaarden die essentieel zijn voor het Nederlands Caribisch gebied om de druk van klimaatverandering tegen te gaan.

  • De eerste is om ervoor te zorgen dat de parkbeheerorganisaties op de zes Nederlands Caribische eilanden structureel worden gefinancierd, zodat de organisaties hun kerntaken kunnen uitvoeren die essentieel zijn om ervoor te zorgen dat onze eilandecosystemen in goede gezondheid blijven.
  • De tweede is dat de beschikbaarheid van het benodigde budget voor de uitvoeringsfase van het Natuur- en Milieubeleidsplan BES (NMBP-BES) moet worden gegarandeerd. Het is ook van essentieel belang dat de CAS-eilanden (Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire) de kans krijgen om te profiteren van dit beleidsplan.
  • De laatste is dat vertegenwoordigers van alle zes de eilanden moeten worden betrokken bij discussies over de aanpak van de klimaatcrisis. Parkbeheerorganisaties bieden kritische inzichten en ervaring die van cruciaal belang zullen blijken bij het ontwerpen en implementeren van toekomstig klimaatactiebeleid.

 

Natuur Gebaseerde Oplossing

Dr. Dolfi Debrot (WUR) presenteerde een positie paper waarin hij benadrukt dat ‘natuur gebaseerde oplossingen’ essentieel zullen zijn bij de bescherming van het Nederlands Caribisch gebied. De natuur is gedurende miljoenen jaren geëvolueerd om zichzelf op natuurlijke wijze te beschermen, dus het is niet meer dan logisch om dit in ons voordeel te gebruiken. Gezonde lokale omgevingen zullen helpen bij het behoud van de bodemvruchtbaarheid, het vasthouden van vitaal grondwater, het minimaliseren van erosie, het beschermen van kritieke kustlijnen en het vastleggen van koolstofdioxide. De WUR pleit onder andere voor bos en mangrove herstel, vermindering van vrij rondlopend vee, verbeterde landbouwmethodes (om het gebruik van droogte-resistente soorten te betrekken) en de introductie van innovatieve technologieën. Deze omvatten het gebruik van kunstmatige riffen om de lokale beschermende functie van koraal te ondersteunen en de rif diversiteit te herstellen, evenals het gebruik van visaggregatie-apparaten om de visserijdruk van het rif te verplaatsen naar pelagische soorten. Ook genoteerd staat de noodzaak om de kwaliteit van het kustwater te verbeteren door middel van goede afvalverwerking en rioolwaterzuiveringsinstallaties, evenals “Kust terugval beleid”. Dit laatste verwijst naar het definiëren van een strook langs de kust waar constructie verboden is om de groei van een brede marge van kustvegetatie mogelijk te maken die kan dienen om de infrastructuur te beschermen tegen de woeste aanval van orkanen. Tegelijkertijd zal een dergelijke terugslag langs de kust de koraalriffen en zeegrasvelden langs deze kust beschermen doordat de instroom van bouwpuin en afval tijdens diezelfde orkanen beperkt wordt. Het implementeren van deze veranderingen zal het natuurlijke vermogen van de eilanden om deze drukken te reguleren vergroten en zal de eilanden grotere veerkracht geven ten opzichte van de effecten van klimaatverandering.

Meer Informatie

Lees meer over de DCNA’s Klimaat Actie Plan en recente positie paper, evenals WUR’s oproep tot meer natuur gebaseerde oplossingen in hun positie paper en presentatie.

Of kijk het rondetafelgesprek in de Tweede Kamer terug (in het Nederlands).

 

 

Published in BioNews 60

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

'Nature-based Solutions': essential to safeguard the Dutch Caribbean against the consequences of climate change

This powerpoint walks through the recently published position paper entitled Nature based Solutions’: essential to safeguard the Dutch Caribbean against the consequences of climate change.

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Report number
Position paper powerpoint
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Saba
Saba bank
St. Eustatius
St. Maarten

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

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Seagrass ecosystem multifunctionality under the rise of a flagship marine megaherbivore

Abstract

Large grazers (megaherbivores) have a profound impact on ecosystem functioning. However, how ecosystem multifunctionality is affected by changes in megaherbivore populations remains poorly understood. Understanding the total impact on ecosystem multifunctionality requires an integrative ecosystem approach, which is especially challenging to obtain in marine systems. We assessed the effects of experimentally simulated grazing intensity scenarios on ecosystem functions and multifunctionality in a tropical Caribbean seagrass ecosystem. As a model, we selected a key marine megaherbivore, the green turtle, whose ecological role is rapidly unfolding in numerous foraging areas where populations are recovering through conservation after centuries of decline, with an increase in recorded overgrazing episodes. To quantify the effects, we employed a novel integrated index of seagrass ecosystem multifunctionality based upon multiple, well-recognized measures of seagrass ecosystem functions that reflect ecosystem services. Experiments revealed that intermediate turtle grazing resulted in the highest rates of nutrient cycling and carbon storage, while sediment stabilization, decomposition rates, epifauna richness, and fish biomass are highest in the absence of turtle grazing. In contrast, intense grazing resulted in disproportionally large effects on ecosystem functions and a collapse of multifunctionality. These results imply that (i) the return of a megaherbivore can exert strong effects on coastal ecosystem functions and multifunctionality, (ii) conservation efforts that are skewed toward megaherbivores, but ignore their key drivers like predators or habitat, will likely result in overgrazing-induced loss of multifunctionality, and (iii) the multifunctionality index shows great potential as a quantitative tool to assess ecosystem performance. Considerable and rapid alterations in megaherbivore abundance (both through extinction and conservation) cause an imbalance in ecosystem functioning and substantially alter or even compromise ecosystem services that help to negate global change effects. An integrative ecosystem approach in environmental management is urgently required to protect and enhance ecosystem multifunctionality.

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

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

Small Islands – Large climate change challenges. Household resilience to climate change vulnerabilities - a case study of Bonaire

Main Findings

The main climate change vulnerabilities for Bonaire are: an increase in the intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, an increase in the number and extent of flood events, and an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather

• These impact Bonaire’s natural systems (e.g., destruction of coastal and marine ecosystems and terrestrial environments) and socio-economic systems (e.g., health, income, and food availability) – and thus negatively impact households.

• The average score of the household sample indicates that HCR in Bonaire is not particularly low, but also not high.

• Especially the following drivers of household climate resilience seem to be limited in Bonaire: expected damage to homes, amount of savings, insurance covering damage from climate change (vulnerabilities), dependent income sources, incomes, 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, and steps taken to prepare for this.

• The following households are less inclined to be climate resilient: (possibly) bigger households, households with high kid ratios, households with younger household heads, (possibly) households speaking fewer languages, households not fluently speaking English, and households with a higher level of obtained education.

 

Recommendations

• Create an action plan in which policy directly aimed at increasing (household) climate resilience is formulated. This should at least include policy to:

>Keep investing in the protection and recovery of Bonaire’s nature

>Create awareness >Increase the availability of insurance covering damage from climate change (vulnerabilities)

>Provide financial assistance to help households prepare for climate change (vulnerabilities)

>Provide income generating opportunities and diversify the economy.

 

• Incorporate climate change (resiliency) in the design of policy on other themes.

• Increase cooperation• Involve the local community

• Conduct additional research

 

 

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...
Raw data set https://www.dcbd.nl/document/household-resilience-climate-change-vulnera...

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

Reef Degradation and Tourism The macroeconomic costs of climate change on Bonaire

Part of the larger The impacts of climate change on Bonaire (2022-present) report available here 

 

Summary

This paper studies the macroeconomic consequences of climate-induced reef degradation for Bonaire. Bonaire’s coral reefs progressively face the unavoidable reality of climate change, with its effects increasing in severity. Degradation of the island’s reef ecosystems may affect annual tourism arrivals as the reefs form one of the main attractions for visitors to Bonaire. Consequently, the industries that rely on tourist expenditures will suffer and thus the local economy. Coral reef-based tourism creates a unique opportunity to investigate the impacts of global warming on the macroeconomic performance of Bonaire. This paper employs the emission scenarios SSP1-1.9, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0, and SSP5-8.5 of the AR6 IPCC 2021 to study the effects of coral reef degradation on the social carrying capacity of the coral reefs. Subsequently, the potential effects of reduced dive tourism and the induced effects of a change in tourism demand are translated into changes in sectoral outputs by employing input-output analysis. Coral reef degradation is expected under all scenarios, except the SSP1-1.9 scenario where a slight recovery of coral reefs is possible.

This study finds a contraction in GDP between 25 USDm and 173 USDm by 2050 (between 2 to 18 percent of GDP in 2050), depending on the applied climate scenario. Moreover, a tourism income multiplier of 0.85x is found, which indicates a strong interlinkage between tourism income and the local economy, as from every dollar of tourism income 85% enters the local economy. This indicates that any losses in tourism demand will significantly result in macroeconomic damages for Bonaire. It can thus be expected that climate change will have a substantial impact on coral reefs as a vital tourism asset on Bonaire, with more extreme emission scenarios leading to stronger negative effects on the local economy.

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

The Impacts of Climate Change on Bonaire - Synthesis Report

Part of the larger report available here.

 

Executive summary

Small islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of their fragile ecosystems, small economies, and often extensive, low-lying coastal areas. Therefore, small islands, such as present in the Caribbean Netherlands, are expected to suffer excessively from rising temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea-level rise, coral bleaching, cyclones, droughts and floods. Despite this widespread conviction, scientific evidence of these effects in the Caribbean Netherlands is scarce, and as a result, limited adaptation strategies are developed or implemented by local and Dutch governments. 

In this study, an analysis is conducted assessing the impacts of climate change for the island of Bonaire. Given the uncertainty regarding the actual level of climate change in the future, four universally recognised scenarios are simulated, ranging from an optimistic scenario “SSP1-1.9” (corresponding to a mean temperature rise of 1.4°C at the end of the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels), which assumes climate change will  modestly increase relative to current levels, to a pessimistic scenario “SSP5-8.5” (corresponding to a mean temperature rise of 4.4°C at the end of the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels), which suggests very high levels of climate change. Impacts are measured and reported at different moments in time, mainly looking at the years 2050 and 2150, representing short-term and long-term effects of climate change, respectively. A mix of methods from various scientific disciplines are used to estimate the impacts of climate change, including climate and flood models, ecological-economic models, as well as social-science methods such as social media analysis, participatory mapping and key-informant interviews. Although the subcomponents of the study are systematically aligned and integrated, four topics can be distinguished: the estimation of the biophysical impacts, the modelling of economic effects, the identification of socio-cultural effects, and the exploration for potential adaptation options. 

First, we analyse the expected bio-physical and environmental changes associated with different climate projections. The applied flood model simulations reveal that, already by 2050, sea-level rise will cause permanent inundation of parts of the low-lying nature reserves of the saliñas, Lac Bay and Klein Bonaire, thereby altering the extent and dynamics of these areas. Increasing storms are expected to double this inundated area, with an estimated surface of around 8 km2 comprising both permanently and temporarily flooded areas. With climate change increasing over time, sea-level rise and coastal storm inundation will further expand the flooded surface area of Bonaire by 2150, ranging from 14.3 km2 to 32.2 km2, depending on the climate scenario. These flood simulations clearly identify Bonaire's high-risk built-up areas: Belnem and other areas in Kralendijk. But this is not the complete picture; coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to temperature increase, acidification and extreme storms, and our study predicts significant declines of the reef health index of the coral reefs of Bonaire in three of the four climate scenarios already by 2050. Since coral reefs currently act as a natural buffer against waves on Bonaire, the loss of this important ecosystem will further amplify the flooding caused by climate change. 

Second, we estimate the expected economic effects associated with climate change, including impacts on economic development, the built environment and infrastructure. The economic impact is mainly felt through damage costs caused by floods as well as negative effects on tourism caused by the loss of corals. Storms are expected to largely affect Kralendijk and Belnem under the worst climate scenario, resulting in estimated damage costs of US$317 million by 2050. Since permanently inundated buildings are not included in the damage costs projections, these costs are likely to be on the conservative side. As a large part of the damaged structures are in key areas, and numerous coastal and southern roads on the island will be unusable, flood hazards will not only disrupt entire neighbourhoods but also make it impossible for emergency services to reach these areas and buildings. Moreover, we estimate that the economy will be negatively affected by the loss of coral reefs since numerous valuable dive sites will be severely degraded. In the worst climate scenario, coral reef degradation may lead to a reduction of quality dive sites from 86 to 12 and a subsequent reduction in dive tourist arrivals of more than 100 thousand visitors by 2050, causing a contraction in Bonaire’s economy of roughly 25%.

Third, we identified the expected socio-cultural effects associated with the climate change in terms of loss of cultural heritage and health impacts. The tangible cultural impact is felt through the permanent flooding of key locations with cultural significance for Bonaireans, such as the slave huts and the house at Boca Slagbaai. Loss of cultural heritage may have severe impacts on society, as it may lead to a decline in cultural identity and social cohesion. The intangible cultural impact of extreme weather events and rising temperatures includes pressures on the traditional ways of life of Bonaire, including fishing, agriculture, and festivities. Additionally, numerous experts on Bonaire reported that the effects of climate change on Bonaireans’ health, such as changes in vector-borne disease incidence and heat-related stress, are already observed and are likely to increase with climate change. This impact is further magnified with the ageing of the population on Bonaire, making the people even more susceptible to heat-related stress disorders. 

Fourth, we evaluate several adaptation measures to understand which management alternatives Bonaire could implement to cope with the negative consequences of climate change. Potential adaptation strategies include nature-based solutions such as the conservation of coral reefs and the restoration of coastal vegetation, which contribute to the prevention of flooding. Moreover, decision-makers should consider investing in various heat mitigation strategies, such as climate-sensitive building designs, artificial and natural shading, as well as information programmes to educate the population on how to protect themselves from high-temperature exposure. We conclude that, although the impacts of climate change necessitate immediate action, decision-makers should also focus on the longer term, such as 2150 and beyond, as the effects of climate change will worsen significantly over time. 

Since our study did not address all effects of climate change and since climate research with regional and local precision is still in development, the impacts presented in our study can be regarded as preliminary lower-bound estimates. In other words, additional research may generate estimates of even more severe impacts of climate change in Bonaire. In addition, we like to emphasise that there is little knowledge about the effects of climate change in the Dutch Caribbean at the present time. This study is the first attempt to map and quantify a broad range of climate change effects for Bonaire, which is only one of the six islands in the Caribbean Netherlands. Because the research results are unique for Bonaire, we recommend conducting similar studies for the other Caribbean islands in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

 

Date
2022
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

The impacts of climate change on Bonaire (2022-present)

Small islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of their fragile ecosystems, small economies, and often extensive, low-lying coastal areas.

Therefore, small islands, such as present in the Caribbean Netherlands, are expected to suffer excessively from rising temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, coral bleaching, cyclones, droughts and floods. Yet, scientific evidence of these effects in the Caribbean Netherlands is scarce.

In this study, an analysis is conducted assessing the impacts of climate change for the island of Bonaire. A mix of methods is used to estimate the impacts of climate change, including climate and flood models, ecological-economic models, as well as social-science methods such as social media analysis and participatory mapping. Four sub-studies can be distinguished: the estimation of the biophysical impacts, the modelling of economic effects, the identification of socio-cultural effects, and the exploration for potential adaptation options.

The main findings of the study include the following:

  • Already by 2050, sea level rise will cause permanent inundation of parts of the low-lying nature reserves of the saliñas, Lac Bay and Klein Bonaire. The flooded surface area will increase further by 2150, threatening Bonaire's high-risk built-up areas such as Belnem and other areas in Kralendijk. The loss of coral reefs as a natural buffer will amplify these effects.
  • The economic impact of climate change is mainly felt through damage costs caused by floods as well as negative effects on tourism caused by the loss of corals. Storms and floods are expected to cause an estimated damage costs of US$317 million by 2050. The degradation of coral reefs leads to the degradation or loss of the majority of dive sites on Bonaire, which may cause a reduction in tourist arrivals of more than 100 thousand visitors.
  • Climate change is also expected to severely cause loss of cultural heritage and health impacts on Bonaire. Among others, this includes the permanent flooding of key locations with cultural significance for Bonaireans, such as the slave huts and the house at Boca Slagbaai. Additionally, climate change is expected to affect Bonaireans’ health, such as changes in vector-borne disease incidence and heat-related stress.
  • Potential adaptation strategies against climate change on Bonaire include nature-based solutions such as the conservation of coral reefs and the restoration of coastal vegetation, which contribute to the prevention of flooding. We conclude that, although the impacts of climate change necessitate immediate action, decision-makers should also focus on the longer term, such as 2150 and beyond, as the effects of climate change will worsen significantly over time.

For more information about the study or sub-studies, download the following reports:

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Geographic location
Bonaire