Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – Last week the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and World Wildlife Fund for Nature – The Netherlands (WWF-NL) joined forces with Wolfs Company to assist the St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) and her sister parks on Saba and St Maarten with strengthening their ability to achieve sustainable financing of their National Parks.
Like other protected areas in the Caribbean, all six Dutch Caribbean parks face a structural shortage of financing to fulfil their nature management tasks. Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten have the greatest challenges, even though nature in all these islands is the basis for their economic and social development. Nature is key for tourism, thereby creating jobs and generating funds for the government from related taxes. The parks also provide cultural and recreational opportunities for residents.
Some challenges the parks face include: the lack of financial support and planning, insufficient capacity to undertake activities and obstacles for putting financing mechanisms into practice. To overcome some of these challenges, WWF-NL and DCNA have funded a project to assist the nature parks in strengthening their strategies to achieve sustainable financing. Wolfs Company brought in their expertise in conservation finance and facilitated the workshops. The objective of this project was to address the challenges identified.
STENAPA found the initiative extremely useful. The ideas and tools can greatly improve the financial strategies and the outlook is positive. The Deputy Commissioner responsible for finance also attended the Sustainable Finance Workshop and said that “When going through STENAPA’s finances I got a good insight of all the work they do and what they can’t do. We had a very inspiring session to see where extra income could be obtained. It will be a difficult process but when I look at the energy STENAPA exhibits I am sure they will go far.”