Biodiversity Bonaire under pressure

KRALENDIJK- The United Nations has declared May 22 as ‘International Day of Biodiversity’ (World Biodiversity Day). By ‘biodiversity’ we mean the totality of all plant and animal species in nature. Research shows that nature on Bonaire is not doing well. Fortunately, the central government has drawn up an action plan together with the local government to change this.

In 2017, scientists from Wageningen University published a report on the state of nature on Bonaire. Their conclusion was that the biodiversity on our island is moderate to unfavorable. The researchers also believe that the rate at which biodiversity is declining will not slow down or stop anytime soon. The extinction of species and the reduction of biodiversity is the result of changes in our living environment. We cause these changes ourselves or are the result of natural processes.


The main threats to nature on our island are: stray livestock, exotic plants and animals that displace native species, climate change and seawater quality (over-fertilization). Coastal development, erosion and overfishing are also important causes. Recognizable causes of the deterioration of nature on our island are, for example, roaming donkeys and goats, exotic species such as the lionfish and feral cats.

Our natural wealth is very attractive to tourists. Without nature there would be no tourism and without tourism there would be no thriving economy.

Environmental Policy Plan

In 2020, the central government and the public entities jointly drafted the Nature and Environmental Policy Plan for the Caribbean Netherlands 2020 – 2030 in order to reverse the negative trend. The government has earmarked money for this. In this way we can take measures to support and protect our biodiversity. The government, but also Bonaire, are obliged to do so on the basis of the Convention on Biological Diversity. And Biodiversity Day reminds us of this.

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