Bòi Antoin: Bolivia needs to stay Bolivia

A nature scene at the former Bolivia plantation. Photo: Bòi Antoin

KRALENDIJK- Journalist and writer Boi Antoin, known from the newspaper Extra and as a lecturer in various courses on the history and culture of Bonaire, took a strong position on Saturday in the discussion about the development of the former plantation by the Breemhaar family. 

Under the title ‘Bolivia must remain Bolivia’, Antoin writes, among other things, that he will not accept that non-island outsiders speak disdainfully about the island, or more specifically, the area of ​​the Boliva Plantation.

“Let me state that I am not a nature expert, not a biologist, nor a Dutch Native and I have not attended any university. But I do know very well what can be found in the nature of Bonaire and of Plantation Bolivia”, says Antoin.


Antoin says he feels extremely disappointed by a press release that was sent to him for the newspaper Boneriano, among others, by Metafoor, the company that is also behind the development of the area.

In the piece Metaphor presents the nature expert Johan van Blerk, from Tera Barra,  to the media. Antoin is particularly annoyed by Van Blerk’s statements, stating, among others: “The assertion that Bolivia knows valuable nature is not correct. There are only a few patches of tropical forest in the north-eastern part, in an area which generally has been left degraded, and some more along the edge of the rock wall. There are large tracts of open land, where very few trees or plants grow. As early as 1956, there were warnings about the loss of natural areas, but nothing has been done about it.”


According to Antoin, Bolivia does have beautiful parts and areas. “And if it is now stated that Bolivia has been grazed bare, then I can only point to the former owners of those areas, such as the Hart family themselves (reference is made to former Lieutenant Governor Richard Hart, ed.) who allowed their many goats to eat the area bare with their goat farming”.

Antoin also says he is disappointed in Van Blerk. “When Van Blerk started working on the conservation of nature and trees on the island a few years ago, I felt appreciation for this person. But now, with his story about Bolivia, that has changed a lot,” says Antoin.

Antoin is not the only one who is surprised about the role of Van Blerk and how it seems to have been used in the media offensive of the owners of Bonaire Properties. For example, ABC Online Media, of which The BES-Reporter is also part, has decided for similar reasons not to publish the press statement, in which Van Blerk was presented as an expert with negative statements about the nature value of Bolivia. This is because this information did not come across as objective, and mostly resembled propaganda on behalf of the project developers.

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