Climate Minister visits mangroves in Bonaire

KRALENDIJK – On May 9, 2023, the Minister of Climate and Energy, drs. Rob Jetten, along with his delegation, visited the mangroves of Bonaire in Lac Bay. The Mangrove Maniacs and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) provided a tour and emphasized the importance of mangrove restoration. The seagrass and coral restoration efforts by STINAPA were also discussed. The Minister lent a hand to volunteers in opening a canal.

Mangroves are vital for biodiversity, coastal protection, and play an essential role in carbon storage. They are indispensable for tourism, fisheries, and natural climate solutions. However, Bonaire’s largest mangrove forest in the Kingdom is struggling with erosion and siltation, resulting in the continuous die-off of mangrove trees. The Mangrove Maniacs are working hard to restore water circulation by opening channels.

The Minister visited Bonaire in the run-up to the Caribbean Climate & Energy Conference in Aruba, where he is co-hosting from May 10 to 12. During his visit, the necessity of mangrove restoration across all Caribbean islands of the Kingdom was underscored.

Nature management organizations and local NGOs possess vast knowledge and expertise on these ecosystems. However, to realize these “nature-based solutions,” DCNA emphasized the need for capacity building, structural funding, and collaboration between the six Dutch Caribbean islands. The Minister’s visit concluded with a helping hand in opening a canal, signaling his commitment to the restoration of the mangrove ecosystem.

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