Kralendijk, The Bottom, Saba, Oranjestad, St. Eustatius, Philipsburg – Chair of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) DR. Hellen van der Wal and DCNA Director Tadzio Bervoets recently completed a working visit to Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten. This is the first face to face working visit between DCNA and the staff and Board Members of the Saba Conservation Foundation, STENAPA St. Eustatius and the Nature Foundation since the start of the COVID19 Pandemic.
During the five day visit van der Wal and Bervoets visited with the Directors of the respective organization and their respective Board Members, Anthony Reed from the Directorate for Agriculture and Nature and the Deputy Government Commissioner Claudia Toet on St. Eustatius and Governor Holiday and his Cabinet representatives on Sint Maarten. A common thread of the meetings is the need for broader support for Nature Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean on a Kingdom Level. “When it comes to issues such as Climate Change, the new Nature and Environment Policy Plan and other multi-island considerations we are still calling for increased support from a Kingdom Level. There are still too many questions by the Governments and Conservation Organizations on the island about the financial contribution for the new Nature and Environment Policy Plan for example. Additionally, there is still little to no mention of the Dutch Caribbean by the Kingdom when it comes to the impacts of Climate Change. This while the Dutch Caribbean has the highest amount of biodiversity,” commented DCNA Director Tadzio Bervoets.
Members within the DCNA Network have been calling for increased support for Nature Conservation on a local, regional and Kingdom level, especially considering the important role nature plays in recovering from the global pandemic; “Many of the international treaties that are conservation and climate focused are done so on a Kingdom Level, yet within the Kingdom there is too much disparity on the attention and focus given to islands that often struggle to achieve their conservation goals. While DCNA definitely aims to address this gap, it is also up to the respective Governments on all levels to ensure that conservation activities are implemented and executed effectively. Nature is critical for all islands’ capacity to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, and should be central in plans to ensure sustainable recovery from both the 2017 Hurricane Season and the ongoing global pandemic,” concluded Bervoets.
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