Governor Rijna visits KNMI Weather Chamber

For the first time, KNMI has included the BES-islands in their climate report. Photo: Government fo Bonaire

De Bilt – Island Governor of Bonaire, Edison Rijna, has visited the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute in The Netherlands.

At the head office in De Bilt, he spoke with strategic business manager Jan Dekker and department manager for Weather and Climate Services Jan Rozema. Since 2016, the Caribbean Netherlands has been part of the KNMI’s working area. Not only are the daily weather reports for the islands provided, but warnings are also given for special weather conditions, including for the benefit of shipping and fishermen.

The KNMI has devoted a chapter to the Caribbean Netherlands for the first time in the report ‘Klimaat Signal21’, published last year. The institute is currently developing various climate scenarios for the islands, taking into account the rise in sea level and the intensification of storms in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea and the impact of global warming on, for example, agriculture and nature.
Bonaire’s economy is sensitive to climate change.

Many tourist resorts are located on the coast and are vulnerable to sea level rise. The coral reefs that make the island so attractive to visitors are also threatened by sea level rise in combination with the acidification and warming of the ocean. The KNMI also expects less precipitation. Because the ABC islands are located in the same climate zone, it is important to intensify cooperation, such as the exchange of data.


“As a small island, we cannot stop climate change, but we can prepare for its impact. It is therefore important that the consequences of climate change for Bonaire in the medium and long term are mapped out. Where necessary and possible, we can take this into account in our plans, for example when designating construction sites and how we will ensure that we collect and retain rainwater,” said Lieutenant Governor Rijna, who also took a look at the impressive weather room of the KNMI where all data about the weather on Bonaire is tracked in real time.


At the end of the visit, the Island Governor was presented with a copy of the new ‘Forest Atlas of Weather and Climate’. The atlas shows how the weather has changed in recent decades and how it affects society and everyday activities. The new edition contains hundreds of maps, charts and infographics. A number of pages are specifically about weather and climate in the Caribbean Netherlands.
ON THE PHOTO: Strategic business manager of KNMI Jan Dekker presents Island Governor Edison Rijna with the new edition of the ‘Forest Atlas of Weather and Climate’.

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