Nature-based Solutions

Nature is our ally in solving social problems, such as climate change. For example, we need forests, rivers, saliñas, and healthy oceans to absorb CO2 and keep the climate stable. Coral reefs and mangrove forests act as natural breakwaters to protect our coasts from extreme weather. Healthy freshwater areas are essential for sufficient drinking water.

Working with Nature

With these solutions (also known as Nature-based Solutions), we not only combat climate change, but we also strengthen biodiversity and our own living environment and health. Local communities have been using similar solutions to social problems for years. It is important to involve the local population for the creation of these solutions. They often experience problems such as floods from close by and are influenced by changes in their area, such as new legislation or project developments. We develop initiatives with a focus on human needs through the restoration of nature.

Mangrove Restoration by Mangrove Maniacs © Casper Douma

NbS report

In November 2023, WWF-NL and Wageningen University & Research released a report on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) on Bonaire. This study shows that there is potential on Bonaire to use NbS against the consequences of climate change. Extreme weather is expected to occur more often. Tackling this climate scenario requires an integrated approach. Upstream revegetation, reduction of roaming goats, greening of ‘kunukus’ (rural areas) and water management help improve infiltration and slow runoff.

In addition, revitalizing ‘rooien’ and buffer zones can slow down drainage. More green and effective water management ensures a safer and healthier living environment in the downstream urban area in Kralendijk. With some small changes, buildings can also be made more climate-proof. For example, collecting water from roofs reduces the risk of flooding and forms a freshwater buffer for dry periods. Another adjustment is the phasing out of cesspools and septic tanks and the introduction of a good wastewater system. The full report about NbS on Bonaire can be read here.

Furthermore, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance is conducting a feasibility study on coastal restoration in the Caribbean. The primary goal of this project is to assess the potential for implementing initiatives to restore and conserve mangrove and seagrass in the region.

Historic reefs

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