Nature Conservation in the Dutch Caribbean

Conserving Nature for Future Generations

The Caribbean Netherlands consists of three islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Since 2010, these islands have been part of the Netherlands. The well-being and prosperity of the islands and their inhabitants are highly dependent on the quality of the natural environment. We want to take better care of land, sea, and animals. For most people sustainability is still a theoretical concept. The mission in this region is to convert the concept of sustainable living into concrete, practical, and easy to understand activities that people can relate to.

Overall awareness is created through neighborhood campaigns, seminars, and stakeholder sessions. All activities aim to raise awareness and at the same time create an action perspective for our local target audience. After all, awareness is great, but motivating people to make (small) changes in their behavior is even better!

Earth Hour in Curaçao © WWF-NL / Clayton Lanoy

We work with local partners of the BES Islands and have close ties with other parties in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten to share knowledge and work on conservation measures that are beneficial for this region. Through the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, we’re protecting the nesting beaches of sea turtles, conducting research, and developing educational projects with local youth. We also work together with the cooperatives PISKABON in Bonaire and Federashon Kooperativanan Uní di Produkshon (FKUP) in Curaçao to help local fishers to fish more sustainably.

WWF-NL has been supporting several projects of St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation, Saba Conservation Foundation and STINAPA to maintain or restore the balance between humans and nature in St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire. On the European side of the ocean, the World Wide Fund for Nature – Netherlands is putting the Caribbean region on the political agenda.

Our Completed Projects

Together with local organizations and the local community WWF-NL has conducted several projects in the Dutch Caribbean. Below is a selection of these projects.

Fisheries Studies on the Caribbean Netherlands

A historic study, a social mapping study and a market study were conducted on the fisheries sector of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius to get a better picture of the fishing sector, the fishing efforts and the possible impact on nature. These studies give insight into the transition to sustainable fisheries sectors on the Caribbean Netherlands.

Local fisherman © Casper Douma / WWF-NL

Sustainable Finance Workshop in Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten

A workshop was provided to the nature management organizations of Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten to investigate and address the challenges identified for the implementation of financing mechanisms to support protected area management.

Raising Awareness on Pollution 

The project ‘Trash to Cash’ created awareness on plastic pollution and setting up a business model for plastic recycling in Bonaire. Furthermore,  a free Online Learning Program called Beyond Plastics, was launched. This online program was developed in cooperation with environmental consultant Travel Without Plastic. It created the opportunity for everyone in Bonaire to learn why we need to reduce single use plastics and how we can achieve a significant plastic reduction. A number of modules in the Beyond Plastics Online Learning Program were specifically designed for hotels, accommodations, and excursions.

In addition, there was the “Sushi òf Dushi” (Dirty or Beautiful) campaign, to create more awareness for a cleaner Bonaire. The Sushi òf Dushi Challenge was a call to action, aimed at all inhabitants to participate in a 10-minute cleanup and then post their BEFORE and AFTER pictures on Instagram or Facebook. Over the past years, numerous cleanups were organized in Bonaire, often in collaboration with Selibon.

A man holding a reusable water bottle, saying no to a plastic bottle

Beyond Plastics Campaign © WWF-NL / Emieck de Goede

Biba Konsiente

The radio series “Biba Konsiente” (Live Consciously) discussed topics focusing on the local environment and sustainability.

Local vegetables

Local vegetables © WWF-NL / Casper Douma





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