Safeguarding Healthy Coral Reefs

One of the long-term goals for the Dutch Caribbean is to improve health, biodiversity, and resilience of coral reefs by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, we focus on three spearpoints.

Reduce Man-made Threats to Coral Reefs

WWF-NL aims to reduce pressure on the coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean by working with local stakeholders. Reducing local pressures on the coral reefs is the basis of our conservation efforts for this region. Although threats are many, we will focus on improving water quality; , increased nutrients in the water and sedimentation from land-based run-off are important destructive local pressures for coral reefs.

Where possible WWF-NL will implement and facilitate practical (grassroots) projects like helping fishermen to improve sustainability of fishery practices, supporting local government with implementation of nature-based solutions, and helping to implement Single Use Plastic bans on BES Islands. Our ambition is to upscale projects currently executed on the BES Islands (e.g., Water Circles project) to Curaçao, Aruba, and St. Maarten. WWF-NL also supports development of long-term visions and strategies by national and local governments regarding marine conservation, wastewater, fisheries, and spatial (coastal) development.

Local fisherman on his boat holding a fish in Bonaire

Local fisherman © WWF-NL / Casper Douma

Expand Coverage and Improve Management of Marine Protected Areas

We want to improve knowledge of critical coral reefs and the connectivity between them on the Dutch Caribbean islands to make the case for better protection. We aim to expand coverage of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) where deemed necessary and improve management of these areas through supporting park authorities by making management of marine parks stronger and more effective.

Improve Coral Reef Health through Active Restoration of Certain Species

WWF-NL will promote innovative projects by funding, supporting, or executing active restoration projects of coral and associated species. (e.g. reef fishes, Queen conch, and sea urchins), as they play an important role in keeping the coral reefs healthy by grazing algae of these reefs.

Corals in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean
Coral Reef in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean
Corals in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean