Kralendijk, Bonaire – The upcoming convention of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) will focus on governance, climate change, and youth engagement in nature conservation. All six Protected Area Management Organizations of the Dutch Caribbean are joining forces to strengthen strategic nature management policies for the coming years. The Patron of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, will also attend the Convention, which will take place in Curaçao from Tuesday, November 23 to Friday, November 27.
Governance in times of recovery
The significant disruptions caused by the pandemic have reminded us that our ecosystems are critical to our success as small island developing states. Further development in these challenging times should be sustainable, with the aim to conserve the biodiversity of the islands, which supports the unique tourism product of the Dutch Caribbean.
One of the highlights of convention will be the board meeting, which will be held in-person for the first time after almost two years of virtual engagements. Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance said that “even though we are convinced that we can achieve more by joining forces, we realize that governance is equally important, which is why our board meeting will address our governance structure and our strategic vision for the time to come.”
The Dutch Caribbean islands are now emerging from the effects of the pandemic. However, the Caribbean region is also experiencing another crisis that will have significant negative impact on the ecosystems that are critical to the sustainable economies that the islands need to build. One of the workshops at the Convention will focus on climate change resiliency. This topic could not be timelier, considering the renewed commitment of global leaders to keep the global average temperature increase below 2° Celsius.
DCNA’s chairlady, Hellen van der Wall noted that “we in the Caribbean are at the frontlines of the climate change crises and it is only through using the goods and services our nature provides us that we can become resilient as Dutch Caribbean societies.” The workshop will highlight a pilot project that seeks to analyze and understand the impact of climate change on marine protected areas in Indonesia and the Caribbean. The long-term goal of the pilot is to set up a larger research program that will help to develop responses to the dynamic consequences of climate change.
Sustainability is about meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. With this understanding, the youth are considered crucial stakeholders in DCNA’s work. Since 2019, DCNA Conventions have included a youth symposium that provides platforms for youth to share their views. Their inputs have proven valuable over the years and have led to the creation of youth nature programs.
This year’s symposium will also feature key conversations focused on the importance of investing in nature education in order to create ownership of natural areas. Even though the next generation of young environmental stewards seem to be naturally inclined to practice responsible use of the available natural resources, it is imperative to provide them with the necessary tools at a young age.
More information about the DCNA Convention can be found on the DCNA’s Facebook page: DutchCaribbeanNatureAlliance.