DCNA steps into a New Era of Governance with Two-Tier Board System Implementation

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The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) proudly announces a significant milestone in its organizational development—the implementation of a two-tier board system.

On December 4th 2023 the DCNA board, represented by its chairperson Hellen van der Wal and secretary Kai Wulf, signed the new Articles of Incorporation at the notary on St Maarten. This strategic move reflects DCNA’s commitment to fostering good governance, which is expected to have a profound impact on its organizational effectiveness, such as fundraising initiatives and nature conservation efforts across the Dutch Caribbean region

The DCNA is founded on the principles of collaboration and stewardship, uniting the islands of the Dutch Caribbean into a strong regional network. As a dynamic and growing organization, DCNA has evolved in its response to the challenges and opportunities met in the Dutch Caribbean with nature conservation and governance. Initially operating under a one tier board system, DCNA has recognized that it is time to move towards a more sophisticated and comprehensive approach to governance. Over the years, DCNA has considered best practices and lessons learned from successful models of international conservation organizations steering the current governance structure into a two-tier board system. 

The decision to move into a Two-Tier board system for the DCNA is rooted in its commitment to transparency, accountability, and move into a seamless decision-making process. The organization will continue to uphold the highest standards in governance that are required today. The two-tier board system introduces a clear distinction between the Managing Board, responsible for day-to-day operations, the budget and strategic planning, and the Supervisory Board, tasked with oversight, governance, and safeguarding the organization’s long-term interests. This separation of responsibilities not only aligns with international best practices but also positions DCNA to navigate the complexities of the conservation landscape more effectively. By taking this dedicated step, DCNA takes a leap forward in strengthening its foundation. 

Additionally, an Advisory Board will be installed. This body has a representative of each of the island partner organizations. Its chair is automatically a member of the Supervisory Board. In the monthly Advisory Board meetings conservation programs and projects, policy making, and joint representation will be addressed. This board will closely work with the Managing Board. This will create a more constructive level playing field focused on the essence of DCNA, that is safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. 

Arno Verhoeven, the new statutory director of DCNA: “We are very happy that after many years of preparations we finally are two-tier now. This is what stakeholders expect from conservation organizations nowadays. We also see our partner organizations on the islands go for this transition. Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA) already changed to two-tier in 2019, Nature Foundation on St Maarten decided this week to change, the Saba Conservation Foundation is getting ready and CARMABI on Curaçao has started working on a new governance model recently. The DCNA will assist them with these changes.” According to Arno Verhoeven it is not only about accountability and responsibilities.

Verhoeven:The new structure will make us more effective and decisive, and I am convinced that next to a better cooperation within the alliance it will also make our network stronger outside our own region

Finally, DCNA would like to express its gratitude to its current supporters and invites partners and the community to join in its mission to preserve and protect the nature of the Dutch Caribbean.