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DCNA’s Achievements Sep 2019- Nov 2020

Photo by: © Kai Wulf

In September 2019 the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA)’s Secretariat moved to a new office on Bonaire. Since that time quite a lot has happened. Especially 2020 has been an interesting and challenging year, with the world facing unprecedented challenges between the effects of climate change and the global pandemic caused by the Novel Corona Virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes. This booklet shows DCNA’s achievements during the last year. The challenges nature in Dutch Caribbean face are immense, but together as a network, our Protected area management organizations are stronger in our common goal of safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. We sincerely thank Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Royal Patron of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, all our members and partners, conservationists and scientists for your shared passion, encouragement and support to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean.

The DCNA Team

Photos by: © Skyview Bonaire

5th of September 2019

Minister Schouten and Island Governor Rijna open new DCNA office The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, has officially opened the new Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance office during her working visit to Bonaire, together with Island Governor Edison Rijna. DCNA made use of the opportunity to request urgent attention for the conservation of ‘the Kingdom’s natural treasures’. The six Dutch Caribbean islands are known for their beautiful and diverse nature, and it’s conservation has not been sufficiently addressed. The current support from the Netherlands is mainly aimed at the BES islands, but nature knows no borders. That is why it is of the utmost importance that the Kingdom supports all six Dutch Caribbean Islands and includes all six islands in nature conservation plans and projects.

‘’Your organization is undeniably pointing to the natural treasures that the Dutch Caribbean harbors, and you’re warning us about potential threats, because climate change, modern life and tourism have an alarming impact on these natural habitats. My ministry willingly cooperates with this professional and creative organization.”

Carola Schouten, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality

Collaboration The protected area management organizations of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Maarten and Statia are increasingly working together to enact pragmatic conservation actions in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom. Expertise has been shared, experiences have been exchanged and a great deal has been learned from each other, fulfilling one of the main tasks of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance: the wide-scale collaboration to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean.

“The challenges we face are immense. And those challenges don’t only apply to Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius, which have become special municipalities within the Netherlands since 2010. Our sister islands Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are also facing these challenges, as well as the rest of the Caribbean. If the problems we face are similar and correlated, why wouldn’t we look for solutions together? After all, we are one Kingdom! It seems to be a logical conclusion, but unfortunately, reality is more complicated than that, because the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. We are advocating to include the three autonomous islands in all projects and plans involving nature conservation. At their own costs if necessary, or via alternative financing. DCNA is more than willing to play a mediating role.’’

Hellen van der Wal, Chairwoman - DCNA

September 2019

Nature Funding Movies The Nature Funding Projects on the BES-islands which started in 2013 were completed in October 2019. DCNA made videos with infographics highlighting the results of some of these projects in collaboration with the local organizations, film crew and interviewers. These videos are the crowning glory of a successful cooperation between the Dutch and local governments and local nature conservation organizations. The videos were broadcasted on local TV channels such as B-onaire, Telbo Channel 61, BonaireTV, St Maarten Cable TV Channel 115 and promoted and shared on social media. This project was funded by The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

See videos:




1st of October 2019

New Director Tadzio Bervoets joins Secretariat as new DCNA Director.

“After being involved with DCNA for over a decade as the park manager for Sint Maarten it is an honor to be the director of the DCNA Secretariat. DCNA exists to support the critical conservation work being executed by dedicated and driven organizations, organizations who often operate under challenging circumstances with very little capacity. It is our task at the Secretariat to execute activities which support this critical conservation work being executed by the Park Management Organizations, and in this we are lucky to work with dedicated colleagues both here at the Secretariat and within the Board of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance. The Dutch Caribbean is the biodiversity hotspot not only of the Kingdom of The Netherlands but also of the insular Caribbean, and we will put all of our efforts behind safeguarding the critically important species and their habitat that we all share in the Dutch Caribbean.’’

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

27-29 October 2019

DCNA convention: Youth Participation, Nature Management and Science Organizations United at a Lively Gathering in Bonaire The DCNA convention on Bonaire was the backdrop for the start of a new phase of international nature management in the Dutch Caribbean, with a special focus on the future. The convention was a resounding success, bringing the protected area management organizations from the six islands, leading nature organizations and scientific institutions from the Netherlands, local stakeholders and youth nature ambassadors in closer collaboration. Participants joined forces for “our” nature, the most unique ecosystems of the Dutch Kingdom.

Photos by: © Skyview Bonaire

Bird Conservation Workgroup, Research & Monitoring Workgroup, Youth Participation Workgroup and Fundraising Committee* A serious basis for action for threats has been established during the DCNA convention and all parties have set their sight on a joint approach for conservation management. This approach has been given more substance through strategic workshops facilitated by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-NL), Bird Protection Netherlands and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-NL), which all protected area management organizations and the DCNA board attended. This highlights another main task of DCNA: bringing the parks into contact with international stakeholders in the field of nature protection and conservation. Several workgroups were therefore established during the Convention which will continue to have regular (online) meetings. * Part of DCNA convention

Valuable Nature Lessons for the Youth Junior Ranger Exchange* From the youth nature programs of Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI on Curaçao, Saba Conservation Foundation, Saba Nature Education and Sint Maarten Nature Foundation, four teenagers per island have been brought together. Thanks to the co-financing of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-NL), Rabobank and STINAPA, a weekend-long program was organized with overnight stays, field excursions and workshops in the Washington Slagbaai National Park specially organized for the younger generation. It was a unique weekend where participants experienced and learned a lot about Bonaire's nature, corals, birds and plastic pollution, which they will remember for the rest of their lives. The young nature ambassadors took this knowledge and experience with them and spread that knowledge on all six islands with the support of the local nature management organizations. Youth participation is now a permanent part of the annual DCNA program for the six islands. * Part of DCNA convention


Flamingo photo by: Š Miro Zumrik

In-depth Information on Coral Restoration* Photo by: © Reef Renewal Bonaire

The park biologists are now better informed on when and how to apply coral restoration methods since the workshop and presentations gave a unique opportunity to learn from each other’s knowledge and experiences. Also, through an organized field excursion from Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire, the biologists got to see a fully tested and optimized method with their own eyes. This newly gained knowledge will undoubtedly benefit the work carried out on the other islands. *Part of DCNA convention

“It is very inspiring to see what is already being done on Bonaire regarding coral restoration and to learn from the experiences of the other islands. It is also very insightful to learn about the available knowledge and how accessible it is made through the developed methodologies.”

Jessica Berkel, Marine Park Manager - STENAPA St. Eustatius

Optimization of New Research Projects* Joseph Stuefer and Niels van den Berg from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) gave an update on an upcoming call for scientific research proposals in the Dutch Caribbean. This workshop for the biologists from the local nature organizations on all six Dutch Caribbean islands provided a valuable platform to discuss the desired approach and results of research projects through which they can improve the management of nature parks and protect vulnerable areas and animals. * Part of DCNA convention

Photos by: Š Skyview Bonaire

Public Lecture on Status of Coral Reefs in the Dutch Caribbean * During the DCNA convention, a public lecture held by Erik Meesters of Wageningen Marine Research caused mixed feelings amongst those in attendance. Based on scientific studies, the status of the coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean is moderate to very unfavorable. This means that urgent measures need to be taken. The main consideration is that the status of the coral reefs are crucial for the sustainable prosperity of the islands in the long term. The willpower to take action and prevent further decline of coral reefs is therefore very strong at this moment. In the coming years, the DCNA will also focus on coral recovery. * Part of DCNA convention

Photos by: Š Skyview Bonaire and Reef Renewal Bonaire

November 2019

Sustainable Finance Project to Support Park Management in Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten The DCNA and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-NL) joined forces with Wolfs Company to assist the Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) and the Nature Foundation Sint Maarten with strengthening their ability to achieve sustainable financing of the National Parks in Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, respectively.

“We need to find innovative and more efficient finance mechanisms because the current funding streams are not sufficient. We are grateful for the support of the WWF-NL, DCNA, the Public Entity Saba and Wolfs Company,�

Kai Wulf, Park manager - Saba Conservation Foundation

4-8 November 2019

DCNA Presents SCTLD Update at the 72nd Annual Conference of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) DCNA director Tadzio Bervoets presented the various capacity building efforts done in the region through the MPA Connect/ GCFI network, giving marine resource managers the means necessary to respond to the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). Bervoets also presented the SCTLD Management Letter for the Dutch Caribbean which provides Marine Resource Managers in the Dutch Caribbean the information necessary to prepare for, monitor and respond to the disease.


“As a significant emerging issue which has the potential to severely impact the health of coral reefs it is critically important that there is a unified front to combat the effects of SCTLD throughout the wider caribbean region�

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

November 2019

Save Our Sharks Final Project Reporting to the Dutch Postcode Lottery From 2015-2018, DCNA ran the “Save Our Sharks” (SOS) project for the entire Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom, funded by Dutch Postcode Lottery. This project worked with local fishermen and scientists and aimed to build popular support for shark and ray conservation amongst local communities, as well as to increase shark conservation initiatives in the Dutch Caribbean. A final project report and technical report booklet were produced.


“It was a pleasure presenting the successes of the SOS Special project with our main funder, the Dutch National Postcode Lottery. We are excited to share the successes of what has been called one of the most successful shark conservation projects run globally”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

DCNA Concludes Working Visit to the Netherlands. Engages with Stakeholders and Partners to Increase Support for Conservation Management Organizations in the Dutch Caribbean DCNA Chair Hellen van der Wal and Director Tadzio Bervoets concluded a working visit to the Netherlands. The primary goal of the visit was to engage and discuss the way forward for the organization and to lobby for increased support for the Nature Conservation Organizations which form DCNA.

12-13 December 2019

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix visits Saba and Sint Eustatius DCNA was honored to play a part in hosting Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands during her visit to Saba and St. Eustatius to see some of the excellent work being done by Saba Conservation Foundation and Stenapa St. Eustatius. The Princess is the Patron of DCNA and cares deeply for the nature of the islands.

28-30 January 2020

DCNA hosts Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) meeting In the beginning of 2020, a meeting under the framework of UN EnvironmentCaribbean Environment Programme, funded and organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, with the support of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and the SPAW Regional Activity Centre was held. The aim of the meeting was to catch-up information and to discuss a biennial work plan.


“Through using common coral reef health monitoring techniques we are better able to provide capacity support to the marine protected area managers in the Dutch Caribbean and beyond�

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

February 2020

DCNA Receives Continued Support from Dutch Postcode Lottery During the annual Goed Geld Gala in the Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam, the DCNA received a gift of € 500,000. DCNA has also won awards in recent years, including for the Save Our Sharks Project which was supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery from 2015 to 2018. DCNA is very happy with the donation, which the organization also sees as a token of confidence in its goal in providing support to the protected area management organizations on all of the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean.

“We are always so very grateful to the Dutch Postcode Lottery for not only providing our network with structural support but also for funding regionally important projects.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

Involve Citizens and Tourists to Help Report Animal and Plant Species DCNA has been working with Observation.org to establish this as the citizen scientist platform for the Dutch Caribbean. Observation.org is a free online website to register all species sightings. Anyone can register and enter species observations and this platform is available in more than 40 languages. The platform is now also being translated into Papiaments. Observation.org also offers free Apps for iPhone (iObs) & Android (ObsMapp). The species reports by local communities are very valuable for the nature conservation organizations and policy makers to learn and protect the species on our islands. All data is now also stored in the large database of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and this database will also be connected to the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database (DCBD) and Dutch Caribbean Species Register by Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

See the informative videos: PAPIAMENTU >


REPORT YOUR SIGHTIN GS Have you ob Large gro served Marine spe up cies such sightings! ers or coral in the as Whale s, Dolphins Du The valua about the ble inform tch Caribbean? Please rep , Sharks, Rays, se specie s that vis ation you provid e can help ort your it or inhab it the wa us to learn Please rep ters of the more ort your Dutch Ca sighting ribbean. . Submit your data, photos an d videos




March 2020

New Projects Officer Dahlia Hassell joins DCNA Secretariat as Project’s Officer.

“The earliest stage of my love for nature conservation began at the Saba Conservation Foundation as a Sea Scout and eventually blossomed into later years as the Projects Officer at the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance. Throughout the years, my drive for nature conservation has led me through various countries and islands, but in 2020, it has led me back to Saba as the Windward Islands (Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten) support in the DCNA Secretariat. Through this new transition, DCNA will have the ability to assist the Protected Area Management Organizations closer as well as making the support equally distributed within the six island network. In this position, I look forward to actively assisting the Protected Area Management Organizations through supporting their conservation management actions.”

Dahlia Hassell, Projects Officer - DCNA

Make Scientific Information Widely Available DCNA is assisting with keeping the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database (DCBD: a Central repository for biodiversity related research and monitoring data from the Dutch Caribbean) up to date. There are now more than 12.000 resources stored in the DCBD the majority of which have been uploaded by DCNA.


Support Science Communication and Outreach Since 2012, DCNA has been publishing BioNews, a free monthly digital newsletter featuring recent biodiversity related news-items about the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean as well as recent publications, current research and monitoring activities, and upcoming events. BioNews focuses on research and monitoring efforts on and around the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. Content is also shared on social media and on (local) media channels. Special issues produced during the last year included “Transboundary species”, “Climate Change Effects & Recommendations”, “Flagship species” and “Sustainable Tourism”. This project is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.


Management Letters DCNA develops management letters to provide Park Management Authorities with the information, recommendations and tools needed to properly recognize and respond to complex issues. Lessons learned by the parks have been incorporated. Exchanging knowledge and experiences between the nature parks of the Dutch Caribbean is very valuable and one of the ways DCNA is assisting to strengthen their activities.

Topics of Management Letters developed last year include: •

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease


Pandemic Response for Protected Areas


Nature management subsidy system European Netherlands versus Dutch Caribbean

Developing Important Policy Documents and Exploring Inter-Island Collaboration Possibilities DCNA played a crucial role in developing the Nature and Environment Policy Plan (2020-2030) including the Coral Action Plan for the BES islands. DCNA also supported in providing a platform for the other three Dutch Caribbean islands Aruba, Curaรงao and St. Maarten to give input for possible future inter-island collaboration possibilities with the BES-islands. DCNA was also involved in discussions with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Program in developing a regional strategy for Ecosystem Based Conservation Management.

READ NEPP (2020-2030) >

Projects Officer in Windward islands to Increase Support to Nature Parks In an effort to increase the support for nature conservation and protected area management for STENAPA St. Eustatius, the Saba Conservation Foundation and the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation, the DCNA has placed its Project Officer Ms. Dahlia Hassell in the Windward Islands.

“Having a member of the DCNA Secretariat located on Saba will go a long way in DCNA’s ability to facilitate the assistance we provide to the Protected Area Management Organizations for the Northern Islands. We really want to ensure that the support provided by the DCNA Network is equally distributed amongst all six islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

DCNA Shares Concerns with Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Regarding Lack of Structural Support for Nature Organizations in Nature and Environment Policy Plan for Caribbean Netherlands The DCNA has joined the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-NL) in expressing its concerns regarding the lack of considerations included in the Nature and Environment Policy Plan for structural support for protected area management organizations tasked with the management of protected areas in the Caribbean Netherlands. The organization in particular highlights that organizations tasked with the critical function of overseeing and managing the protected areas of the respective islands are not given due structural financial considerations in the current Nature and Environment Policy Plan.

“The DCNA reiterates its concerns regarding the lack of structural support for the respective protected area management organizations and requests that increased financial support related to the implementation stage for the Nature and Environment Policy Plan be taken into due consideration. As such DCNA is prepared to engage and communicate this concern and explore structural solutions to ensure the sustainable management of the Caribbean Netherlands;’ natural areas and habitat.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

DCNA Financially Supports Member Organizations during Corona Crisis DCNA has made extra financing available to the Park Management management of protected areas and ecosystems on the islands, but this will only be enough to provide operational support in the short term. The support for nature, environmental conservation and climate change resiliency should extend beyond the protected area management organizations and should be a part of the structural reforms on all three islands as we are adapting to a post pandemic reality.

Photo by: Š Hans Smulders

Organisations so that they may continue their critical role of conservation

Disaster Response Manual Photo by: Š A.O Debrot

After the disastrous impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, DCNA and its contractors, in collaboration with the protected area management organizations has been developing a best-practices manual on how to most effectively respond to disasters pre, during and post emergencies.

“We will deliver a usable, practical manual which will greatly ease the challenges faced by conservation organizations as to prepare, weather and recover from emergencies.�

Tadzio Bervoets, Director - DCNA

Management Success Report Project which will allow the protected area managers to identify both their management success and some of the items which need more effort.

Photo by: Š Hans Smulders

After a two year hiatus DCNA has restarted the Management Success

DCNA New Website A new modernized website is under development, with improved performance visible strength, accessibility, searchability and updated information. (Bio)News and Nature Education are now two fully interactive platforms.

CITES Informative Materials Commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, DCNA has been working on communication materials to increase the awareness of tourists and residents in the Caribbean Netherlands about the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and the protection of local endangered animal and plant species.

October - November 2020

Social Media Workshop - online One of DCNA’s activities to support the protected area management organizations is through strengthening the support for the communication and education officers. Through this project, the officers have received training about Facebook & Instagram Marketing. After the training, the participants have the knowledge and tools to increase brand awareness and customer engagement.

“Effective online communication, especially on social media, is nowadays extremely important for the protected area management organizations to make sure the island residents and visitors are not only informed but also inspired and understand conservation activities, rules and regulations. Besides, social media is a valuable educational tool to increase awareness about the importance of our unique and fragile nature to the future social and economic well-being of our islands and fighting off issues that affect them.�

Tineke van Bussel, Research Communication Liaison - DCNA

Project Proposals Proposals have been developed on the following topics: •

‘Save Saba’s and St. Eustatius’ Native Iguanas (Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality)

‘Best for Bird Conservation’ (Bird Conservation EU BEST 2.0)

‘Pregnant Tiger Sharks on the Saba Bank’ Biodiversity Funds (WWF-NL)

‘Natuurama: Travelling Nature Exhibition in the Dutch Caribbean’ - Inno Funds (WWF-NL)

Governance Review DCNA has been working on reviewing and updating the Bylaws and Human Resource Policy Manual.

25 November 2020

Big Live Nature Quiz - Kids DCNA is exploring creative ways to keep our youth enthusiastic about nature and connected throughout the Dutch Caribbean during this Corona period. Therefore, on November 25th the first live interactive nature quiz will take place. Kids (age 11-14 years) throughout the Dutch Caribbean are welcomed to participate in a fun, learnful interactive online quiz.

This booklet shows DCNA’s achievements during the last year. The challenges nature in Dutch Caribbean face are immense, but together as a network, our protected area management organizations are stronger in our common goal of safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. DCNA’s activities are generously supported by

Graphic Design: © 2020 Deviate Design, Bonaire







Cover photography: © Miro Zumrik (Bananaquit) and Hans Smulders (Trupial)




Profile for dcnanature

DCNA Achievements Sep 2019 - Nov 2020  

DCNA Achievements Sep 2019 - Nov 2020  


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