The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (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 Park 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 in the current Nature and Environment Policy Plan.
Park Management Organizations play a critical role in the management of the natural resources central to the sustainable development of the islands. Island Governments have mandated the management of designated protected areas to Park Management NGOs and the lack of structured funding, especially considering the impacts related to the restrictions due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, has resulted in the real possibility of parks having to scale back or cease operations. This while the Dutch Caribbean is, according to the Convention of Biological Diversity, the most biodiverse area of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The designated Park Management Organizations play a central role in the economic development of the island due to its support of the maintenance of the environmental goods and services that protected areas provide, including the support for the islands’ critical yet fragile tourism sector. Additionally, and most importantly, the Nature and Environment Policy Plan for the Caribbean Netherlands specifically mentions that nature and ecology conservation stands at the basis for the sustainable economic development of the Caribbean Netherlands. The Nature and Environment Policy Plan similarly identifies the individual park management organizations as one of the main responsible entities to ensure sustainable nature and ecology conservation on the islands. However, there are no firm considerations for the financial considerations necessary to ensure the proper implementation of the items listed in the Nature and Environment Policy Plan through the designation Park Management Organizations.
“Taking this into consideration the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance reiterates its concerns regarding the lack of structural support for the respective Park 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,” concluded a press statement.