The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance initiated its first Junior Ranger Exchange in 2019 as part of the new approach for the cooperation between the park management organizations in the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean.
Engaging children early is the key to creating an environmentally conscious society.
The Junior Ranger program activities provide an opportunity for entertainment and learning for children of all ages. These environmentally focused activities enable the youth to develop important social skills essential for developing positive and healthy relationships with their peers and adults.
The main objectives of the DCNA Junior Ranger Exchange are:
• To raise awareness about nature and protected areas and their role in conservation.
• To build familiarity with the protected areas of the Dutch Caribbean Islands.
• To build knowledge and understanding of endangered, legally protected, endemic and keystone species in the Dutch Caribbean islands.
• To enhance interest in regional and global issues as well as a broader general knowledge.
• To develop skills and good practices for observing, identifying and appreciating local flora and fauna, as well as field skills for exploring habitats and participating in conservation and monitoring activities.
• To develop the analytical and problem-solving skills of the participating youth.
• To engage and inspire youth participants to become nature ambassadors.
• To provide youth participants with a memorable learning experience, where they learn about the value of nature and the importance of nature
• To create a network of youth participants and coordinators between the islands.
• Make new friends.
• To encourage the youth to partake in further conservation initiatives (with the support of the local park management organizations) when they return to their home islands.
• Showcasing of DCNA Youth Nature Ambassadors as role models for the community.
• To illustrate the high value of youth participation in nature conservation to stakeholders, investors, fellow NGOs, the governments and the community at large