Due to the recent number of challenges for the Protected Area Management Organizations of the Dutch Caribbean, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) has recently hired a professional Fundraising Manager. The severely underfunded parks almost did not survive the COVID crisis, and in order to create more capacity within DCNA and its member organizations Maartje de Jonge has joined the DCNA Secretariat Team as Fundraising Manager, a position generously funded by BirdLife Conservation Netherlands.
The Protected Area Management Organizations of the Dutch Caribbean play a vital role in designing, implementing and managing nature conservation efforts on their respective islands. Due to COVID-19, these organizations have seen both a significant drop in income due to the disappearance of user fees, but also due to the non-consideration by local, national, and kingdom governments on structural funding for the execution of their critical conservation work. This has resulted in the real possibility of Protected Area Management Organizations having to scale back or cease operations.
The protection of natural areas and the associated critical ecosystems and habitats are crucial for the sustainable economic development of the islands, especially considering the severe economic impact the pandemic has had on communities at the highest risk of climate change impacts within the Dutch Kingdom.
The DCNA conservation network, provides support to the Protected Area Management Organizations on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean: Aruba National Parks Foundation, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI Curaçao, STENAPA St. Eustatius, the Saba Conservation Foundation and the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation. DCNA has been able to provide emergency funding through DCNA’s Conservation Trust Fund to the parks to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is only enough to provide operational support in the short term. In order to ensure structural fundraising capacity, DCNA has created a Fundraising Committee to help bridge the aforementioned financial gaps. However, there is a need for a dedicated staff member to execute and coordinate fundraising activities as outlined by the Fundraising Committee. The parks require long-term, consistent funding to ensure they are able to plan for and enact critical conservation strategies for years to come.
Maartje de Jonge brings with her expertise in the fields of education, renewable energy, sales and the introduction of a sustainable, technical solution for the Dutch Waddeneilanden. Together with DCNA’s Fundraising Committee, de Jonge will work out strategic plans to raise funds for the conservation of nature in the Dutch Caribbean.