Marine Park News

Court acknowledges the importance of the Natural Capital of Bonaire.

Court acknowledges the importance of proper nature conservation legislation to protect the Natural Capital of Bonaire.

The amendment of Bonaire’s Spatial Development Plan (ROB) to allow building activities in the heavily protected marine park are in violation of the law, regulation and nature policy of the island.

 

21July, Bonaire – Six weeks ago, the BES Court ofFirst Instance heard the second round of appeals against ongoing government attempts to open the Bonaire National Marine Park to development that could have irreversible negative impacts on the marine ecosystem. Yesterday morning, plaintiffs STCB and STINAPA, received the decisions of the BES Court of First Instance.

1.    The amendment of Bonaire’s Spatial Development Plan (ROB) to re-zone the locations next to Karel’s BeachBar, and at the defunct Green Parrot restaurant property, from “Marine Park,” a protected zone, to “Center,” an urban development designation, has been annulled by the Court of First Instance. The Court ruled that the change made to the zoning plan was inadequately motivated and the Court noted that the laws and policies that have for decades protected the value of the marine park were not considered.

2.    Court of First Instance ruled against enforcement of the removal of the 34 pillars. The argument is that no harm is done to the marine environment and therefore local government is not obliged to enforce the removal of the pillars until it is completely clear whether or not the proposed pier can be built.

3.     The Court of First Instance decided that the change of the Nature Ordinance is not subject to appeal, however, the Court has annulled the granted permit for the development of the pier in the Marine Park with parcel numbers 4-D-626 and 4-D-627 since this permit cannot be dissociated from the annulment of the zoning plan.

STCB and STINAPA are pleased with this verdict, as the annulment of both the re-zoning plans as well as the permit issued for development reiterates the importance ofBonaire National Marine Park for Bonaire’s future and the need for goodg overnance by the local government. Berend Haagen,associate attorney at NautaDutilh, represented STCB and STINAPA. The defendant is the Public Entity Bonaire (OLB). Its case was argued by HBN Law.