STINAPA visits Parliament in The Hague
Looking at the worldwide fight against climate change and environmental pollution, the international battle for coral, nature and biodiversity, Bonaire has the potential to become a story of optimism and quick results instead of ongoing concerns.
Fast and concrete action in the field of environment, spatial planning, nature and climate on a small island like Bonaire might lead to major successes in the short run at relatively low costs.
That’s the message, the director of STINAPA Bonaire, Arjen de Wolff, conveyed to the Members of Parliament, senators and various ministries last week. Trying to convince ‘The Hague’ of the importance and necessity of good nature management for the economy, culture, and history of the island, he advocated urgent measures like reforestation, which aim for the restoration of the environment and nature.
Bonaire, especially the island’s environment, climate and nature were central to the Parliament meeting of the General Consultation of the Permanent Chamber Committee for Kingdom Relations.
The ongoing Sargasso crisis was the main subject of the debate. D66 (a Dutch political party) party member Antje Diertens, supported by other parties, called on the Cabinet to provide STINAPA with the necessary means to effectively tackle the threat that Sargasso poses toBonaire’s environment, its coral, public health and employment.
Spokesperson Attje Kuiken of the PvdA (Dutch political party) was surprised that STINAPA’s biologists do not have an adequate research infrastructure for the rapid investigation of acute and short-term problems, such as the excessive use of and pressure on certain parts of the protected national parks, for example, or the status of endangered species in Bonaire, the monitoring of the quality of the seawater in the National Marine Park, the condition of some parts of the coral reef, the mangrove forest, the seagrass meadows, and other very crucial parts of the ecosystem.
Kuiken did not want to wait for the nature policy plan that is being prepared and asked the Cabinet for measures before the minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, would pay a working visit to the island. That visit will probably take place in September.
The Members of Parliament also asked the state secretaries of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Social Affairs and Employment, Economic Affairs and Climate Policy for information on topics, such as the energy supply, the internet, the social domain, dental care and telecommunication. Island affairs of Saba and St. Eustatius were discussed as well.
STINAPA has been protecting the beautiful and precious national parks of Bonaire for over 50 years now. The foundation’s anniversary year was inaugurated a few months ago by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Bonaire, and especially the environment, climate and nature on the island, were central to the General Consultation of the Permanent Chamber Committee for Kingdom Relations. The meeting was held on Thursday, June 13, in the “tweede kamer”.
The members of parliament asked the present state secretaries of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Social Affairs and Employment and Climate on a wide range of subjects, because the energy supply, the internet, the social domain, dental care and telecom on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius were also discussed.
The ongoing sargassum crisis was the subject of debate. Antje Diertens (D66), supported by other groups, called on the cabinet to provide STINAPA with the necessary means to effectively tackle the threat that sargassum poses to the environment, coral, public health and employment on Bonaire.
The PvdA, through spokesperson Attje Kuiken, was surprised that STINAPA’s biologists do not have an adequate research infrastructure on Bonaire for the rapid investigation of acute and short-term problems such as the excessive use pressure on certain parts of the protected nature parks that STINAPA on Bonaire, the status of endangered species, monitoring of the quality of seawater in the National Marine Park, the condition of parts of the coral reef, mangroves, seagrass and other crucial parts of the ecosystem.
Kuiken did not want to wait for the nature policy plan that is being prepared and asked the cabinet for measures before the minister of LNV, Carola Schouten, paid a working visit to the island. That visit will probably take place in September.
Nevin Ozutok (GroenLinks) was also concerned about the lack of urgency when it comes to climate action and nature restoration on Bonaire.
A Chamber majority supported the proposal from Kuiken (PvdA), Bosman (VVD) and the chairman of the Chamber Committee, Jan Paternotte (D66), to quickly put a number of the topics discussed on the plenary Chamber agenda in cooperation with the Standing Chamber Committee for Agriculture. , where possible motions can be submitted.
The public consultation of the Standing Committee on Kingdom Relations was preceded on Wednesday 12 June by a closed consultation with the Parliamentary Committee where the Kingdom Representative and the director of STINAPA informed the MPs about, among other things, the specific improvements needed to manage nature park and nature protection by updating STINAPA and thus protecting the climate and coral on Bonaire.
De Wolff presented the MPs with a memorandum with concrete proposals and solutions in the field of park management, nature protection and restoration, and the environment.
In the coming weeks, the “tweede kamer” will continue to discuss nature and the environment on Bonaire. STINAPA Bonaire, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), of which STINAPA is a co-director, may be organizing a major nature and climate gathering about the Caribbean Netherlands this fall.