Princess Beatrix Visits STINAPA Bonaire 2019-01-04T12:49:13-04:00



Welcome Princess Beatrix

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands paid a visit to Bonaire from November 28th up to and including December 1st, 2018. We are proud that the Princess, as patron of our partner Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, accepted STINAPA’s invitation for a working visit. And there are very good reasons for that!

The common denominator of the working visit is: Good nature management is crucial for Bonaire, for 3 reasons.
1 good nature management means jobs for thousands of Bonaireans
2 good nature management is our defense against climate change
3 good nature management is the future of Bonaire: nos ta biba di naturalesa.

2019 will be a very special year for nature conservation on Bonaire. STINAPA started 50 years ago with the opening of the National Park Washington Slagbaai. 40 years ago the Bonaire National Marine Park was set up. 20 years ago Klein Bonaire was made into a protected area under the management of STINAPA. Furthermore, the STINAPA Bonaire Junior Rangers Program has been a succes for 10 years in their current form.

Lots to celebrate from here on out!

Thursday November 29th

In the morning Princess Beatrix visited the head office of STINAPA. Here, she was given an explanation about the conservation and the protection of the natural parks on Bonaire, i.e. the National Marine Park Bonaire and the Washington Slagbaai National Park.
Subsequently Princess Beatrix visited, as patron of the Dutch UNICEF Committee, the Strea Briante School. This school is the winner of the first Caribbean UNICEF Child Rights Film Festival. This festival was created to awaken children in the Caribbean Netherlands to their rights in an active and creative way. Princess Beatrix watched their film together with the children and then engaged in a conversation with them.
In the afternoon Princess Beatrix attended the ‘Economy and Nature in balance” symposium. The symposium, organised by DCNA, addressed the field of tension between nature management and conservation and development of tourism. Apart from speeches, a panel discussion took place. The first day was concluded with a reception in the official residence of Island Governor Rijna.

Friday November 30th

In the morning Princess Beatrix visited the Washington Slagbaai National Park; the first nature reserve of the then Netherlands Antilles and established in 1969. The park of 5,643 hectares offers a safe living environment to protected indigenous species of Bonaire, e.g. parrots, flamingos, parakeets and iguanas. In addition, the beaches are an important breeding ground for the four types of sea turtles that live in the Caribbean.
After a welcome and tour through the visitors’ centre, the park was visited by off-road vehicles. After the tour the Princess spoke with the rangers, researchers and employees of the Washington Slagbaai National Park.
In the afternoon Princess Beatrix visited Hòfi Kultural; a cultural residents’ initiative that was also supported by the Orange Fund. At Hòfi Kultural residents can meet each other and get to know each other better by practising art together. The Princess spoke with the initiators and visitors of the Hòfi Kultural and unveiled a woodcarving.

Saturday December 1st

The visit to STINAPA was concluded with the attendance of the debate of the STINAPA Junior Rangers; the youth programme of the organisation. For approximately 10 years youngsters have been receiving weekly training to learn about the special flora and fauna on the island and the importance of nature management and conservation. They are the nature ambassadors of and for Bonaire.
The Junior Rangers annually organise a debate as part of their training. This year the theme is: ‘Will sustainable development hinder or benefit Bonaire’s economy’. The Princess attended the debate rounds and the closing speech. Afterwards she met the Junior Rangers, their supervisors and volunteers of the youth program.



DCNA is a regional alliance between six nature park organisations of the Dutch Caribbean islands. The organisation is involved in the support and strengthening of the nature protection on the islands. Apart from the promotion of the special nature, it also focuses on sustainable management of the presently protected areas, poverty reduction, economic growth and the increase of awareness and knowledge of the value of nature. The latter to protect the substantial biological resources of the island on land and at sea and to conserve these for future generations.