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The upcoming DCNA convention will be a symposium for and by nature experts, researchers, managers and young people

Kralendijk – The upcoming DCNA convention will take place on Bonaire this year and is dedicated to youth participation, marine park management, coral
restoration, research and strategic planning.

All six national park management organizations from the Dutch Caribbean are joining forces with other local stakeholders to jointly tighten strategic policy in the field of nature management for the coming years.

The following organizations and individuals are also present at the symposium: the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-NL), Bird Protection Netherlands, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-NL), the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), a coral scientist from Wageningen University & Research and Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire. There is also a public lecture on coral reefs on October 28 at 7:30 PM at Captain Don’s Hotel.

Collaboration essential

A joint approach to island-transcending nature management challenges will certainly benefit the environment. Together, the parks are stronger than each other, and the aforementioned organizations from the Netherlands indicate that they need the parks to achieve their goals and to implement joint plans to improve nature management activities on all six islands. The regional network called the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), together with the invited organizations, aims to expand, professionalize and strengthen the expertise present in the parks. Because even things that go well can and should be better in the perspective of the serious consequences of climate change. Many issues that all the islands have to deal with can be solved better together.

Youth participation

Nature management is primarily concerned with the use of natural resources for future generations. In the coming DCNA convention, which will now be organized annually, special attention is paid to the youth nature programs of the six Dutch Caribbean islands. From the youth programs of Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI on Curaçao, Saba Conservation Foundation, Sint Maarten Nature Foundation and STENAPA on Sint Eustatius; four young people per island are selected and brought together at the convention. Thanks to the co-financing of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Rabobank and STINAPA, a weekend-long program with overnight stays, field excursions and workshops in the Washington Slagbaai National Park, was organized especially for these young people. It will be a unique experience where they will have the opportunity to learn a lot about nature on their respective islands. The young people will complete their program with a presentation. The young nature ambassadors present their own knowledge and experience and how they want to initiate further action together with the local organization on their home island.

Strategic planning

DCNA’s various partners and other stakeholders in nature management in the Caribbean, often have similar goals, or goals that are in line with each other. During various workshops with the theme ‘strategic planning’, work will be done on concrete work plans and specific task divisions, thereby optimizing support for targeted nature management efforts. WWF-NL, Bird Protection Netherlands, IUCN-NL and DCNA will come together for this.

Coral workshops for biologists

In the context of a not yet published coral action plan and the coral restoration work being done by the six Dutch Caribbean islands, a special day full of lectures, workshops and a field excursion is planned for the biologists who collaborate with the parks on the islands.

In addition, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) is present and will give a workshop on the upcoming research round.

Public reading coral reefs

For anyone who is interested and committed to the status of the coral reefs and would like to meet the regional experts in person, there is a public lecture by dr. Erik Meesters (Wageningen University & Research) on Monday 28 October from 19:30 to 21:00 at Captain Don’s hotel.

Four themes, one convention

These four mentioned themes form the common thread of the convention. Together we will put our shoulders to the wheel and this convention will be the starting point of a new phase in nature management in the Caribbean.

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