The Board of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) recently held their first Board Meeting for 2021 in a mixed virtual and in-person setting, making decisions and discussing strategies crucial to ensuring the continuation of the conservation management activities executed by the Park Management Organizations of all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. Originally an in-person meeting was planned for Sint Maarten, but due to a spike in COVID19 cases on the ABC islands, it was decided to host a mixed meeting, with some members joining from Sint Maarten while others joined from their respective home locations throughout the Dutch Caribbean and the Netherlands.
The DCNA Board meetings are critical for discussing and strategizing on the most effective way to support protected area management organizations in the Dutch Caribbean, especially in light of the significant challenges brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic and other pressures faced by the Park Management Organizations. Park Management Organizations also had the opportunity to update each other on some of the challenges and successes the parks are experiencing as they continue to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean. Various governance decisions were also taken including decisions related to financial good-governance, the disbursement of the Conservation Trust Fund, and the support the DCNA network provides in terms of its regional and international lobby on behalf of the conservation organizations in the Dutch Caribbean.
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. Another critical component discussed during the Board Meeting is the importance of implementing a strategy that will help foster the development of sustainable tourism for the islands, enabling the Dutch Caribbean to emerge from the challenges brought about by the Pandemic with a greater focus on green and blue economies. Aside from conservation managers and the various experts of the Board of DCNA, observers from the World Wild Fund for Nature the Netherlands (WWF-NL), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN-NL), BirdLife Netherlands, Observation International, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality (LNV) also participated in the last DCNA Board Meeting.
The next DCNA Convention is planned for the 22-24th of November in Curaçao. The DCNA convention not only has the DCNA Board Meeting on the agenda but also several workshops for the protected area management organizations from the six Dutch Caribbean islands, bringing scientific institutions, local stakeholders, and youth nature ambassadors together for knowledge exchange and capacity building.