coral reef bonaire

Plans for new harbor Bonaire threaten protected coral reef | Our position

IUCN NL, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) hereby share their position with regard to the planned new cargo port at Hato and the new jetty to be built at Karpata.

Position statement infrastructural developments Bonaire

‘We are happy to see that protection of nature and especially coral reefs, is being incorporated into the sustainable development of Bonaire. This is demonstrated in the Nature and Environment Policy Plan Caribbean Netherlands, which is currently being worked out into a practical implementation agenda for Bonaire.

We understand the need for import of goods and fuel on Bonaire and that this requires port facilities.  However, we believe that natural values and potential impact on those values should guide all infrastructural developments and be taken into account at the start of any proposed project as well as considering the most sustainable alternatives.  This approach is in line with the desire for sustainable development of Bonaire, the rustic tourism product that Bonaire embodies coupled with the mission set by the island and Dutch government to invest in a Coral Action Plan and the Blue Destination concept.

We are currently not aware of any ecological or social impact assessments carried out recently and if these have been done, what the results of those assessments are. We are in the process of acquiring this information from the appropriate parties. We are looking forward to see the results of a cost benefit analysis of the two projects and alternative scenarios, with a preference for scenarios utilizing established infrastructure.

Lastly, considering the permanent impact the developments will have, and considering the international implications, we wonder if the exemptions as required by the SPAW Protocols of the Cartagena Convention have been requested from the Regional Activities Centre for the SPAW Protocol.

We truly hope that for these and future developments impact on nature is reduced as much as reasonably possible to preserve the unique and important biodiversity on Bonaire.’

Foto: johnandersonphoto from Getty Images via