From heather and woods to mangrove and coral
A mangrove forest is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Dutch nature reserves. And yet, Dutch conservation organizations will soon be concerned with exotic landscapes and ecosystems. What role do they see for themselves on the islands?
By Maartje Smeets
Nature conservation groups in the Netherlands, such as the World Wildlife Fund, Staatsbosbeheer (commissioned by the state to manage nature reserves) and the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds are closely involved in nature conservation projects in the Dutch Caribbean. Of the approximately 50,000 species of birds in the Kingdom, one quarter (10,000- 15,000) can be found on Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire. Some special ecosystems are endangered, such as the mangrove forests. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation has made renewal of these forests a priority. Wageningen University and Research centre was commissioned together with the Bonairean nature foundation STINAPA to conduct a study on this topic. This led to the replanting of mangrove forests on two test sites (...)