The visit focuses on the work of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and social initiatives on the islands. The reason for the visit is the organisation’s congress in Aruba on nature-friendly solutions for the restoration of the ecosystems on the Dutch Caribbean islands. The Princess is a patroness of the Nature Alliance.
On Thursday, November 9, the Princess will be in Aruba and will visit the Neptali Henriquez Park playground in the morning. This playground had fallen into disrepair and was renovated and expanded with the help of Jantje Beton.
Princess Beatrix is a protector of Jantje Beton. The foundation wants to renovate playgrounds in various locations in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, so that they meet safety requirements and children can play safely again.
Then Beatrix visits the headquarters of Telefon pa Hubentud, the Aruban children’s telephone company. Next year the organization will be 25 years old.
In the afternoon, the princess visits the Spanish Lagoon, a wetland and nature reserve with mangrove forests. Here, staff from the Fundacion Parque Nacional Aruba present the Turning the Tide project, a climate adaptation and nature recovery pilot project.
The project is in collaboration with the University of Aruba, ScubbleBubbles Foundation and Wageningen University & Research and was made possible by funds from the EU RESEMBID programme.
In the dense mangrove forests, ditches are dug to capture sludge, with the aim of restoring the mangrove’s water quality and nursery function and protecting the nearby coral reefs.
In addition, work is being done to restore the coral reefs by installing two types of artificial reefs. During a short walk, Beatrix is given an explanation of the importance of mangrove forests and coral reefs for nature recovery and biodiversity.
The DCNA congress
In the morning, the princess will visit Arikok National Park. Here the manager has started a project to reintroduce a species of bird extinct on the island. The animal has a limited range, which makes reintroduction to Aruba all the more important.
Beatrix attends a briefing on this biodiversity conservation program and observes the birds on site. She also speaks to those concerned about the importance of this project.
In the afternoon, Beatrix attends the closing of the DCNA conference at the University of Aruba. The event aims to exchange knowledge and experience to collaborate on natural solutions for the conservation and restoration of ecosystems in the Caribbean.
Before she goes to Aruba, Princess Beatrix is in Curaçao. On Tuesday 7 November, she will pay a visit to the Savonet estate. The 1662 mansion had one of the largest plantations on the island. In 2010 and 2018, the building was thoroughly restored.
The surrounding park is managed by DCNA partner Carmabi, the Caribbean Research & Management of Biodiversity Foundation.
Princess Beatrix is taking a short tour of the museum in the mansion. In addition, she attends a nature education class with a number of primary school pupils.
The children here learn about the dangers of trash to the island’s wildlife. Carmabi staff then inform the Princess about the climatological importance of the surrounding Christoffelpark and about animal shelter in the area.
The Princess is visiting Fundashon Ser and Otrobanda on Wednesday morning. This initiative creates neighborhood gardens in Willemstad to promote self-sufficiency and healthy eating habits of neighborhood residents.
The idea was born during the coronavirus crisis when families were supported with food parcels. Urban gardens allow people to grow their own fruits and vegetables, bring people together, and create more activity in the neighbourhood.
Fundashon Ser and Otrobanda is supported by the Orange Fund. The Princess is given an explanation of the origin and importance of the neighbourhood gardens and meets volunteers.
The six parks involved present their focuses, solutions and partnerships to promote nature management in the Dutch Caribbean.
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance is made up of the nature organisations Aruba National Park Foundation, Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity, Nature Foundation Sint Maarten, Saba Conservation Foundation, Sint Eustatius National Parks Foundation and the National Parks Foundation of Bonaire, which is a member of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.
The nature organizations on the six islands of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom have entered into cooperation for the purpose of improved nature management, sustainable fundraising, nature education and knowledge exchange.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]