From left: DCNA board treasurer Norman Kuiperi; STINAPA Bonaire former Director Arjen de Wolf; Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten; and DCNA Chair Hellen van der Wal, Vice-Chair Binkie Van Es, new interim director Tadzio Bervoets, board member Paul Stokkermans and former director Kalli De Meyer.
COLE BAY–St. Maarten Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets will be the head of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) as of October 1.
Based in Bonaire, DCNA is a regional partnership of conservation organisations, including the national parks in the Dutch Caribbean, and is intended to support and strengthen nature on the islands.
“After almost 10 years working at the Nature Foundation, where I have been honoured to be a part of the conservation movement in St. Maarten, my expertise is now required to support not only St. Maarten, but also the conservation activities on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean,” said Bervoets.
He was in Bonaire last week when Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten opened the new DCNA offices with Governor Edison Reina.
DCNA’s purpose is to protect the extensive biological resources and promote sustainable development of the natural resources of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, both on land and at sea.
“My work in St. Maarten has been challenging, but I am proud to have played a role in the establishment of the Marine Park, to establish Mullet Pond in Simpson Bay Lagoon as a protected area, and to have been involved in conservation activities focused on nature education, protection of sea turtles, sharks, marine mammals and other species and areas.
“It was a complete pleasure to work at such an incredible organisation. Now I look forward to working with the board, partners and secretariat of DCNA to support conservation activities in the wider Dutch Caribbean. I also look forward to the community of St. Maarten continuing to support the work of the Nature Foundation and its new Interim Manager Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern,” said Bervoets.
DCNA Board Chair Hellen van der Wal stated that after almost a decade of “exemplary service” as Managing Director at St. Maarten Nature Foundation, Bervoets has accepted a “new challenge” to become Interim Executive Director at DCNA.
“Supported by island park management authorities and DCNA board members, Tadzio shall lead efforts to build ties not only within the Dutch Caribbean, but regionally and nationally, developing strong working relationships with the Dutch ministries and top-tier conservation organisations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Bird Conservation Netherlands and the World Wildlife Fund,” Van der Wal said.
“Tadzio will work alongside a voluntary DCNA board and professional secretariat during his tenure, jointly building a unique mechanism of multi-island cooperation for park-management support and nature conservation in the Caribbean. The park-management authorities and board members of DCNA are grateful to Tadzio for accepting this challenge and we hope that his experience and expertise will continue to benefit the interests of nature conservation in the Dutch Caribbean.”
The structure and governance of the DCNA are currently undergoing modernisation. This process is designed to improve DCNA’s services to the six park-management organisations in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
DCNA said it is “keen” to ensure its readiness to jointly address growing conservation and climate-change challenges in the region and to intensify cooperation with various actors and partners in the European Netherlands, the Caribbean and internationally.
The non-governmental, not-for-profit foundation is designed to assist the national park organisations in the Dutch Caribbean, among which are Parke Nacional Arikok in Aruba, STINAPA Bonaire, Saba Conservation Foundation, STENAPA St. Eustatius and St. Maarten Nature Foundation. The central office of the DCNA is in Bonaire.
DCNA not only focuses on the sustainable management of existing protected areas, but also seeks to increase awareness and knowledge of the value of nature.
Its mission statement is to “safeguard the biodiversity and promote the sustainable management of the natural resources of the islands of the Dutch Caribbean, both on land and in the water, for the benefit of present and future generations, by supporting and assisting the protected area management organisations and nature conservation activities in the Dutch Caribbean.”
The organisation is funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery and Princess Beatrix is one of its patrons.