BONAIRE – The message about the importance of nature conservation needs to reach more people, and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) is working to be sure that it does.
DCNA, an umbrella organisation representing the parks of the six Dutch Caribbean islands, brought together a team of specialists in communications and nature conservation from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the islands of the Dutch Caribbean to plan ways to spread the word.
Over two days last week, the group helped the nongovernmental organization by planning ways to promote DCNA’s purpose — safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. The team developed information that will be used to create a strategic plan for DCNA’s communications and outreach efforts over the next several years.
Formed six years ago when the national parks on St. Eustatius were threatened with closure due to lack of funding, DCNA since has helped build a sustainable financial future for the parks while supporting efforts to build capacity for conservation. DCNA has offered a structure for the island parks’ staffs to work together in significant areas, including creating a central repository of information about nature and conservation, developing a regional nature education programme for youth, and improving bird and sea turtle conservation efforts across the islands.
“Local nature conservation organizations and park management bodies have done an exceptional job of managing and protecting nature on the islands, within limited resources and with many challenges,” said Kalli De Meyer, DCNA executive director. “Our next job is to make sure that people understand and can support this work.”