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Shaping Tomorrow’s Shores: Future of Coastal Habitat Restoration

by | Dec 5, 2023 | Coral Restoration, Nature

Coastal Habitat Restoration of Red Mangroces and Seagrass Beds - Photo credit Christian Konig-SHAPE DCNA

An initiative to define future coastal habitat restoration.

A new partnership between the World Wide Fund for Nature – Netherlands (WWF-NL), the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Coastal Dynamics will spearhead an initiative to define future conservation and restoration projects within Dutch Caribbean coastal habitats. Centered around mangroves and seagrass beds, this ambitious feasibility study aims to craft a portfolio of forward-looking projects. The objective is to fortify these areas against escalating threats like climate change, pollution, and unsustainable coastal development, ensuring their sustained health and resilience. (SHAPE-DCNA))

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The Dutch Caribbean is home to unique island ecosystems facing challenges from overdevelopment, climate change, and other environmental pressures. Coastal ecosystems represent critically important areas, particularly in regards to their biodiversity, climate resilience, and cultural heritage. The proposed feasibility study seeks to bridge gaps in expertise, resources, and collaboration across all six of the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius).

Primary restoration goals

The primary goal of the project is to conduct an in-depth feasibility study under the DCNA’s Conservation and Restoration of Key Habitats Program. Key components of the study include assessing the current status of mangroves and seagrass beds, stakeholder engagement, and conducting an overall resource assessment.

Nature-based solutions

The study will focus on coastal area restoration, specifically targeting mangroves and seagrass beds in collaboration with Dutch Caribbean Park Organizations. The aim is to develop a nature-inclusive approach with nature-based solutions to enhance resilience and sustainability.

Overall, this project has two main objectives:

  • Feasibility Study: Assess the viability of conservation efforts, including technical, financial, and human resource requirements.
  • Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building: Present findings, address knowledge gaps, and build capacity among Park Organizations for effective restoration initiatives.

Forward planning

The feasibility study’s success is crucial for creating a comprehensive understanding of coastal habitat conditions, fostering collaboration, and laying the groundwork for future restoration programs. By unifying efforts, the study aims to enhance communication, knowledge sharing, and resource utilization across all six islands.

 

(Source: DCNA, Photo credit – Christian König (SHAPE-DCNA))

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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