On Hawaii, Saba and Statia joined the Local 2030Islands Network for Sustainable Development Goals

Dossier Koninkrijks Relaties writes that Saba and Staia have joined the Local2030 Islands Network, a global platform of islands that seek cooperation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

In the photo to the right of BES envoy Edison Rijna, deputy Arlene Spanner (Statia), director Malinda Hassel of the Saba Tourist Bureau, political advisor to Statia Maldwyn Timber, Bianca Peters of the BES legation and also a member of the steering committee of Local2030 Islands Network and Celeste Conners, co-lead of the Local2030 Islands Network.

During the three-day conference ‘Island Solutions for a Resilient Future’ in Honolulu, Hawaii, BES envoy for the EU and the UN Edison Rijna announced that Statia and Saba have joined the network. Over the past few months, teams from the islands have worked closely with the Legation and the Secretariat of the Network to make accession possible. Bonaire, Aruba and Curaçao have already joined.

Director Arno Verhoeven of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) pointed out in his speech: “Nature is the most important factor for almost all facets of life, especially for islands. Well-being, culture, living environment and economy. So if we want to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead, it makes sense that we start with nature. This requires a holistic approach in which we look at everything, especially at the societal challenges. Nature Based Solutions then come into play. A responsible use of our natural resources that serves both people and nature.”

Verhoeven cited the mangrove restoration and reforestation of mangroves on the southwest coast of Bonaire with the example of public ‘out planting events’ as a citizens’ initiative. “The lessons learned from this, the expertise and even capacity are relatively easy to share with the other islands, but are invaluable,” said the DCNA director.

DCNA recently started the development of the Restoration of Key Habitats program. “Nature Based Solutions play a central role in this. There are so many ad hoc projects on each island that this makes the collaboration of our partner parks with each other not effective enough. By concentrating for a long time on things we have in common, we can, given our limited resources and possibilities, make more difference and hopefully more impact,” says Verhoeven.


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