Bonaire as knowledge center

As of September 16 till 18 Bonaire functions as the knowledge center for economic valuation of the natural environment. Participants from all over the Caribbean and Latin America visit a seminar on Bonaire on the valuation of ecosystem services. Ecosystems such as coral reefs provide services: a healthy reef produces fish, a beautiful reef attracts tourists and a robust reef protects us against storms. These services can be expressed in economic values, as was done for the natural environment of Bonaire in the research What’s Bonaire’s Nature Worth?

Bonaire is a showcase to demonstrate how studies like these guide decision-makers in creating policy for sustainable economic growth. With insight in the relation between the economy and nature constructive long-term development strategies can be stipulated. For the International Coral Reef Initiative, the study on Bonaire was a reason to organize this conference, which was financially supported by the United Nations Environmental Program, the International American Development Bank, Blue Solutions and the Ministry of Economic Affairs Caribbean Netherlands. This seminar is co-organized by Wolfs Company, the Bonairean research firm that conducted the study What’s Bonaire’s Nature Worth? The event is an important contribution to the development of a knowledge economy on Bonaire.

Bonaire subscribes to the fact that the island economy and its nature are inextricably connected and demand for this knowledge is found in other regions of the Caribbean and Latin America. Participants from Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten and the Turks and Caicos Islands came to Bonaire to share knowledge and experience.

The title of the seminar is The Implementation and Effective Communication of Ecosystem Services Valuation Studies in the Caribbean. The goal of the event was to create insight in the effective implementation of economic valuation of nature to support economic development.