Underwater paradise for divers in Bonaire

Underwater paradise for divers in Bonaire

Bonaire’s pristine reefs and diverse marine life are unique to the Caribbean. Because the waters around Bonaire have been protected by an actively managed marine park for the past thirty years, Bonaire today ranks among the top best diving destination in the world.

Bonaire offers scuba diving 365 days a year in a pristine underwater environment with access to many locations for shore and boat diving. Bonaire is an award winning diving destination that accommodates every skill level, from beginner to advanced diver. There are 63 official dive sites on Bonaire and 26 more on Klein Bonaire, of which 54 are shore dive sites. Bonaire is an underwater paradise, with more than 350 fish species and 57 species of soft and stony coral.

news Bonaire Dianne Boelmans
Drink a cactus in Bonaire!

Drink a cactus in Bonaire!

The Cadushy Distillery is the only distillery on Bonaire and produces the best cactus liquor of the island. This Distillery is a family-owned and operated business.

Basically the cactus is peeled and the membrane just underneath the outer skin cut into strips and put into an aluminum baking pan. The pan of peel is transferred to a dehydrator where it bakes in the sun for two days. Islanders traditionally use dried peel to make cactus tea, soup and as a natural remedy, but the Cadushy distillery combines the strips with yeast and sorghum, the only grain that grows on the arid isle. After two weeks the mixture is distilled twice and becomes the 80 proof alcohol base of all Cadushy products, particularly the cactus liquor.

news Bonaire Dianne Boelmans
Salt production in Bonaire

Salt production in Bonaire

Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci landed in 1499 on Bonaire and claimed it for Spain. The small island of Bonaire had one precious commodity: salt! This was a necessary ingredient for preserving meat and fish. In the late 1620’s, the Spanish had cut off the supply of this essential mineral to the Dutch. A few years later, the Dutch captured Bonaire and gained valuable control of its salt pans. Bonaire became in 1633 a plantation of the Dutch West India Company. Salt production started in 1636 and the salt industry on Bonaire expanded since then. First under the Dutch West India Company and then under direct governmental control.

With a comfortably dry climate and steady trade winds, Bonaire has always been recognized as an ideal location for the production of salt. For over three centuries, the island’s culture and prosperity was dependent upon this most important of the world’s spices. Today, about 22 % of the Bonaire surface is used for the process of evaporation of sea water, a process in the hands of professionals and safely adopted in the fragile environment of Bonaire. The stunning colored salt pansare also home to one of the hemisphere’s great populations of Flamingoes!

news Bonaire Dianne Boelmans
Meeting Governor Rijna in Bonaire

Meeting Governor Rijna in Bonaire

A few months after his participation at the OCTA Innovation International Conference in the Azores in April 2017, Governor Rijna received visit on Monday 16 October from OCTA Innovation Team Leader in Kralendijk. Milan Jezic von Gesseneck is visiting Bonaire to promote and stimulate Innovation on the island. Governor Rijna is champion of the innovation on the island and supports implementation of the systemic innovation across all sectors. Governor Rijna’s approach is an example of the way how to go forward, how much innovation championing may bring prosperity to Overseas Countries and Territories.

Governor Rijna works closely with Bonaire Systemic Innovation Director Dianne Boelmans. Bonaire Governor supports the development of Bonaire and a wide implementation of innovation. He is in favour of regional cooperation within the Caribbean region and he champions transfer of science from Europe to Bonaire.

This week there will also be a delegation from Wageningen University on the island to take the next step in the Bonaire AlgaePARC innovation pilot project, for which the EU has made a grant of up to 115,000€. The first results of this research will be announced this week. Governor Rijna supports this innovation pilot project and the establishment of Bonaire Algae Parc. Rijna is looking for having direct but also indirect impact from this innovation pilot project on economy such as tourism.

Recent visit from OCTA Innovation Team Leader in Bonaire concluded in the agreement to have an OCTA Innovation BRUZZ dedicated to Bonaire at the occasion of Governor Rijna visit to Brussels. Brussels audience will be invited for a direct talk to Bonaire Governor in the coming period, eventually already in 2017.

news Innovation Missions Bonaire Dianne Boelmans
Innovative agriculture and tourism initiatives in Bonaire

Innovative agriculture and tourism initiatives in Bonaire

EZ liaison for Dutch Caribbean Mr Willem van der Heul discussed innovative initiatives in Bonaire.

With TCB (Tourism Corporation Bonaire) Director Maurice Adriaens he spoke about how to profile Bonaire as sustainable touristic destination. Proposed was to, with the help of among others RVO, follow up the recommendations arising from the Green Destination Assessment. In particular in the area of energy efficiency at hotels and resorts there is a lot to gain and now need to be investigated how the hotel industry can be helped best.

In the area of agricultural development Mr van der Heul spoke with Mr Sherwin Pourier (Rurul Development Projectleader – POP) about problems encountered in the water supply for agriculture in rural areas. Now the few farmers left in the rural areas have to fetch water for their lands in small trucks. This is costly and full with risks. Realization of an innovative water win project (for example based on sustainable energy) could be a solution and be an excellent example for the region: many islands in the region are encountering the same kind of sweet water supply problems. More information via email or Ronald Vermeeren

news Bonaire
Declaration

Declaration

The OCTA Innovation International Conference took place in Ponta Delgada, Azores on 11-14 April 2017. It gathered representatives of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTs), the government of the Azores, the European Commission and innovation experts to look at how innovation is spurring sustainable development in small islands and to develop cooperation and future initiatives.

The pillars and values that are the basis of a society were considered as well as the capacities and needs of all stakeholders to underpin them. The implementation of different types and different levels of innovation have been under consideration. The vision of an economically prosperous and inclusive society should be based on innovation and entire collaboration between public and private actors. Innovation should support all stakeholders in society, in both economic and social fields and is perceived as crucial for tackling the issues of natural resources, climate change and sustainable development. The governments have to ensure enabling conditions for propelling innovation. Innovation Managers of the Overseas Countries and Territories of European Union, active members of OCTA Innovation, assembled in the Azores, commit themselves to feeding these dynamics.

Governments must take the lead in systemic innovation across all sectors; fostering partnerships between public and private entities and knowledge sharing and capacity-building. The ambition is to grow a number of thematic and regional centres of excellence among OCTs with a focus on those sectors where individual OCTs are already leading the way, and to share expertise among the OCTs and with regions.

Innovation Managers: Anguilla, Bren Romney; Aruba, Bianca Peters; Bonaire, Dianne Boelmans; British Virgin Islands, Lizette George; Cayman Islands, Jamaal Anderson; Curaçao, Fiona Curie; Falkland Islands, Michael Betts; French Polynesia, Bran Quinquis; Greenland, Lars Balslev; Montserrat, Angela Estwick; New Caledonia, Jean-Michel Le Saux; Pitcairn, Leslie Jaques; Saba, Menno Van der Velde; St. Barthélemy, Pascal Peuchot; St. Helena, Niall O’Keeffe; St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, Olivier Gaston; St. Eustatius, Roy Hooker; St. Maarten, Jude Houston; Turks and Caicos Islands, Alexa Cooper-Grant; Wallis and Futuna, Carole Manry.

OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck: innovation@octa-innovation.eu

Greenland Falklands New Caledonia Sint Eustatius sustainable development Montserrat Curaçao British Virgin Islands Aruba event French Polynesia news OCTA Sint Maarten Turks and Caicos Islands St Barts Saba Cayman Islands Bonaire Anguilla Saint Helena Tristan da Cunha islands Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis And futuna Pitcairn Bianca Peters Menno Van Der Velde Jamaal Anderson Fiona Curie Lizette O. George Roy Hooker Carole Manry Dianne Boelmans Olivier Gaston Alexa-Cooper-Grant Michael Betts Bran Quinquis Niall O'Keeffe Pascal Peuchot Jezic von Gesseneck Conferences Azores
OCTA Innovation Issue 7 / 2017 –  Bonaire

OCTA Innovation Issue 7 / 2017 – Bonaire

The European Commission has signed a pilot project for Bonaire.

Dianne Boelmans, our Innovation Manager, who is an advisor wthin the government of Bonaire, has played a major role in bringing the pilot project to fruition, as well as mobilising all stakeholders behind innovation and steering other activities of OCTA Innovation on the island.

The pilot project is a collaboration between Bonaire and Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), a leading institution in this field. It will assist the implementation of bio-technology for stand-alone production of algal products, consequently increasing food production, generating income and jobs and diversifying the economy.
Vendredi 17 février dernier, le BRUZZ consacré à Saint-Barthélemy lors de l’évènement Saint-Barth Smart Island a permis de bien présenter ce Pays et Territoire d’Outremer (PTOM) des Caraïbes et ses enjeux actuels au public de Bruxelles. Le succès de ce BRUZZ a ainsi mis l’accent sur le caractère unique de cette île et aussi de renforcer les liens entre les PTOM et l’Union Européenne, comme en témoigne la participation exceptionnelle des fonctionnaires européens.

 

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renewable energy green economy smart specialisation bioeconomy blue economy good practice Caribbean European Commission Bonaire Dianne Boelmans newsletter-en Jezic von Gesseneck
QualityCoast Awards for Statia and Bonaire

QualityCoast Awards for Statia and Bonaire

 

During his visit, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Mr. Henk Kamp presented Quality Coast Awards to the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire and Statia in recognition of their efforts towards sustainable tourism policy and quality.

On the 30th of August, Minister Kamp presented a Bronze QualityCoast flag and certificate to Statia’ Island Commissioner Derrick Simmons and Chairperson of the Green Destinations Committee Maya Leon-Pandt. This Bronze Award supports and recognizes the way Satia has developed its tourism, with a special focus on protecting the marine environment and terrestrial ecology, according to the Quality Coast Jury.  Three National Park areas protect the high biodiversity and unique tropical marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Furthermore, the jury praised the island’s cultural-historical conservation efforts, which have provided Statia with a very strong and attractive ‘sense of place’. And the new solar power plant provides already more than 25% of the island’s electricity needs.

Subsequently, on his visit to the island of Bonaire, Minister Kamp presented a Silver Quality Coast flag and certificate to the Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), Mr. Maurice Adriaens. The Silver award is, among others, a recognition of Bonaire’s decades of (marine) nature conservation policy and practice which have provided the island with an outstanding and internationally recognised quality dive tourism product. In addition, the QualityCoast Jury lauded the island’s initiatives to move towards a greener economy with wind power already delivering 40% of the island’s energy needs; but also the several efforts to protect, conserve and celebrate the island’s culture, history and heritage. The Silver QualityCoast award is a considerable step up from Bonaire’s Qualit Coast BasiQ award obtained in 2014.

Basis for both islands’ QualityCoast awards were the Green Destinations assessments carried out in July and August of this year in the frame of the so-called Green Deal for Sustainable Tourism – a public-private partnership of stakeholders in the Dutch tourism industry. This Green Deal aims to support destinations worldwide in becoming more sustainable and inform consumers about the quality and sustainability of their holiday destinations.

 

Ronald Vermeeren

Sint Eustatius tourism news Bonaire
Micro-algae – economic diversification for Bonaire

Micro-algae – economic diversification for Bonaire

 

Bonaire has initiated a project that intends to increase the level of food production and economic diversification through establishing a sustainable production chain in the field of micro-algae.

The project is a collaboration between Bonaire and the Nerherlands’ Wageningen University and its research centre. A specific objective is the development of an advanced technology for stand-alone production of algae products. Success of the project will lead to the construction of an algae production plant (Bonaire AlgaePARC), creating new jobs and establishing a new economic sector for the island while making use of resources available.

Embarking on algae production will generate jobs and income and help Bonaire become less dependent on tourism. Bonaire will act as regional center of excellence for this production as the other Caribbean OCTs that have the same climatological conditions as Bonaire.

 

trade agriculture news Bonaire
Bringing 3D Coral Printing Technology To Bonaire

Bringing 3D Coral Printing Technology To Bonaire

The Caribbean island of Bonaire will soon be getting artificial coral reefs manufactured via 3D printing technology.

Ocean advocate Fabien Cousteau and Bonaire’s Harbour Village Beach Club will be bringing 3D coral printing technology to the island later this year.

Through the new Ocean Learning Center created by Cousteau and located on the resort, the cutting-edge technology will amplify current restoration efforts in place by various groups and help advance reef growth for many species beyond just the coral itself.

Cousteau says:

“Coral reefs account for 25 percent of all reef life and $6.7 trillion of global economic development. Bonaire is in a prime position to enhance reef growth because it has so many natural, healthy reefs already. Our initiative with 3-D printing will rapidly assist us in revitalizing more stressed or damaged areas.”

Better at imitating real coral, the 3D-printed reefs will have the same shape, texture and chemical makeup that attract free-floating baby coral polyps. Creating a lush, colorful coral garden, these reefs will sustain other aquatic life such as algae, anemones, octopus, crab and more.

Full article

tech innovation news Bonaire