WWF’s mission is “to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth”
The CEO of WWF-Netherlands, Kirsten Schuijt visited St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) on January 8th to share this mission with us and to learn how her organization can help St. Eustatius. Having arrived on the island while the delegation was here allowed her to speak directly to the government about the issues faced in the conservation of nature on Statia. We also learnt about the direction that her organization is going in conservation efforts as well as the role of interested individuals in the funding of past and future projects.
The discussion continued between the Schuijt, Marine Park Manager Jessica Berkel and the WWF-NL advisor Arjan de Groene on a tour around the island. The tour highlighted the issues with rainwater run-off and the subsequent deposits of sediment on the coral reefs, our first line of defence from hurricanes. A resilient coral reef is a rich resource that even the land above sea-level can benefit from. Venturing further to the Botanical Garden brought into focus the potential for interaction with people and nature, for us to value and enjoy. Travelling north, as far as Zeelandia Beach, allowed the WWF-NL CEO to see the nature of our eastern shore. A noteworthy fact that she focused on was the difference in the composition and health of the reefs on this side, having healthier and more diverse corals than on the western, more traversed coast.
STENAPA and WWF-NL look forward to working together for the benefit of both people and nature.