Second Meeting of the Caribbean Wetlands Regional Initiative

Second Meeting of the Caribbean Wetlands Regional Initiative

13 July 2011

The second meeting of the Caribbean Wetlands Initiative was held on the island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean from 4 to 9 July 2011 in Kralendijk. Led by the Governments of Jamaica and Cuba and supported by the Public Entity of Bonaire, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation of the Caribbean Netherlands and the Ramsar Secretariat, the meeting’s main objective is to discuss the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the region.

The Commissioner of Bonaire, Mr. Delno L.A. Tromp, opened the meeting by saying that even though Bonaire is a small island it can be considered as a leader in coral reef conservation. He also listed the multiple benefits provided by wetlands to life quality and the importance to protect these areas for the economic development and as a global contribution. 

Delegates from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada as well as representatives of the Caribbean Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao and France attended the meeting. Observers like the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Stinapa (National Park Foundation), Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, and the Interamerican Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Marine Turtles also participated in the meeting.

The Contracting Parties, Non Contracting Parties and other participants worked on the strategic framework document of the Initiative, discussing mechanisms for the preparation of a regional project proposal for the implementation of the initiative. They reached an agreement on the type of activities and material to be presented and disseminated during the Pan-American meeting that will take place in Jamaica in December 2011 and at the Conference of the Parties (COP11) meeting in Romania in June 2012.

Participants were invited to visit two Ramsar Sites during the meeting, Lac and Klein Bonaire, as an opportunity to learn about their ecological functioning, history and tourism activities.

Lac Ramsar Site, Bonaire

Report by Maria Rivera, Senior Advisor for the Americas