The island of Bonaire has always been at the forefront of nature preservation and conservation and was ecologically responsible long before the mainstream efforts found today. With the Bonaire Marine Park and the protective status of the Washington Slagbaai National Park, it was only logical to further explore optimal ways to deal with waste and recycled products, all to create a sustainable Bonaire for today and for the future!
Green Initiatives for a sustainable Bonaire
Due to a positive public-private sector partnership, programs are being developed to advance the local awareness and attitudes toward conservation and habitat preservation in order to proactively protect the rich diversity that Bonaire offers.
A state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant contributes to protecting our reefs and the seawater quality. In addition, recycling efforts by both residents and visitors allow Bonaire to make another step towards a sustainable island. In March of 2013, Selibon NV, the national solid waste-processing plant, opened an environmental court where the general public can bring glass, cans, paper, scrap metal, cardboard, batteries, motor oil, cooking oil, electronics, mobile phones and textiles.
Furthermore, Selibon often organizes coastal clean ups with volunteers. On the windward side of the island, plastic and other trash from the ocean (coming from far places like Africa) is drifting towards Bonaire and washed ashore on the east coast. Selibon checks this coastline regularly and organizes clean ups to keep them clean. The trash collected will be separated and processed responsibly.
Dive Friends Bonaire started a Debris Free Bonaire program with not only eco-friendly activities but an ongoing possibility of collecting debris washed ashore and delivering them to the dive shop from where it is separated. Dive Friends Bonaire also organizes quarterly ocean cleanup dives that are greatly attended by volunteers.
We applaud such proactive efforts to keep our island beautiful and pristine for our residents and visitors to enjoy for the years to come.
Bonaire, a green destination
Due all our efforts to preserve our pristine reef and beautiful nature on island, Bonaire was called one of the 100 most sustainable tourism destinations of 2016 by Green Destinations. In September 2016, at the occasion of Global Green Destinations Day and World Tourism Day, the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 was launched to appreciate all the efforts of tourism destinations for responsible and sustainable tourism. Bonaire is proud to be one of the 100 most sustainable tourism destinations in the world. The complete list of green destinations in alphabetical order can be found here.
QualityCoast is the biggest international certification program for sustainable tourism destinations. The Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) set up this program with the aim to establish a world wide network of coastal communities that share values on cultural heritage and identity, nature and biodiversity, sustainable development and social responsibility. While tourism destinations are improving their destination in a sustainable way, they also maintain a high standard in the quality of their tourism. These destinations have been selected for a QualityCoast Award. Only if the Award threshold is met, the jury will check the scores of individual categories. If these reach a minimum of 8.0 out of 10.0, the destination will be awarded for Bronze, Silver or Gold.
In the QualityCoast Awards of 2016, Bonaire was awarded with Silver! The island is proud of this achievement, though most of all even more motivated to both continue and improve sustainability on the island. We’re going for Gold next year!
Green power on Bonaire
The trade winds make Bonaire ideal for electricity produced from wind energy. Bonaire strives for the highest possible use of this green energy. The wind farm at Morotin, east of Rincon, has 12 wind turbines of 900 kW each. At Sorobon near Lac Bai, a wind turbine of 330 kW is located. On a yearly basis, wind power now provides about 33 percent of the energy on Bonaire.
In March 2015, Bonaire moved forward towards more green power: solar energy. The Solar Pilot on Barcadera is a trial installation of 792 solar panels that now delivers energy to about 60 households. This trial will determine the future potential of solar energy on Bonaire.
Sustainability Award of Excellence
The Sustainability Award of Excellence is presented by Skyviews and supported by CREST (Center for Responsible Travel). The Awards recognize excellence in sustainable business practice in one or more of the areas: Biodiversity, Energy, Social Governance, Water and Waste. The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) was awarded the Sustainability Award of Excellence 2016 for outstanding business excellence in Biodiversity, Energy, and Social Governance.
For more information on these initiatives or to contact us for additional thoughts or feedback, please send an email to email@example.com