Projects Smart Mobility Social Improvement
Earlier this year, Deloitte Dutch Caribbean in collaboration with Deloitte Netherlands discussed the future of our natural environment and ways to contribute to its preservation. By setting a goal to be net zero in carbon emissions as a corporation by 2030, both branches want to take a hands-on approach when it comes to carbon neutrality. Not just with a kind of top-down corporate strategy, but by actually involving and investing in local communities and their natural environments.
One of the key projects within these ambitious plans is the Mangrove Restoration Project, which is aimed at, as the name reveals already, mangrove reforestation in the Caribbean Netherlands. Mangroves help protect the coastal and coral reef ecosystems of the region from surge storms, (especially during hurricane season), waves and tsunamis. Without healthy mangrove forests, the islands of the Dutch Caribbean would suffer much heavier erosion, more frequent floods, and more polluted coral reefs, just to name a few of the potential environmental, social and economic risks.
Official project kick-off
After lengthy preparations, the Mangrove Restoration Project got officially started on Thursday, October 27th, when the first mangroves were planted at Boka Sami, on the western coast of the island of Curaçao. Taking part in this effort, which was undertaken by kayak (from the Ryan de Jongh Kayak Experience) through the existing mangrove forests in the area, were also members from the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), Carmabi (the Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity), and the local Minister of Traffic, Transport and Spatial Planning (Verkeer, Vervoer en Ruimtelijke Planning of VVRP in Dutch).
As mentioned earlier, the ultimate goal of the project is to take tangible action that encourages the recuperation of biodiversity in the region, helps protect the coastal areas, and provides a boost to other important ecosystems. In order to achieve that goal, Ryan de Jongh and Deloitte will be looking to engage local youth for extra support. The hope is that, like this, they don’t only help to raise awareness for the importance of Curaçao’s mangrove forests, but also to provide a few additional employment opportunities for the island’s younger population.
The parties involved in the Mangrove Restoration Project have also been discussing extensions of the project in due time. These include the sharing of mangrove (reforestation) knowledge in the form of an educational program, researching ways of monitoring carbon storage by mangrove trees, and, of course, the inclusion of other areas in the Caribbean Netherlands where mangrove forests are present. These areas include Rif St. Marie, on the west coast of Curaçao, and Klein Curaçao, a small uninhibited island located about ten miles south of the southernmost point of the island.
The basis for this article was originally published on www.curacaochronicle.com and others in October 2022.