Netherlands Antilles Coral Reef Initiative

Last updated: November 8, 2002

Caribbean Coral Reef Conference — 2nd NACRI meeting
Kurá Hulanda Conference Center, Curaçao, October 24-29, 2002







Together, the NACRI and Reef Care Curaçao organized a Caribbean Coral Reef Conference and meeting of all NACRI partners. For Reef Care Curaçao this Conference was also an opportunity to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

This conference was organized with the collaboration of Reef Relief of the Florida Keys and the hospitality of the Kurá Hulanda Institute in Curaçao. The organizers acknowledge the generous help of the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) and the hotels Habitat Curaçao, Lions Dive, Breezes, Sheraton and Bon Bini Apartments, as well as the Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA), the Curaçao Tourism Board (CTB), and other sponsors. Without them the Conference would not have been possible.

The Conference featured presentations relating to scientific information and program experience on the part of participating countries and organizations, specific actions and recommendations based on the experiences and findings of the participants were formulated, necessary for the conservation of coral reefs in the Netherlands Antilles and in the region.

Aside from participants from all islands of the Netherlands Antilles as well as Aruba and the Netherlands, representatives from Venezuela, USA, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda and the French islands Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Barth, and St. Martin were also present at the conference. They represented organizations such as the French IFRECOR (national coral reef committee), NOAA Coral Reef Program, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Reef Relief of course, Greenpeace Netherlands, CARICOMP, and also included Marine Protected Area Managers, the Simón Bolivar University and the Central University of Venezuela, and several fisheries departments.

The Conference was opened on Thursday morning October 24 at 9:30 by Commissioner of Tourism Ramon Chong. He was followed by participants from the islands of the Netherlands Antilles and from several countries in the region who presented the status of the reefs on their islands.

On Friday morning October 25 at 8:30 Ms. Islelly Pikerie, Minister of Public Health, Social development and Environment of the Netherlands Antilles opened the day with a keynote speech about the Antillean coral reefs. Subsequently many initiatives for the conservation of coral reefs were presented. These included a presentation of the effects of marine reserves on fisheries in St. Lucia, and a presentation by GreenPeace Netherlands explaining about its activities in the area of fisheries in international waters.
On Saturday the members of the NACRI met to discuss an action program. The non-Antillean participants meanwhile explored the Curaçao reefs thanks to the cooperation of several diveshops.

On Monday the Conference continued with discussions on how to locate funding for planned projects. On Tuesday conclusions were drawn from the preceding discussions and recommendations were formulated.

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