Bonaire National Marine Park

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.


f - Clarify if some species/habitats listed in section III are the subject of more management/recovery/protection measures than others


Marine / costal / terrestrial ecosystems Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Mangroves no no no
Coral no no no
Sea grass beds no no no
Wetlands no no no
Forests no no no
Others no no no


Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Combretaceae: Conocarpus erectus no no no
Compositae : Laguncularia racemosa no no no
Cymodoceaceae: Syringodium filiforme no no no
Hydrocharitaceae: Thalassia testudinum no no no
Rhizophoraceae: Rhizophora mangle no no no
Ruppiaceae: Ruppia maritima no no no
Verbenaceae: Avicennia germinans no no no


Species from SPAW Annex 2 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Reptiles: Caretta caretta no no no
Reptiles: Chelonia mydas no no no
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata no no no
Reptiles: Dermochelys coriacea no no no

g - Describe how the protected area is integrated within the country’s larger planning framework (if applicable)

not specified

h - Zoning, if applicable, and the basic regulations applied to the zones (attach in Annex a copy of the zoning map)

Name Basic regulation applied to the zone
Diving 2 no diving zones.
Fishing 2 Fish protected areas.
Kiteboarding 1 Kiteboarding zone.

i - Enforcement measures and policies

Five staff of the Bonaire National Park were empowered as special agents of police in 2005. Two staff are remaining, and new staff are on the waiting list for the police course. The two existing special agents of police on staff are able to issue warnings and process verbal for violations. The maximum penalty for damage to fauna, flora or landscape of the National Park is Naf 5,000 (US$2,809). The maximum penalty is considered low.

j - International status and dates of designation (e.g. Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Significant Bird Area, etc.)

International status Date of designation
Biosphere reserve no
Ramsar site yes 5/23/80
Significant bird area no
World heritage site (UNESCO) no
Others: no
UNEP/ICRAN demonstration site for the Caribbean. 2 RAMSAR sites within the boundaries of the BNMP (Lac and Klein Bonaire).

k - Site’s contribution to local sustainable development measures or related plans

not specified

l - Available management resources for the area

Ressources How many/how much Comments/description
Human ressources Permanent staff - Field Experts (scientific Permanent monitoring) - Field Technicians (maintenance, etc) Wardens (Of which marine wardens) In addition to BNMP permanent staff, STINAPA has a full time director, a full time Accounting Manager, full time Education Coordinator, Full time Communication Coordinator and full time Office Assitent and Janitor. We also count we a good number of trained volunteers for different programs
Physical ressources Equipments - Guard post on the main accesses Self guided trails with signs - Trrestrial vehicles - Marines vehicles - Radio and communications - Environment awareness materials - Capacity to respond to emergencies
Infrastructures - Office and/or laboratory in the field - Signs on the main accesses - Visitors information centre
Financial ressources Present sources of funding The basic financing is ensured. However, the present financial means are low for implementation of the management plan in full. Long-term funding prospects are excellent, through a Trust Fund set up by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) which will pay out for operational costs of the National Parks from 2016. The constitutional change of the Netherlands Antilles in October 2010 means that there may be additional technical or financial support from the Netherlands as Bonaire becomes a municipality.
Sources expected in the future
Annual budget (USD)

Conclusion Describe how the management framework outlined above is adequate to achieve the ecological and socio-economic objectives that were established for the site (Guidelines and Criteria Section C/V).

By 1990 there was a real fear that the expanding dive industry and increasing tourist visitation were creating a serious threat to the health of Bonaire’s coral reefs. After serious concerns had been raised about the lack of formal management of the Marine Park, after a trebling in diver activity, and with increasing pressure on the island’s coastal resources, Dutch Government funding (Meerjaaren Plan Fondsen – MJP funds) was sought to reestablish, or ‘revitalize’, the Marine Park. This was successful and in April 1991 the marine park was revitalized and a new manager, Kalli De Meyer, was hired to work alongside Tom van’t Hof in order to re-establish the Bonaire Marine Park. The Dutch Government funding, which amounted to Naf 225,000 per annum for a maximum period of three years, was administered by DEPOS (Departement Ontwikkeling Samenwerking) on Curaçao and had a number of significant strings attached. It obligated the Island Government of Bonaire to:

  • Ensure that the Marine Park became self financing within the term of the grant
  • Set up an appropriate management structure for the Marine Park

Both of these requirements were fulfilled. The Marine Park was re-established and the Island Government passed amendments to the Marine Environment Ordinance allowing an annual admission fee of US$ 10 per diver to be levied in order to offset operational expenses. In January 1992 admission fees were introduced and in the course of the first year over US$ 170,000 was raised, enough to cover salaries and operating costs. The Island Government gave management of the Marine Park to STINAPA Bonaire (Stichting Nationale Parken Nederlandse Antillean), a local NGO which was already had management of the island’s land park and created a ‘Begleidingscommissie’ made up of representatives of the tourism sector, conservation interests as well as local island interests to guide Park management.

Since the early 1990’s the Marine Park has gone from strength to strength. By the end of that decade it was considered a model marine park and was being copied as far a field as Bunaken, Indonesia. It was selected as a UNEP/ICRAN demonstration site for the Caribbean and ranked along side the Great Barrier Reef and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for the value of its conservation work. In November 1999 the Marine Park was formally declared a National Park by the Central Government of the Netherlands Antilles and the name was changed to Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP).