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Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands visits Aruba

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands visits Aruba

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands will visit Curaçao and Aruba from Tuesday, November 7, to Friday, November 10. The visit focuses on the work of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and socio-cultural initiatives on the islands. The reason for the visit is the DCNA congress on nature-friendly solutions for restoring ecosystems on the Dutch Caribbean islands. The Princess is the patroness of DCNA.

On Thursday, November 9 she arrives in Aruba and pays a visit to Jantje Beton and Telefon pa Hubentud, has lunch with the governor, and visits Spanish Lagoon.

In the morning, Princess Beatrix visits the Neptali Henriquez Park playground. Since 2010, volunteers and various initiatives have worked to maintain, renovate, and expand the playground to prevent decay. The playground serves as an inspiring example for other playgrounds that Jantje Beton wants to create on Aruba in close collaboration with Aruban social organizations. The foundation aims to renovate playgrounds in various locations in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, ensuring they meet safety standards so that children can play safely outdoors. Princess Beatrix is the patroness of Jantje Beton.

Princess Beatrix then visits the headquarters of Telefon pa Hubentud, the Aruban children’s helpline. The organization will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. The Aruban children’s helpline has become so successful that children and young people from Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba also call for a sympathetic ear. The Princess speaks with staff and volunteers about the nature and scope of social issues in Aruba and learns about the various activities and projects of the foundation. Finally, she unveils the new logo of Telefon pa Hubentud.

Following this, the governor of Aruba, Alfonso Boekhoudt, hosts a lunch for the Princess at Cas Ceremonial.

In the afternoon, Princess Beatrix visits the Spanish Lagoon, a wetland and nature reserve with mangrove forests. Employees of the Aruba National Park Foundation (FPNA) present the project ‘Turning the Tide,’ a climate adaptation and nature restoration pilot project. The project, in collaboration with the University of Aruba, ScubbleBubbles Foundation, and Wageningen University & Research, is funded by the EU program RESEMBID. In the clogged mangrove forests, channels are dug to trap silt, aiming to restore the water quality and nursery function of the mangroves and protect the nearby coral reefs. Additionally, efforts are underway to restore the coral reefs by installing two types of artificial reefs. During a short walk, the Princess receives an explanation of the importance of mangrove forests and coral reefs for nature restoration and biodiversity.

On Friday, November 10 the program continues with a visit to Arikok National Park and the DCNA Congress.

In the morning, Princess Beatrix visits Arikok National Park, where FPNA has initiated a project to reintroduce a bird species that had become extinct on the island into the wild. The bird has a limited distribution, making its reintroduction in Aruba particularly important. The Princess attends a briefing on this biodiversity conservation program and observes the birds on site. She also discusses the significance of this project with those involved.

In the afternoon, Princess Beatrix attends the conclusion of the DCNA congress at the University of Aruba. The event aims to facilitate knowledge and experience exchange for collaborative efforts on natural solutions for the preservation and restoration of ecosystems in the Caribbean region. The six participating parks present their focal points, solutions, and collaborations to promote nature management on the Dutch Caribbean islands.

DCNA comprises the nature organizations Aruba National Park Foundation (FPNA), Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (Carmabi), Nature Foundation Sint Maarten, Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF), Sint Eustatius National Parks Foundation (Stenapa), and Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (Stinapa Bonaire). The nature organizations on the six islands of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom have joined forces for improved nature management, sustainable fundraising, nature education, and knowledge exchange.

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