Healthy ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves are critical to a small island society, such as Bonaire. To make well-founded decisions it is very important to understand how nature contributes to the economy and its wellbeing. This insight is crucial when managing the economy and nature of such a beautiful tropical island. Therefore, we determined the economic value of the main ecosystem services and goods of Bonaire.
The total economic value (TEV) of the ecosystem services provided by the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Bonaire is $105 million per year. The study demonstrated that it is more efficient to prevent extensive environmental damage by tackling current threats than it is to try and revitalize the environment whilst these threats continue undealt with. With the current threats unmanaged, the TEV of Bonairean nature will decrease from $105 million today to around $60 million in ten years time and to less than $40 million in 30 years.
This project is well documented and provides several extensive online reports, five easily accessible policy briefs and a beautiful documentary that translates the scientific results into real life situations on Bonaire.
The documentary is gaining international recognition. It won the Golden Conch Award for best film at the CINEFISH festival at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI). It has been accepted into the 2014 Beneath the Waves Film Festival with currently 12 film events scheduled all over the world. Apart from this we present the results at workshops and conferences in the Caribbean and European region.