Published On: Tue, Dec 4th, 2012

Research team calls for revision of Oostpunt plans

WILLEMSTAD —  Amigoe reports that the international research team ‘Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment’ (Force) calls on the government of Curaçao to revise the plans for development of Oostpunt (East side of the island)

Project-coordinator of Force, Peter Mumby, wrote in his letter that a healthy reef in the Caribbean area generates approximately 2 to 16 million dollars per year on revenues per linear kilometer.Force has over eighty international coral-scientific researchers and policy advisors and is financed by the European Union.

On the Zoning Plan published by the government, Mumby wrote: “You can imagine that the Force-network and colleague researchers elsewhere are highly concerned about Curaçao’s intentions. The current plans could lead to a serious degradation of this unique coral system. We further expect it will have a negative impact on the development of tourism and the permanent management of fish populations. With all respect, we urge the government to reconsider the plans. We also wish to offer our expertise, and possibly advice, to inform the government of Curaçao on contributing to conserve the coral reeves of the island.”

According to Mumby, these revenues could be higher than those of the current tourist developments near the coast. “Force is one of the few integrated research projects with the purpose to research conservation of services involved with Caribbean coral reeves. As known, the entire Caribbean coral reef has deteriorated. Eighty percent of the reeves that still existed early 1970 have worsened to the extent there is little chance of recovery. Non-permanent developments along the coast, the seepage of polluted substances in sea and overfishing were the main cause of this deterioration. This has far-reaching consequences for fishermen and tourism.”

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