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Thread: Bonaire Environmental Legislation in Peril -... Action Required

  1. #1
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    Default Bonaire Environmental Legislation in Peril -... Action Required

    Let me begin by saying these documents are for non-residents that own property or a business on Bonaire and for residents...
    We as the general public at this time have NO say in this matter, Until that time that we may have a say please do not fill Ramons mailbox full of general public emails.. again this is for non residents with property or businesses and for the residents of Bonaire only.. NOT FOR TOURISTS...



    Please read Ramon's email below and forward this email to anyone you know who may have an interest in Bonaire. This means someone who lives Bonaire or owns property on Bonaire or owns or runs a business on Bonaire. Print & Sign letter that applies to you, scan it then send the signed letter back to Ramon before Feb 1st to give him time to print out and delivery it to DROB by the February 2nd deadline in case you can not deliver it to DROB yourself. We need as many letters as possible to try to stop the government from ruining our little piece of paradise.


    I have posted two example letters, one for a resident, one for a property/business owner, non-resident. If you know people that fall into this categories please forward the email to them for immediate action.


    Thank you


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Bonaire National Marine Park <marinepark@stinapa.org>
    Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    Subject: Bonaire Environmental Legislation in Peril - Beware of the camel nose
    To: Bonaire National Marine Park <marinepark@stinapa.org>



    The actual proposal of the Government of Bonaire in allowing the construction of piers for other than the specified in the recently approved zoning plan reminds me of an old Arabian proverb: "If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow."



    The seriousness of this issue is something that you have to take into account if you want to imagine how the rest of your life will look like, either if you live here or visit Bonaire. If accepted, the Government proposal will be devastating for nature conservation and for the future of the Island.



    This law proposal will take the entire ‘conservation’ effort out of the current law. More than 50 years of advanced environment legislation is about to go down the drain.



    Developers will be allowed to build things in the Marine Park for recreation /tourism/bar and restaurant purposes. Recreation is a wide word and we don’t know exactly what else can come. On the new piers, developers will be allowed to build structures of maximum 5 meters high and maximum size 50 m2; this is almost a standard two stories building seating in a pier.

    The maximum length of a pier can be 40 meters, all the way to the drop off in most of the island. The Government can allow constructions to a size 250 m2 with a height of max 5 meter; this is the equivalent of 3 to 4 small two stories apartments!!!......in the water!!!!.....on top of a pier!!!

    They (the Government) can allow piers larger than this (without describing for what purpose or in which instances), so you can expect request to build larger piers with just God knows which structure on top or what for.

    Finally, the Government can deny a request for permit if they are of the OPNION that what will be build is damaging to the coral reef. So, no independent expert Environmental Impact Assessment will be required. Just the “OPINION” (expert!?!?) of the Government is enough to decide if a proposal is damaging or not and therefor allow it or not……Good-bye science.



    This is serious business if passed. It is not the 5 piers that they have proposed now. The problem is the 25 or more that they have denied in the past years, with good criteria and following the guidelines and laws that they themselves approved. Those are the ones that I’m afraid of. ALL of them will come back and ask for a permit and more will follow…….and then, the rest of the camel will be in the tent and it will be too late. We will walk our beautiful boulevard looking at the backside of restaurant kitchens, sundecks, 250 m2 two stories buildings and more. Good-bye horizon.



    You can help to stop this proposal and keep Bonaire in the forefront of coral reef conservation where it always was. We have until February 2, 2012 to give our comments and object the proposal. You can log in http://www.bonaireweb.com/zoning/ and read more and download an objection letter. Be sure to clearly state what your interest is in this subject. Feel free to add or modify the letter as you wish. Print it, sign it and bring it to DROB office in Kaya Amsterdam. If you cannot personally bring it, sign it and send it to me ( marinepark@stinapa.org ), I will print it and bring it for you. Be sure to bring 2 copies and make them sign one as prove of receipt. Let the Government hear your opinion and make your opinion count. BEWARE OF THE CAMEL NOSE……Bonaire, its people and its reefs deserve better.

    ***********************************
    STINAPA Bonaire


    Ramón de León.
    Bonaire National Marine Park Manager
    P.O.Box 368 Kralendijk BONAIRE
    Dutch Caribbean
    Phone: (599) 717 8444 Fax (599) 717 7318
    E-mail: marinepark@stinapa.org
    Www.stinapa.org
    ***********************************
    Last edited by ModFreddie; 01-27-2012 at 06:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default non-resident

    To: Bestuurscollege Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire
    Plasa Reina Wilhelmina 1,
    Bonaire.
    Bonaire, February 1, 2012
    Subject: Appeal and Objection to the draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB)

    Esteemed Executive Council:
    I hereby express my objections concerning the draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB) agreed upon on November 21, 2011.
    As a longtime visitor and property owner on Bonaire I have an economic interest in the proposed draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire. I enjoy the natural beauty of Bonaire, as do my many friends and family, who visit Bonaire annually, and so I also have quality of life and an emotional interest in the proposed changes. Bonaire is a unique island in the Caribbean with a history of protection of the natural resources of the land and sea. It is critical to the vitality of the dive tourism on Bonaire and to the quality of life for those who live on or visit Bonaire that the proposed draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire and in particular those parts related to development of piers and other structures in the Marine Park, as stated in detail below, are not enacted. The Bonaire National Marine Park is the ultimate natural and economic resource of the people of Bonaire. The protections that are provided by current law should not be diminished or compromised.
    Those protections include well thought out and reasonable laws restricting building in the Marine Park and the management of the Washington Slagbaai National Park and Marine Park by STINAPA. STINAPA has been a stalwart in the conservation and protection of Nature and the Marine Park on Bonaire for several decades to the immense benefit of every single person on Bonaire. They should remain the authority in all matters that concern Nature and the Marine Park of Bonaire.
    My objections concern Paragraph 1.1.1, Charts 24 a – j and Paragraph 1.1.2, Sections XV – XVII, which deal with the planning of new piers and with the expansion of functions of existing and future piers.
    My objections are based on the following:
    1. The proposed amendments to the zoning plan, ROB, are in conflict with the general amendment provisions of Article 69 of the current Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB). The authority to amend the ROB on the above mentioned points is dependent, among others, on an Environmental Impact Assessment which shows that the initiative that has led to the proposed modification does not adversely affect the values and qualities of the surrounding nature.
    According to the review decision it considered:
    -that it is desirable to review a number of points in the ROB;
    -that these points are mentioned in the "Summary of points ROB review “; and
    -that, in terms of good spatial planning, no objection exists to a review of the ROB on these points;
    these statements indicate that no considerations other than spatial planning effects were considered.

    2. The perusal of the proposed changes was not made public in accordance to the required procedure as set forth in Article 69.8. This article states that an announcement had to appear in all Dutch as well as Papiamentu newspapers, which are published and distributed daily on the island.
    3. The conflict with the purpose and the scope of existing nature protection legislation, including the existing ROB, in which considerations are taken into account that intend to provide protection of the marine environment. Evidence of that are:
    -the willingness of protecting values and qualities of Bonaire, such as the Marine Park, which has led to special rules for protection of the park;
    - that, among others, the existing environmental situation was taken as the reference point;
    - the current legislation purposely incorporated certain restrictions to avoid negative effects on the marine environment.
    On this basis, it can be concluded that to benefit Bonaire's nature, the building and functions of piers were deliberately restricted in the current ROB. The Marine Park has the explicit purpose to protect the values of the adjacent coral reefs of Bonaire. Extending the possibility of constructing five additional piers, other than for the mooring of boats, is contrary to the purpose and scope of the legislation.

    4. Since 1993, due to the negative effects of the presence of piers in the marine environment, the island government introduced a restrictive policy regarding the construction of piers in the Marine Park and governed consistently in accordance to said policy.
    After Hurricane Lenny in 1999, the local government further tightened the policy in the sense that only piers on stilts could be build. Construction of filled piers did not receive building licenses anymore.
    With the introduction of the Island Resolution Marine Park in 2010, the policy has been enacted and became a law. The construction of piers is prohibited unless it is necessary for the running of a diving company registered as such, or for shipbuilding and repair. The proposed amendment of the ROB is in conflict with the intention of the existing legislation, which intends to protect the marine environment.

    5. Bonaire's economy is largely dependent on tourism. It is common knowledge that the coral reef is the main natural resource of that tourism. It is also known that the reefs of Bonaire are seriously threatened by many stress factors and are steadily declining. To achieve a balance between the economic development and nature conservation the current restrictive legislation, where only permits are granted to dive companies and shipbuilding/repair companies, is a reasonable compromise.
    6. For the expansion of touristic activities and constructive economic growth on Bonaire, there is enough space available on land and there is no economic need for the use of piers in the Marine Park for extending recreational facilities (such as sun decks, bars and restaurants). Nor is the economic necessity demonstrated that involves the doubling of the existing number of piers. It is expected that the damage to the marine environment (particularly on the coral reefs), which will be caused by the proposed extensions, will lead to a decrease in the (diving) tourism and therefore will damage the economy of Bonaire on the longer term.
    The underwater park belongs to the people of Bonaire and to their children. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of the government to take care of the marine environment and to preserve it for the next generations so that they too can profit from these, also economically, important natural resources.

    7. In the current Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB) the Marine Park is protected. Now there is infringement made without proper investigation and without any clear motivation of the intentions of the proposed revision of the ROB. Good governance requires that, prior to such proposed extensions, thorough studies of the effects of those changes shall be performed.

    If you intend to respond negatively to this appeal I request to be heard and have the opportunity to further enlighten my points before you further decide on it.

    I ask you not to disclose my personal information.

    Yours faithfully,


    Name:
    Address:
    Telephone:
    Last edited by ModFreddie; 01-27-2012 at 05:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Resident

    To: Bestuurscollege Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire
    Plasa Reina Wilhelmina 1,
    Bonaire.
    Bonaire, February 1, 2012
    Subject: Appeal and Objection to the draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB)

    Esteemed Executive Council:
    I hereby express my objections concerning the draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB) agreed upon on November 21, 2011.
    Because I am a resident and property owner of Bonaire I have an economic interest in the proposed draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire. I enjoy the natural beauty of Bonaire, as do my many friends and family, who visit Bonaire annually, and so I also have a quality of life interest and an emotional interest in the proposed changes. Bonaire is a unique island in the Caribbean with a history of protection of the natural resources of the land and sea. It is critical to the vitality of the dive tourism on Bonaire and to the quality of life for those who live on Bonaire that the proposed draft Spatial Development Plan Bonaire and in particular those parts related to development of piers and other structures in the Marine Park, as stated in detail below, are not enacted. The Bonaire National Marine Park is the ultimate natural and economic resource of the people of Bonaire. The protections that are provided by current law should not be diminished or compromised.
    Those protections include well thought out and reasonable laws restricting building in the Marine Park and the management of the Washington Slagbaai National Park and Marine Park by STINAPA. STINAPA has been a stalwart in the conservation and protection of Nature and the Marine Park on Bonaire for several decades to the immense benefit of every single person on Bonaire. They should remain the authority in all matters that concern Nature and the Marine Park of Bonaire.
    My objections concern Paragraph 1.1.1, Charts 24 a – j and Paragraph 1.1.2, Sections XV – XVII, which deal with the planning of new piers and with the expansion of functions of existing and future piers.
    My objections are based on the following:
    1. The proposed amendments to the zoning plan, ROB, are in conflict with the general amendment provisions of Article 69 of the current Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB). The authority to amend the ROB on the above mentioned points is dependent, among others, on an Environmental Impact Assessment which shows that the initiative that has led to the proposed modification does not adversely affect the values and qualities of the surrounding nature.
    According to the review decision it considered:
    -that it is desirable to review a number of points in the ROB;
    -that these points are mentioned in the "Summary of points ROB review “; and
    -that, in terms of good spatial planning, no objection exists to a review of the ROB on these points;
    these statements indicate that no considerations other than spatial planning effects were considered.

    2. The perusal of the proposed changes was not made public in accordance to the required procedure as set forth in Article 69.8. This article states that an announcement had to appear in all Dutch as well as Papiamentu newspapers, which are published and distributed daily on the island.
    3. The conflict with the purpose and the scope of existing nature protection legislation, including the existing ROB, in which considerations are taken into account that intend to provide protection of the marine environment. Evidence of that are:
    -the willingness of protecting values and qualities of Bonaire, such as the Marine Park, which has led to special rules for protection of the park;
    - that, among others, the existing environmental situation was taken as the reference point;
    - the current legislation purposely incorporated certain restrictions to avoid negative effects on the marine environment.
    On this basis, it can be concluded that to benefit Bonaire's nature, the building and functions of piers were deliberately restricted in the current ROB. The Marine Park has the explicit purpose to protect the values of the adjacent coral reefs of Bonaire. Extending the possibility of constructing five additional piers, other than for the mooring of boats, is contrary to the purpose and scope of the legislation.

    4. Since 1993, due to the negative effects of the presence of piers in the marine environment, the island government introduced a restrictive policy regarding the construction of piers in the Marine Park and governed consistently in accordance to said policy.
    After Hurricane Lenny in 1999, the local government further tightened the policy in the sense that only piers on stilts could be build. Construction of filled piers did not receive building licenses anymore.
    With the introduction of the Island Resolution Marine Park in 2010, the policy has been enacted and became a law. The construction of piers is prohibited unless it is necessary for the running of a diving company registered as such, or for shipbuilding and repair. The proposed amendment of the ROB is in conflict with the intention of the existing legislation, which intends to protect the marine environment.

    5. Bonaire's economy is largely dependent on tourism. It is common knowledge that the coral reef is the main natural resource of that tourism. It is also known that the reefs of Bonaire are seriously threatened by many stress factors and are steadily declining. To achieve a balance between the economic development and nature conservation the current restrictive legislation, where only permits are granted to dive companies and shipbuilding/repair companies, is a reasonable compromise.
    6. For the expansion of touristic activities and constructive economic growth on Bonaire, there is enough space available on land and there is no economic need for the use of piers in the Marine Park for extending recreational facilities (such as sun decks, bars and restaurants). Nor is the economic necessity demonstrated that involves the doubling of the existing number of piers. It is expected that the damage to the marine environment (particularly on the coral reefs), which will be caused by the proposed extensions, will lead to a decrease in the (diving) tourism and therefore will damage the economy of Bonaire on the longer term.
    The underwater park belongs to the people of Bonaire and to their children. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of the government to take care of the marine environment and to preserve it for the next generations so that they too can profit from these, also economically, important natural resources.

    7. In the current Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB) the Marine Park is protected. Now there is infringement made without proper investigation and without any clear motivation of the intentions of the proposed revision of the ROB. Good governance requires that, prior to such proposed extensions, thorough studies of the effects of those changes shall be performed.

    If you intend to respond negatively to this appeal I request to be heard and have the opportunity to further enlighten my points before you further decide on it.

    I ask you not to disclose my personal information.

    Yours faithfully,


    Name:
    Address:
    Telephone:

  4. #4
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    I fervently hope that all members of this board avail themselves and participate in this growing protest and that Ramon is inundated with signed letters from all BTers. Please Print, sign, rescan & send to Ramon's e address above. The seaside area in town will be forever changed if they are allowed to mass develop it. The affects on diving and on the top side topography in town will not be pretty.
    "Life is good, And on Bonaire, It's even better!"


    Owner of VINIBU

  5. #5
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    Vince , We as tourists will not be counted.. We can cry, whine, stomp our feet until we are blue in the face but our outrage will not be heard. UNTIL they ask for it.... only Then we can rise up and cast a vote....
    Freddie




    When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

  6. #6
    Debs is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Letter sent.

  7. #7
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    I am waiting to hear back from Ramon with a document for Tourists. It is in the making. please be patient...
    Freddie




    When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

  8. #8
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    My husband and I just sent our letters to Ramon. The property managers of our house sent us the information just a few hours ago.
    More property owners need to do this ASAP. I signed, scanned and emailed.
    I have this letter in word format that I can email to anyone. pjjohnston@bbandt.com
    Patti

    This was the message we received:

    Please read Ramon's email below and forward this email to anyone you know who may have an interest in Bonaire. This means someone who lives on Bonaire or owns property on Bonaire or owns or runs a business on Bonaire. Print & Sign the letter that applies to you, scan it then send the signed letter back to Ramon before Feb 1st to give him time to print it and delivery it to DROB by the February 2nd deadline in case you can not deliver it to DROB yourself. We need as many letters as possible to try to stop the government from ruining our little piece of paradise.

    I have attached two example letters, one for a resident, one for a property/business owner, non-resident. Please change the second paragraph to suit your specific situation (property owner, business owner, etc.) If you know people that fall into these categories please forward the email to them for immediate action.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for posting that Freddie. I already sent mine and emailed all the owners in our association with the attached letter of rejection.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Let me make a suggestion for all members of BT who belong to a Condo Owners Association (COA) on Bonaire. Forward Ramon's letter to all your co owners and request they complete & send back to Ramon.
    "Life is good, And on Bonaire, It's even better!"


    Owner of VINIBU

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