Reforestation on Klein Bonaire

A Kadushi (Cereus repandus) seedling has been lovingly surrounded by pieces of limestone rock, in an attempt to create some shade, and circumstances for moisture collection in the burning sun and scorching heat of Klein Bonaire. The small plant has been transplanted from another spot on the mainland, where this species grows in abundance, to the new location on Klein Bonaire where it will be one of the founders of a new population of cacti. The small plant is part […] Read more »

2011 International Year of the forest – the trees of our local forests (final)

The Calabash (Crescentia cujete) Maracas, dishes, bowls, artwork. The fruit of the Kalebas (Dutch), Calabash (English) or Kalbas (Papiamentu) tree is used for lots of things. These fruits are an integral part of the landscape. The large round or oval shiny green fruits, which reach at least the size of a fist, are very striking. After the fruits fall from the tree, they turn yellow in color. In nature they dry out, but only after quite a few months, into […] Read more »

2011 International Year of the forest – the trees of our local forests (2)

The Oliba / Black willow (Capparis odoratissima) What makes the Oliba the most recognizable are the seed pods. These are brown on the outside, but after ripening they’ll burst open and advertise themselves with a bright orange-red color on the inside. Sometimes the seeds burst open at almost the same time, and then it looks like the tree is decorated with red-orange streamers. The tree is green all year round and needs very little water to survive. It prefers to […] Read more »

2011 International Year of the forest – the trees of our local forests

After 17 articles in the series on local forests, in which several tree species were specifically mentioned, it seemed a nice ending of this series to devote some articles to specific plants and trees on the island. From the striking and familiar to the inconspicuous and largely unknown. The Palu Santu – Seaside mahoe (Thespesia populnea) The Palu Santu is a well known ‘beach’ tree. A loyal visitor of Daaibooibaai or former Hook’s Hut has consciously or unconsciously taken a […] Read more »

2011 International Year of Forests – Help local trees and forests!

It is easy to shrug one’s shoulders and look the other way, or to point fingers at nature and environmental organizations when once again something goes wrong with nature and the environment. Often it is ignorance or a feeling of powerlessness that leaves us standing on the sidelines while observing with dismay how the government is planning to ‘develop’ another natural area, or when the news comes in that another animal or plant species went extinct. I have to admit, […] Read more »

2011 International Year of Forests – A legend has passed away!

Wanghari Maathai, a well-known environmental activist from Kenya lost the battle against cancer at an age of 71 years and passed away at the end of September. Her name might not ring a bell in our region, although to a group of devout nature lovers she’s well known. Kenya is a ‘far from our bed location’ and the news of her passing probably let to a brief ‘it’s a shame’-moment after which most people just went on with their lives. […] Read more »

2011 International Year of Forests – More invasive threats to our forests

It’s weird how little control there is on the import of plants, garden soil, building materials and other products in which pests can hide. Whether we talk about seeds from plants that do not belong here, like the Bellisima and Palu di Lechi described in the previous article, or other organisms, the damage to nature can amount to such levels that no matter how many times we pronounce the words ‘nos naturalesa’, at one point there simply will be nothing […] Read more »

2011 International Year of Forests – Invasive threats to our forests

Danger from the outside, for our natural environment! No nature-related topic has appeared in the media more often than this during the past two years. Well, it actually did not really deal with nature in itself but rather with the fact that the invasive species from abroad started feasting on plants, which were also imported from abroad, hence did not belong to local nature. Another invasive species started devouring the fish we wanted to get out of the water ourselves […] Read more »

2011 International Year of Forests – Forests: nature at risk (2)

The interruption of natural processes is the final blow for forests. The isolation of small pieces of nature which causes disruptions of the natural life cycles of not only animals but also plants is something that you see way too often on Curacao. The region of Banda Bou is relatively undeveloped compared with the city. However, if you take a good look at the the map of the island you see that Banda Bou is also pretty isolated from the […] Read more »

2011 International Year of Forests – Forests: natural areas at risk

Forests are at risk. Everywhere in the world. Also on Curacao. Television and newspapers often talk about impacts on forests, they are cut down, burned away, bulldozered, they are robbed of their plant and animal species and so forth. Terms such as loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, degradation and erosion are all used when the threats to forests are illustrated. But what does this all mean? What does actually happen when a piece of forest is removed while many pieces […] Read more »