Wednesday , March 29 2023

Dutch WWF rangers start coral reef campaign

The coral reefs of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are this year’s focal point of the youngest members, the rangers, of the Dutch World Wildlife Fund WNF. This writes The Daily Herald. Hundreds of children gathered at the Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem on Sunday for the kick-off of the WNF Ranger 2014 campaign. “Healthy coral? Everyone help!” shouted some 800 children present at the kickoff of the campaign that has as objective to collect as much money as possible for the protection of the fragile coral reefs and its complex ecosystem in the sea around the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
Together with TV presenter Levi van Kempen of the Ranger Animal News on Disney XD, the children coloured a huge coral puzzle at the zoo, symbolically making the coral healthy. The children’s TV news broadcast, Jeugdjournaal, dedicated an item to the kick-off on Sunday.
Thousands of WNF rangers will hold funny and original collection initiatives for the coral reefs in the Caribbean Netherlands until the end of May. Numerous schools will also participate and have requested the free educational package on coral reefs from WNF.
The annual WNF Ranger action is the largest collection campaign of children for nature protection in the Netherlands. The results directly benefit WNF’s projects. This year, the Dutch branch of the international organisation decided to dedicate the campaign to the Caribbean Netherlands’ coral reefs. The press release that the organisation released on Sunday stated that very few people were aware that the Netherlands has tropical coral within its boundaries since Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba became public entities of the Netherlands on October 10, 2010. “The coral reefs surrounding the islands are among the most beautiful and healthy in the Caribbean. They are bursting with life and are important for tropical fish, dolphins, sea turtles and sharks. But the pressure on the fragile underwater world is mounting. Pollution, coastal construction, incorrect fishing and shipping are hurting the coral reefs. Also, there is too little money to properly manage the protected marine areas,” according to WNF.
The money that will be collected by the rangers in the coming weeks will be used to help protect these areas by, among others, the training of park rangers, buying new patrol boats and an improved supervision on the beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs. One WNF ranger will win a trip to Bonaire to see the coral reefs and to assist in protecting (the eggs of) sea turtles. Last year, the rangers collected more than 300,000 euros for rhinos in South Africa that are severely threatened by increasing poaching activities.

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