Bonaire – Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public housing and Spatial Development) and Secretary of State Alexandra van Huffelen (Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation) paid a visit to the former plantation Bolivia.
De goverment members wanted to see first hand what the plans of Bonaire Properties NV are with the estate, which was acquired several years ago. Director Mieke Breemhaar of Bonaire Properties, and Erik Berkelmans of Metafoor Ruimtelijke Ontwikkeling could immediately dismantle the myth that the landscape will be “destroyed”. The goverment members have seen with their own eyes what the result is of 70 years of excessive grazing. It has been shared with them how restoring nature and maintaining the landscap in a sustainable manner can be funded through developing housing. This housing will be developed for a range of price levels, from affordable to exclusive.
Less than 10% of the former plantation will be developed sustainably into an estate with living, agriculture, and eco-tourism, in places where nature has fallen into decline through neglect and erosion. The revenues of the activities will be used to restore nature in the remaining 90% of Bolivia and to recover and protect the cultural heritage, by placing it under professional management and surveillance of estate rangers.
Johan van Blerk of Tera Barra was asked as an expert by the Ministry to provide additional information. He has been involved with nature development and protection for 20 years. He informed the Minister and the Secretary of State that there is valuable nature to be found on Bonaire on the middle terrace, where tradiotionally no plantations were built. Especially the areas that are really valuable, that have trees of over 1000 years old, are under pressure by spatial development. The ‘Hoge Veluwe of Bonaire’ is not sufficiently protected and shrinks in size every year, Van Blerk says.
A responsable development of Bolivia, as Bonaire Properties have in mind, can relieve pressure of the housing market, contribute to nature recovery and prevent further deterioration of very valuable nature on Bonaire as a whole.
On the picture to the left of secretary of state Van Huffelen there is Mieke Breemhaar (Bonaire Properties) and Erik Berkelmans (Metafoor). To the right of minister De Jonge, there is nature expert Johan van Blerk (Tera Barra).