and Territories Association
Bonaire is of volcanic origin. Volcanic rocks of the Washikemba formation (of Cretaceous age) form the base and core of the island. After the Eocene age these volcanic rocks came to the surface due to tectonic uplifting. Around this small island, coral growth formed a fringing reef system. Once the island emerged, the erosion of its central part revealed its volcanic rocks.
Bonaire is relatively flat and arid, lying in a climatologically unique part of the Caribbean, drier and with a short rainy season in the winter (Oct-Jan). As a result, the island has a rare and unique flora and vegetation: cacti, acacia trees and thorny plants, but also mangroves and salt marshes. Average annual precipitations range between 560 mm and 1,000 mm and temperatures between 24°C – 32°C year-round.
From the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, the BES islands (Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius) were given the status of public entity (often referred to as “special municipality”) within the Netherlands, while the islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, just like Aruba. Bonaire is part of the Netherlands and an overseas territory of the European Union.
The Executive Council is responsible for the day-to-day management of Bonaire.
Bonaire’s economy is mainly based on tourism. Bonaire is world renowned for its excellent scuba diving and is consistently rated among the best diving locations in the world. Tourism infrastructure in Bonaire is contemporary and based on timeshare resorts. There are a few small bed and breakfasts.
Bonaire strives for a sustainable development. Assets are the internationally renowned Bonaire National Marine Park, the Washington Slagbaai National Park and the wind farm. During testing, the wind farm produced 77% of the total energy demand, which is unique in the world. Currently, 33% of Bonaire’s electricity is produced by wind.
Sustainable waste management is an aspect of the island’s ‘green’ ambitions. Bonaire wishes to achieve a high standard of waste processing. The limiting factor is the small size of the island in relation to the financial and economic feasibility. Bonaire, in collaboration with the private sector, is exploring the region for waste processing markets, particularly in South America. In 2020, State Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Dutch Government, Stientje van Veldhoven, announced that Bonaire will be assisted with the improving of solid waste management with 2.78 million euros in financial support.
GDP: 428 million USD (2017)
GDP per capita: 22 100 USD (2017)
Bonaire has been successfully involved in Erasmus+ and BEST2.0.
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