FPNA officially opened its ‘Center of Cultivation’ on Earth Day.

Published on April 26, 2022

ORANJESTAD, ARUBA – On 22 April, Earth Day, Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA) continued with its effort for nature conservation with the inauguration of its Center of Cultivation by Minister Arends in the presence of the team of FPNA and guests. The Center of Cultivation is an investment thanks to funds of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied and donations from Aruba Airport Authority. This project is a clear example of the Earth Day 2022 theme, which is ‘Invest in Our Planet”.

Earth Day is a global event to demonstrate the importance of protecting our environment. The 52nd Earth Day and theme ‘Invest in Our Planet’ was a call for government and the private sector to contribute to the protection, conservation, and restoration of the degraded state of our nature. As individuals and as a community, we need to be aware of the impact that we have on the environment, ecosystems, and biodiversity, and change our ways of living to guarantee a diverse and resilient nature for the future.

As such, the team of FPNA started several months ago working on the ‘Center of Cultivation’ project which was inaugurated last week. The Center of Cultivation is the heart of FPNA’s Flora Biodiversity Enhancement and Climate Resilience Program. This workspace includes a seed bank, a workshop and plant nursery, and a composting station.

The seed bank will be utilized to store the seeds of more than 40 species of native and endangered species of shrubs and trees. The seeds will be used for cultivation but will also be stored to ensure genetic survival in case of pests and disease. The workshop adjacent to the plant nursery will increase the success rate of germination and propagation of young native flora, and the nursery area will be used to cultivate plants and taking care of them for one to two years until they are ready for outplanting and able to survive in our protected nature areas.

FPNA’s integral approach to conservation entails a focus on protection, preservation and restoration of Aruba’s unique biodiversity and has as its goal the maintenance and enhancement of the sustainability of each category of ecosystem services. The species of shrubs and trees to be cultivated have been chosen for their local scarcity but also for their ecological value for species of fauna such as the brown-throated parakeet, the blue-tailed emerald hummingbird, nectar and fruit-eating bats, bees and butterflies. With these chosen species of trees and shrubs, FPNA will enhance biodiversity and help increase the quality of ecosystem services.

The Center of Cultivation also will serve as a space for giving workshops, the selling of plants for private garden biodiversity enhancement, educational tours, and the opportunity for both locals and tourists to volunteer. In this way, FPNA involves the community in its cause of preserving Aruba’s native flora.

Last week, the Center of Cultivation was already host to the first workshops, with participants from the Junior Ranger Camp producing species name labels, sowing seeds and lending a helping hand in the plant nursery, as well as volunteers from the Wings of Hope program from the Aruba Airport Authority. This is a concrete example of how young and old can contribute to the conservation of nature.

Within the coming months, the composting station will be realized under the guidance of the Compost Club Aruba and with the participation of the community. The composting station will be used to sustainably recycle organic materials into compost to be able to grow plants that are healthier and more robust before continuing the next stage of their lives in nature.

FPNA would like to extend a warm thanks the Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds – Caribisch Gebied and the Aruba Airport Authorities for making this beautiful project possible. Also, a heartfelt thanks goes out to all rangers that contributed to the realization of the Center of Cultivation. This is only the start of FPNA’s flora conservation work, and it will be amplified in the future for a rich and diverse nature of Aruba.

FPNA will continue to Invest in Our Nature through different programs of monitoring and restoration within both the terrestrial, coastal and marine protected areas, to ensure a future in which we can enjoy a richer, healthier, and more diverse nature. FPNA invites the community of Aruba to Invest in Our Planet, as a nature-rich future is a prosperous future for us all.