Important step taken in professionalization process

Published on February 18, 2019

FPNA takes important step in the professionalization process

On 31 January 2019, Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA) took an important first step in the professionalization process of the organization. A change to the articles of association – executed by the notary Rodriguez-Taekema – entailed that per 1 February the Foundation will be operating under a professional Managing Board and a Supervisory Board. FPNA is an independent foundation which manages a large part of Aruba. This task will become even larger and more complex with the future addition of a marine park and 16 other designated protected areas. Hence the necessity to change the governing structure as well as the organization. The statutory changes were executed in the presence of the minister charged with environmental affairs, Mr. O. Oduber. Also present was Ms. Natasha Silva, who was installed as a board member in the position of Chief Conservation Officer. Subsequent steps will be the recruitment and appointment of a CEO, developing a new organization structure and signing a management agreement with the government of Aruba.

A short history
Mid-2018, the FPNA acquired a new board, after the former board members had decided to resign. In accordance with the articles of association, the Court of First Instance of Aruba subsequently appointed an interim board on 22 June.
At the request of the judge on 31 July, the interim board issued an advisory report on the state of affairs of the foundation and made recommendations for its progress.
The judge was able to agree with the advice given by the interim board – given the in-depth administrative problems that the foundation had to deal with and also in view of the ambitious policy intentions – and emphasized the importance of appointing an administratively strong foundation board. For this reason, by order of 17 August 2018, the judge instated the members of the interim board as official FPNA board members for an indefinite period. As of that date the board consists of Mr. F.J. Refunjol, chairman, Mr. J.M. Laclé, vice-chairman, Mr. N.L. Kuipéri, treasurer and Mrs. H.A. van der Wal, secretary. On 4 October the board appointed Mrs. Sanju Luidens-Daryanani as the fifth board member.

Advice to the judge
The new board has energetically started implementing the advice of 31 July 2018 since taking office in August last year, including:
1. The realization of an effective and professional management and management structure for the foundation, including the introduction of a professional Managing Board and Supervisory Board (two-tier management structure);
2. Designing and implementing the rules of Good Governance, including drawing up profiles and regulations for (the members of) the Managing Board, the Supervisory Board and the Audit Committee;
3. Processing of backlogs regarding the legal status of staff, holding a referendum and preparing for a collective bargaining agreement (this was pending for 16 years), designing a new organizational structure, job descriptions and salary house;
4. Adapting the organization and the articles of association to the new tasks and areas that will come under the management of the FPNA (such as the marine park and 16+ other designated natural areas);
5. Creating a service level agreement with the government of Aruba;
6. Restoring the relationship and cooperation with various partners and stakeholders nationally and internationally, including the government of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and the European Union;
7. Drafting and updating management plans for the various (new) areas and ensuring adequate monitoring and enforcement.

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

It is important to mention that the costs of the reorganization will be covered by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). FPNA is a member of this organization, which was set up to stimulate and facilitate the cooperation in nature conservation between the Caribbean nations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Staff commitment and dedication

Over the past period, much effort was put into bringing things up to date within the foundation and restoring peace and stability. In the process, the board was able to count on the enormous dedication and professionalism of the members of the FPNA management team, who have helped the board in the implementation of their ambitious plans. The board was also able to count on the efforts of the entire staff, which in the meantime ensured that visitors to the parks can continue to enjoy the beauty of nature.