Aruba Birdlife Conservation Celebrates Expansion of Wetlands with Minister of Nature

The recent announcement by Ursell Arends, Aruba’s Minister of Nature, regarding the expansion of Ramsar areas on Aruba has received special appreciation from the local nature conservation organization, Aruba Birdlife Conservation. As a token of gratitude for this significant achievement, Greg Peterson, the president of Aruba Birdlife Conservation, invited Minister Arends to the Bubali Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary is now part of the Western Wetlands and has been recognized as a protected Ramsar Wetland area.

During this visit, Peterson presented the Aruba Birdlife Calendar 2024 to Minister Arends, as a sign of appreciation. The Bubali Bird Sanctuary is a crucial habitat where more than two hundred bird species have been recorded – the highest number at any location on the island.

Wetlands Expansion

The expansion of the protected wetlands in Aruba is a significant step for biodiversity. The four new Ramsar areas – Western Wetlands, Westpunt, Zuidkust, and Oostpunt – along with the expansion of Spaans Lagoen, represent a historic expansion from 70 to an impressive 14,408 hectares. This expansion marks not only an important moment in nature conservation for Aruba but also for the Kingdom.

These areas, rich in biodiversity, have been established with the support of experts from Wageningen University and local nature conservation organizations, under the commission of the minister.

In the Western Wetlands, there are five saliñas essential for migratory birds between North and South America. Westpunt and Zuidkust include various coastal habitats, mangrove forests, seagrass fields, and coral reefs, important for endangered species. Oostpunt, mainly a marine area, contains Fontein, the only substantial, natural, and permanent freshwater source in Aruba.

These developments in Aruba emphasize the importance of international cooperation and local commitment to nature conservation, in which the role of organizations such as Aruba Birdlife Conservation is invaluable.

The Ramsar Convention

The Ramsar Convention, an international treaty since 1975, focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands of international importance. Nearly 90% of UN member states have signed this treaty.


In the photo taken at the Bubali Bird Sanctuary, Greg Peterson, chairman of Aruba Birdlife Conservation, presents the Aruba bird calendar 2024 to the Minister of Nature, Ursel Arends, as a token of appreciation for the new Ramsar areas.


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December 21, 2023
Rona Coster