Runoff from the island of St Eustatius damages the surrounding coral. This runoff is coming from large areas of abandoned farm land which are overgrazed by feral grazers such as cattle, donkeys and goats.
Leading for the TripleP@Sea effort in the Dutch Caribbean is biodiversity, especially the biodiversity of the protected marine ecosystem surrounding the islands. The islands of the Caribbean Netherlands all suffer from erosion coming from abandoned farm land being overgrazed by feral grazers. Silt and mud cover the delicate corals with a cloud of haze, and herbicides kill not only the algae that live within coral polyps, but plant life all over the reef. Fertilizers provide an excess of nutrients whereby certain types of algae will grow faster than they normally would.
This study explores the possibilities of a multifunctional cropping system that contributes to 1. Erosion prevention and decrease of runoff of silt, nitrogen and phosphate, 2. New opportunities for job creation in the agricultural sector, 3. Local food production, which will make the Dutch Caribbean more autonomous in food production, and 4. Further development of green tourism (based on local produce). This explorative study will focus on St Eustatius.