Protecting Paradise: Binkie and Nature Foundation

Protecting Paradise: Binkie and Nature Foundation

By Foresee Foundation

The Nature Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation with the aim to preserve and enhance the natural environment of St. Maarten in the present moment and for generations to come, through a variety of education, preservation, and research initiatives.

Established in January 1997, the Foundation has a core group of dedicated professionals whose aim is to execute their mission of preserving and enhancing the natural environment of St. Maarten, and one of their key supporters is their Board Chairman Binkie van Es. Thus, Nature Foundation found it fitting to shine the spotlight on his dedication to preserving nature.

Who is Binkie van Es and what is his role at the Nature Foundation?

Binkie is a 37-year resident of Sint Maarten with extensive management experience. He has spent five years on the board of the foundation, part of that time as vice chair of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). As the new chairman, Binkie aims to bring the foundation to the next level of functioning and relevance in the Sint Maarten community, both as conservationists and educators. This means ensuring all projects serve the community and nature of St, Maarten, which Binkie sees as key.

How does Binkie van Es contribute to making your organization better?

As board chairman, Binkie plays a key role in the strategic development and the long-term success of the foundation. He actively supports our research, preservation, and education activities and plays a key role in our birding activities. His strong leadership has enabled us to continue to grow and focus on the true mission of the foundation, preserving Sint Maarten for generations to come.

What are some examples of activities or projects he has participated in?

As part of our Birding and Eco-Tourism Project with R4CR, Binkie played a key role as bird guide trainer, for which he donated his time and expertise. In his role as chairman, Binkie ensures that we are focused on being more innovative and sustainable in our conservation initiatives.

What are his favourite projects in the foundation?

Binkie has no single favourite project, although his own speciality is birds. In his view, all the foundation's projects have relevance and equal importance. As such, each and every project is a favourite for Binkie. Just as with birdwatching where his favourite bird is always the last one he sees, Binkie is just as passionate about marine conservation projects as terrestrial ones, despite his tendency to get seasick.

Binkie believes all facets of nature are connected and that you cannot protect one part without protecting the others, as every neglect has an effect across all of nature. In Binkie's view, a healthy and abundant seabird population sustains a healthy, thriving coral reef, which in turn protects the coasts and sustains food supply. A robust land bird population helps control insects, protect food crops, spread seeds of trees and wildflowers, and pollinate crops. Biodiverse native plants and trees support local birds and insects. Together, this is the famous circle of life.

How can someone sign up to volunteer or support the Nature Foundation?

Sign-ups are currently open for our next Big Beach Clean-Up. To join us in keeping our island clean, register today on!

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