Bonaire inhabitants lived in balance with nature all their live. However many pressures including a fast economic development of the island lead to less resilient ecosystems causing the people of Bonaire to take more precaution than they are used to. Therefore it is very important to understand how important nature is for the people of Bonaire.
By researching the Willingness- To-Pay (WTP) for nature conservation and preservation by Bonaire residents, the identification of the importance of nature for the people on Bonaire is derived. Choice modeling is a way to determine the value households attribute to the protection of specific elements of nature on their island. Almost 400 households in Bonaire participated in this valuation survey. They were also asked qualitative questions regarding ecosystem threats, benefits, and preferred environmental management options.
The WTP by all Bonaire households to improve the overall natural marine and terrestrial environment from poor level to a high level appears to be as much as $3.9 million per year. Residents identified solid and liquid waste and coastal development as the most important threats facing nature on Bonaire. The research demonstrates that the most important step to take is raising awareness of citizens of Bonaire regarding pressures on the services of their ecosystems. Raising awareness automatically results in stronger support for additional environmental measures and more responsible behaviour by the local population.