Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter filled with recent Aruba news updates.
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Recent Aruba News Updates
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Happy Easter & Camping in Aruba
It’s a tradition among locals to camp during this season.
Families pitch up their tents, bring food, drinks, music and good spirits for a fun get together on the beach for over a week.
Here are some of the beaches that are known for camping – Baby Beach, Surfside, Bushiri Beach, Druif Beach, a section on Eagle Beach, Malmok, Tres Trapi and Arashi.
Camping is not allowed without a permit, but once obtained, you will have a blast!
Sleeping under the stars and waking up to the sound of the ocean is a one of a kind experience!
ECO-Resort Awaits Zoning Policy To Start Construction at Isla di Oro
Tourism Minister awaits changes in the ROP (ruimte ontwikkelings plan – zoning policy) to proceed with developments of an eco resort at isla di oro.
The project is a construction of 60 over-water bungalows. It started about 2,5 years ago, but was stopped due to various reasons, such as petitions and protest by NGOs.
The changes in the ROP will facilitate three important aspects at isla di oro.
According to the infrastructure minister, who is in charge of the zoning policy, the ROP will be adapted to prevent the mangroves in the area to be destructed, protect the marine life in the area of isla di oro that will be maintained by the marine park (more about this later in next news topic) and to bring economic developments to isla di oro, which is not owned by the government, but private property.
Not everyone is happy with the project – Aruba Bird life Conservation, one of the NGO’s that’s against the construction of the resort, shared a post on Facebook showing boat drilling at isla di oro.
Don’t know where isla di oro is?
It’s between pos chiquito, pos grandi and savaneta, covered with beautiful giant green mangroves.
Here’s the image shared by ABC.
Another group called Aruban Warriors are also against the resort, and they are organizing a protest on April 2, 2018 (11:00 AM) at the entrance of isla di oro, and with kayaks through the lagoon.
Economic development is great, but it can also cost you natural resources and habitat for flora and fauna. There needs to be a balance.
In February 2013, 21 members of the parliament voted to protect the mangroves area in savaneta (and as one of sixteen other important natures ares on the island, under National Park Arikok).
Five NGO’s officially informed the government on April 2016 that they are against the development of a hotel at isla di oro, near the mangroves.
More information about the project will be released during upcoming government press conferences.
Marine Park in Aruba
The department of nature & environment is conducting several researches in order to complete a marine park in Aruba.
The marine park will provide a range of benefits for the underwater environment by conserving and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, including critical breeding, nursery and feeding habitats for fish populations.
During the following months several studies will be made by local divers, who will be collecting information about the species present in Aruba waters.The park encompasses four areas – National Park Arikok, Spaans Lagoon, Sero Colorado and Mangel Halto until Isla di Oro.
A management plan for each of these areas will be developed to maintain and restore their ecosystems and biological diversity.
The project started in May 2016 and should be completed on April 2019.
The Biggest Catch Of The Day
A local fisherman and his son caught a 157 kilo fish.
The lucky fisherman known as Tibo, said that he and his son went out fishing about 7 AM in the morning, an hour later they killed their first fish, but the second catch proved to be a big one!
At first they thought they hooked a manta ray or a decent sized shark, but as the catch slowly became visible they couldn’t believe their eyes.
It was a HUGE djampou – an Aruban type of red grouper!
Awareness Campaign for Protected Flora & Fauna in Aruba
The department of nature and environment started an awareness campaign for protected flora and fauna in a national decree implemented by the government on August 15, 2017.
Aruba has a variety of flora and fauna that is indigenous to the island.
The decree protects over 100 species.
It’s prohibited to kill or cause damage to the flora and fauna mentioned inside this document.
Here’s a few of the flora protected by the law – Agave Arubensis (Aloe), which is used to make hair and skin care products. It’s also used for medicinal purposes. The Bursera Simaruba tree which only grows on certain parts of the island. It’s aromatic tree, with a red-copper color bark known as palisia cora by locals. (cora means Red in Papiamento). And a tree called Taki, that has bright yellow flowers and can grow up to 6 meters high (it also has edible fruits).
The decree also protects the animals found only in particular regions on the island. Some of these animals including the Aruban burrowing owl is in danger of being extinct. However, recent capture and release projects will reverse the process and conserve these animals.
Here’s a few of the following animals protected by the law – Prikichi, which is an Aruban species parakeet. And the Shoco, better known as the Aruban burrowing owl are among the list of animals protected on the list.
The government declared in 2012 the Prikichi as Aruba’s national bird and the Shoco as the islands national symbol.
Snakes such as the cascabel which is one of the rarest snakes found only in Aruba is also under protection, so are the giant grouper fish and sea turtles.
Visit the website for the department of nature and environment in Aruba for the full list of protected flora and fauna on the island.
Growing Agriculture Market in Aruba
Local farmers (Santa Rosa) successfully managed to grow medicinal herbs and vegetables using aquaponics and hydroponics pilot systems.
Their goal is to find a solution to grow enough produce to sustain the island, using small area of land, and under Aruba’s typically dry weather conditions.
Santa Rosa is moving into the next phase of the project, which is recollecting data during the project to expand the operation and hopefully move closer towards ending the importation of fruits and vegetables.
CITGO Representatives On The Way To Aruba For Important Meeting
Next week representatives of CITGO will be on the island to talk about the refinery, which was recently announced to put a hold of the refurbishment.
The prime minister confirmed the upcoming meeting with representatives of CITGO during a press conference, but didn’t say who exactly was coming.
Hopefully a restart of the refurbishment for the refinery can be discussed.
Aruba Secures Frontiers With Interpol Data
The minister of justice announced that implementation of Interpol in Aruba.
Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization, with over 192 member countries. Aruba will collaborate with Interpol by linking to their database, to collect information about travelers who are wanted internationally by the police or government.
These people will be automatically denied entrance to the island.
Justice minister plans to introduce more laws to combat criminality on the island and protects the islands frontiers from undesired visitors.
Almost Time For Flip Flop Festival
It’s time for one of Aruba’s widely popular beach events, Flip Flop Festival.
Flip Flop features artist from different music genres like Reggae, Urban, Dancehall, Soca and Latin.
Last year artist like Rick Ross and Morgan Heritage were on the sunny island, and gave one of their best performances in the Caribbean region.
This year the following artist will be performing: Fat Joe, Alborosie, Karol G, Beenie man, Jeon, Natty Rico, Freddy Moreira and more special guests.
Flip flop is a 3 day consecutive event, with a welcome party at emotions nightclub on April 28. Followed by a pool party at renaissance hotel on April 29 and ending with the main event on April 30, 2018!
Tickets are available at all CITGO gas stations around the island.
Prices have changed, since all the early bird tickets were sold out at $20.00
General entrance for the main event is $43.00 – Weekend VIP standing is at $72.00 (prices for VIP seating have not been released yet).
All prices are subject to change without notice, based on the availability of tickets.
Active Hurricane Season Expected
Meteorologists are prognosticating a hurricane season 60% more active than normally this year.
15 of the storms are already named, and 7 of them have potential to turn into hurricane (3 appear to be of high category).
Hurricane season starts on June 1, and ends on November 30.
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