Foundation Save Plantation Bolivia has submitted a request to the Executive Council on June 5, 2020, to change the zone destination of Plantation Bolivia from Open Landscape to Nature so the protection of nature will even be better.

Guess what?

On September 23, 2020 we have received the following response:

“A change of use …… is possible, but formal permission from the owner is required. The OLB cannot do this unilaterally.”

We have responded to this on the same day with the question ‘where can we find this in the law?’.

On December 2, 2020, we have received the following response:

“… It is not reasonable to grant this initiative if it concerns a plot of land that is not owned by the submitter.”


A day later we have requested a formal decision on our request for a zone change.

On April 1, 2021, we have received the following answer:

“…. not pure… For that reason, we cannot now respond to your request.”


So after almost a year we still do not have a formal answer to our zone change request!

Does the Executive Council follow the law in its response to our request?

1. When can a destination be changed?

Pursuant to Article 4 Island Ordinance Spatial Development Planning Bonaire (IOSDPB), the development plan is established by Island Ordinance (by the Island Council). With a view to good spatial development and public housing and responsible environmental management in the island territory, zoning regulations are included in the development plan in accordance with Article 6 IOSDPB.

It is not correct that a change in zoning can only take place if and insofar as the owner of the land agrees. That goes against the rationale of such a zoning plan. After all, a zone change concerns good spatial planning, public housing and responsible environmental management of the island territory. The question whether a landowner agrees with that destination is in principle not relevant. The position taken in the letter of 23 September 2020 that a change of use is only possible with the formal consent of the owner is therefore not correct.

If someone suffers damage due to a zone plan change (fewer building possibilities, lower value, etc.), compensation can be requested (Article 37 IOSDPB).

The foundation’s request is for a revision (amended adoption) of the spatial development plan. According to Article 5 of the IOSDPB, this takes place in the same way as in which the plan was drawn up.


2. What must be taken into account when changing the destination?

In the letter from the OLB of April 1, 2021, it is mentioned that the spatial development plan for Bonaire will be subject to a general review in the next eighteen months. It is also noted that the owner of Bolivia has indicated that he wishes to develop Plantation Bolivia. The OLB wishes to await the owners’ proposals.

However, this does not mean that the OLB must cooperate with the owners desired plans. After all, the assessment always has to be substantiated by responsible environmental management, good spatial planning and/or public housing.


3. Does our change request grant us a formal decision?

Foundation Save Plantation Bolivia submitted a request on June 5, 2020, to change the zone planning for Plantation Bolivia from Open Landscape to Nature.

Since the foundation is an interested party, a formal decision must be taken on the application.


Up till now, after almost a year, we still have no official decision from the OLB, but we don’t give up.


No Nature No Future

A change of the zone plan as envisaged by the developer will give economic gain to a few in the short term and will deprive future generations on Bonaire of prosperity.

The change to nature will protect the last wilderness of Bonaire for future generations!

If you think your future has nothing to do with nature, think again.

Eilandsverordening ruimtelijke ontwikkelingsplanning Bonaire (Island Ordinance Spatial Development Planning Bonaire)