Saba Bank PSSA: Special Area management plan


After ten years of effort, documenting the rich biodiversity and stating the case for international protected status of the unique Saba Bank, in 2010 the Bank finally became a national park of the Netherlands. In 2013 it also became a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) under the IMO, with corresponding prohibition on anchoring and large ship traffic. In the same year it was also identified as an Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Area (EBSA) by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and recognized by the Caribbean Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol.

Additional remarks: 

For further reading see:

Category of best practice: 

Characterization of biodiversity (e.g. inventory, description of species and ecosystems)
Drivers of evolution (e.g. global and local change, dynamics of evolution, impact of human activities)
Biodiversity management (e.g. conservation ex situ and in situ, sustainable use and exploitation, rehabilitation, management of invasive species, pollutants, pesticides)
Governance and policies (e.g. interactions science/societies, regulations, decision-makers, networks, international collaborations)

Criteria used to define the best practice: 

Significant contribution to preservation of biodiversity and ecological effectiveness
Provision of further environmental and socio-economic benefits
Adaptive management of biodiversity (allowing to cope with change of environmental conditions, e.g. climate change in time)
Good governance (involve relevant stakeholders and integrate different interests and perspectives and needs in part from local stakeholders)
Generating multiplier/imitation effects


Ministry of Economic Affairs - National Office Caribbean Netherlands (National Government of the Netherlands)

Contact details: 

Paul Hoetjes ( - Policy coordinator nature

Geographic region: 



Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba