Ecosystems, sociocultural systems, and ecological economics for understanding development
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 Material Information
Title: Ecosystems, sociocultural systems, and ecological economics for understanding development the case of ecotourism on the island of Bonaire, N.A.
Physical Description: xxx, 675 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Abel, Thomas, 1957- ( Dissertant )
Keegan, William ( Thesis advisor )
Odum, H. T. ( Reviewer )
Brown, Mark ( Reviewer )
Stansbury, James ( Reviewer )
Harris, Marvin ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 2000
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Ecotourism -- Bonaire   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles)   ( lcsh )
Anthropology thesis, Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF   ( lcsh )
emergy
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Coordinates: 12.16 x -68.23
 Notes
Abstract: The occurrence of economic development associated with ecotourism on the island of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles is described in this dissertation and evaluated with a form of ecological-economics known as emergy accounting. Emergy is an alternative currency that places all products of world ecosystems on one scale, based on the human-ecological work that contributed to the production of that product. Emergy is thus a donor system of value because it measures contributions to production rather than willingness to pay. Multiple scales were simultaneously analyzed and compared to describe the event of ecotourism development on Bonaire and produce arguments in explanation after the fact. The recent economic growth on Bonaire was seeded by infrastructural investments from the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles that began in the 1950s. Development on Bonaire (and Curacao) is subsidized by the high-emergy inputs of crude oil from Venezuela, refined on Curacao. The results of these macro events on Bonaire have been a significant transformation of the island's social-economic hierarchy, which was lead by export industry growth in the 1970s, and followed by tourism in the 1980-90s. Tourism development has "filled-in" the economic hierarchy on Bonaire, fueling the emergence of many small and medium size businesses. In addition to these findings, this dissertation will measure and explain: (1) the "underdevelopment" of Peripheries worldwide, including Bonaire in particular, (2) sustainability, with a measure called "percent renewable", (3) structural complexification of an economy as it has undergone 50 years of development activity, (4) why households in a development context would abandon fishing and farming for participation in the market, (5) why wages are low, or sometimes high, in a development context, (6) a recommended development size with an index called "development intensity."
Subject: KEYWORDS: ecosystems, complex systems, ecological economics, ecotourism, economic development, Bonaire, economic strategies, hierarchy, scale, cultural evolution, systems ecology, emergy, Netherlands Antilles, world systems
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas Abel.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2000.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 662-675).
Additional Physical Form: Also available on the World Wide Web; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view and print PDF file.
General Note: Printout.
General Note: Abstract copied from student-submitted information.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 50750413
alephbibnum - 002673395
notis - ANE0595
System ID: UF00100747:00001

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ECOSYSTEMS, SOCIOCULTURAL SYSTEMS, AND ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS
FOR UNDERSTANDING DEVELOPMENT:
THE CASE OF ECOTOURISM ON THE ISLAND OF BONAIRE, N.A.
















By

THOMAS ABEL


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2000





























Copyright 2000

by

Thomas Abel




























This dissertation is dedicated to my parents, Marling and Marion Abel, and my brother
Bill and sisters, Maryanne and Sally. They have surrounded me with encouragement
and love these years.
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This Ph.D. process for me has had many twists and turns. Maybe surprisingly,

the final product has become close to what I envisioned while in the field. On my return

from the field, however, I discovered that I needed some more technical skills, and I still

had several fundamental theoretical differences with Dr. Odum about modeling "people

and culture." I therefore threw myself into improving my systems ecology skills.

Specifically, I learned simulation modeling, which I have used sparingly in the

dissertation, but which is an essential prerequisite for good systems diagramming and,

generally, for systems thinking. That is to say, systems principles make much more

sense after experiencing the modeling process. In order to address the "people and

culture" problem, I chose to apply systems modeling and simulation to one of the most

fundamental general models in anthropology, cultural evolution. This was the source of

my theoretical discussion that appears at the end of the dissertation. That exercise, I

feel, improved all the work that has come after. This last year has been nothing but

Bonaire, applying analysis to data, writing text, and assembling the pieces into a whole.

The book is an ending of sorts. Time for a new beginning.

I have many people to thank. I want to gratefully thank my chair, Dr. William

Keegan, for his enthusiastic support and encouragement these years. I am also very

grateful to the rest of my committee, Dr. H.T. Odum, Dr. Mark Brown, and Dr. James

Stansbury. I want to thank Dr. Marvin Harris, who was a committee member until only

recently when his ill health slowed him up. His writings were inspirational in my

undergraduate years, and his academic interrogations were always interesting. I also









want to add special thanks to H.T. Odum, whose work and energy have been no less

inspiring, and whose committed mentoring of students is just another of his great skills.

I would like to thank a few other professors for the efforts they put into conceiving

and producing some excellent classroom experiences here at UF. Thinking back, they

are C.S. Holling, Anthony Oliver-Smith, William Keegan, Ronald Cohen, M.J. Hardman,

and especially Robert Lawless, who was also the chair for my Masters degree. Dr.

Lawless as much as anyone inspired my first interest in anthropology with his fascinating

lectures and sharp insight and analysis.

I want to thank again my family for accepting and encouraging my interest in

anthropology. Together we have solved the world's problems in many conversations

and had fun in the process.

For my research I would like to thank the personnel at the Tourism Corporation

Bonaire for their helpfulness and encouragement, especially Lily-Anne Stewart-de Geus,

Jeanne Goeloe, Judy Diaz, Evelain Marchena, Rolando Marin, Gabrielle Nahr, Desi

Neuman, Jacqueline Soleana, Joanny Trinidad, Lorna Wanga, Diana Gevers, Elsemarie

Degruijl, and Ronnie Pieters. I want to thank the AAINA on Curacao for their technical

advice, especially Drs. Rose Marie Allen, Drs. Jeannine Evers, and Dr. Jay Haviser. I

want to thank the CBS for their advice and many reports, Drs. De Windt on Curacao,

and Eric Beeldsnijder on Bonaire. I want to thank Berny El Hage, and Evy van Arneman

at the Economics Office on Bonaire, and Papi Cicilia in the Culture Office. I want to

thank Eric Newton in the Environment Office. I want to thank Drs. Berben and especially

Rocky Emers at the LVV for sharing some of their knowledge about farms and farming

on Bonaire. I would like to thank DEPOS on Curacao. I would also like to thank all the

managers and business owners who granted my requests for formal interviews on

Bonaire.









Anthropologists depend on the assistance, good will, and hopefully interest and

enthusiasm of people who want to share with us a piece of their world. There were

many acquaintances and friends on Bonaire that made my research possible and that I

would like to thank. I want to thank Mimi Frans and family for their apartment and

kindness. I want to thank Francis and Diana Rosaria and kids for the same. I want to

thank Wesley Chirini for many fascinating conversations. I want to thank Ramon for

showing me his garden and making me feel welcome in Rincon. I have special thanks

for Vira Goeloe, Benny Anthony, Dolores Marseles, the Clarinda's, the Beaukenbom's,

the Finies's, and the Tyietyie's for the many visits to their farms. I want to thank Ada Zik

for her wonderful transcriptions. I want to thank Humphry (Gordo), Nochi, Boi and

Winston, Sisilio, Dooi, Billy the Kid, Peter at Mi Muchila, Ibi Pourier, George at Kabuya

Ranch, Al Catalfumo, Ria and Anthony, Mini Kroon, Ludson, Lourie Dovale, Captain Don

and Janet, Boi Antoin, and there are others. I want to thank all the persons who allowed

me to interview them for the survey. I have special thanks for Frido and everyone else

at the club, Jimmy, Carlos, James, Omar and Joan, Arti, Piet, Johan, Mockey, Rudy,

Micheal, Gidion, Evert, Lupita, and the others whose names I cannot recall.

I want to thank some friends of mine here at home for the encouragement and

fun they have shared with me these years. They are Chien Hui Huang, B.J. Brown, Jeff

Laskin, Bruce and Lisa Clary, Maureen Upshaw, Monya Dunlap, Jim Cobb, Donna

Romeo, David Price, Bryan Byrne, Scott Hill, Bunny Ingles, Silvia Romitelli, Linda

Criswell, Ann Stokes, Gifford Waters, Cheryl Katzmarzyk, Jon Dain, Kevin Paule, Gary

and Renee Magee, Han Jansen, Chris Clement, Dave Bishop, Tim Golden, Carol Abel,

Jeff Dunnivant, Donald Hipps, the Orlando Abel's, and my wonderful nieces and

nephews.

I would like to thank the Graduate School and DSR for keeping me employed

these years, and especially Dan Hanson for his interest and friendship.









Last, I would like to thank BageLand and Leonardo's for the countless hours that

I occupied their tables and drank their free refills.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

AC KNOW LEDG M ENTS .......................... .. ........... ......................... .................iv

LIS T O F T A B LE S ......... .............. ....................................................... .. ................. xvii

LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................xx

ABSTRACT ............................ .. ....... .................... ................. xxx

1 INTRO DUCTIO N ........................................ 1

Understanding Development.......................... ........ ............................ 4
E v o lu tio n ....................... ... .............. ... ................................................. . . 5
Purposes of the Study..................................................... 6
Methods Research ........................... ..... ................ 7
H y p o th e s is ....................... ... .............. ... .............. ..................................... . . 7
M methods ......... .. ......... ................. ....................................... 8
Results and Conclusions......................... ......... .................................... 8


SECTION I: AN ECOLOGICAL ETHNOGRAPHY................................. 10

2 BONAIRE IN THE CARIBBEAN ........................... .............................. 11

The Marine Setting................................. ................ 14
Terrestrial Bonaire .......................................... 16
Urban Bonaire................ ................................. 16

3 ECONOMIC HISTORY AND DEMOGRAPHY ................... .................. 18

The Amerindian Population .................................................................................. 19
The Spanish Reign .......................................... 20
The Dutch in the Caribbean .......................... ........................................ 21
The European Context........................................... ................ 28
Intensification of Production ....................... ... ...... ........ ................................ 31
Reclamation for Farming .................................................................................. 31
Merchant Shipping .......... ............................... 32
Salted Herring ............. ................................ ............. .. ......... 33
Textiles ................ ............ ................. ........ ........ ......... 34
Shipbuilding .... .................................... ....... ...... ............... 34
Banking and Finance .................... ........................ 35
The Industrial Era Coal, Oil and Natural Gas ................................... 36









The Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles in Brief ................................................ 38
B ona ire w within M multiple S ca les......................................................... .... ................ 40
The 1980s and 1990s ....................... ................. 42
Refineries..................... ................. ... ..................... 42
Tax Haven .............. ..................................................................... ......... ............... 43
Structural Adjustment Programs................... ...... ................ 43
Persevering in a Many-Scaled World Context .................................................. 44
Ecotourism at Appropriate Intensities......................... ... .......................... 46

4 HUMAN-ECO SYSTEM S O N BO NAIRE............................................... ... .................. 49

Bonaire's Natural Systems .................... ...................................................... 49
Natural Production in Arid and Semi-arid Regions of the World .............................. 51
D etritus and W ind .................................................. ..................... 53
Fertile Islands and Tera Pretu on Bonaire.................................... ............... .......... 54
P plants on B onaire ................................................................ 56
Drought-escaping........................ ................ 58
Drought-evading (avoiding) ....... .. .......................................... ..... ................ 59
Drought-resistant ............... .............. ............. ............. .......... 59
Drought-enduring .......................................... 60
P hreato phytes ....................................... ............................................................... 6 0
Animals on Bonaire..................... ...... ......... 61
Invertebrates .................................................................................. ......................... 61
Vertebrates ............................. ........................................ 62
G o a ts ....................... .................. ............................................. 6 8
Fodder Food for Goats ................................... ........ ................ 70
Farming on Bonaire .......................................... 72
Salinjas and Salt Lakes................................. ................ 76

5 KUNUKU: FARMING ON BONAIRE .............................. ................... 78

Farm Timelines and Rainwater .................... .................................... 85
Rain Tim line ................. ...... ... .. ............ ............... ...... 85
Fields Tim eline ........................................................... 86
W after Tim line ........ .................................................... ............................... 87
G oats Tim eline ........................................................... 88
W after Budget........................................................................................... 88
G oats on Farm s .................. .......................................................... ...... 90
S orghum ...................... ..... ... .. ........... ....... .. ........ ................ 94
Vegetables and Fruit...................................... .......... 97
Timber Export and Charcoal on Farms .................................... 98
Chickens ............................ .. ........... ....... ............ ......... 100
Iguanas .................................. ................ 101
Fishing ................ ......... ... .. ........ ... .......... ...... ...................... 106

6 ECONOMIC STRATEGIES--INTERVIEWS ............ ................... 113

M etho ds ......................................................................................... 1 14
Conducting the Interviews ......... .... ........... .................... ...... .......... 117
In tro d u c tio n ............................................................................................ 12 0
Interview Guide Questions, Issues, and Results ................................... 121









Current Employment ................. .............. .................... 121
Past Employment ............. ......... ....... .......... .......... 126
W working "Jobs", Being a Housewife .......................................... .... ................ 128
W working "Jobs" (Man, 33 yrs old) ......... ............. .............. ................ 131
Exchanging Labor ............................ ...... ............ ................. ............. 132
Getting Food Farming, Fishing and Foraging............... ....... .. ............... 133
Using Kunukus Today (W oman, 40)........ ................. .................... ................ 140
Buying Food, Utilities ......................... ....... ... .......................... 141
Houses Building, Owning, Renting, Taxes ........................................................... 143
Houses and Kunukus Living in Kunukus in the Past (Woman, 40) .................. 147
Cost of Living ....................... ...... . ......... ...... ........... 148
Salaries Not Keeping Up (W oman, 35)................................. 149
C changes in Your Life ......................... ........ ............... ......... ......... 149
T ourism D eve lo pm ent ................. ................. ........................ ................ 150
Development, Crime, and Foreigners (Man, 42)...................................... ............ 150
W ork, in G general ................. .. ...... .................................. ....... ... ...... 151
Bonairians Can Do Anything in Tourism (Woman, 42) .................................. 152
W ra p -U p ................ 1................. ................. 5................................ .. 1 4


SECTION II: EMERGY ANALYSES........................................................ ................ 156

7 HOUSEHOLDS AS SYSTEMS ....... ...... ......... ..................... ...... .......... 157

Household-Labor Production System........ ......... ... ................ ... ......... .... 159
Em ergy Analysis of Households......................... ..................... 162
Incomes and Emergy ............. ................... ..... ................... 175
Labor Output and Emergy per Dollar for W ages ................................. ....... ...... 178

8 BONAIRE W ITHIN WORLD SYSTEMS ............... ........ .................................... 180

N national Em ergy A nalyses ...................... .. ............. ..................... ................ 181
Bonaire Emergy Analysis, ca. 1995.................................................................. 182
Summary Diagrams for Bonaire and the Netherlands Antilles........................... 187
Summary Indices for Bonaire and the Netherlands Antilles............................... 192
National ecological economics .......... .. ....................... 193
Global ecological economics ........................... ........................................ 198
Bonaire within the US-EC-Japan W orld System .................................................. 201
Bonaire within the US-EC-Japan World System (Ver 2).................................... 203
Bonaire and the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles................................. 204

9 NATURAL SYSTEMS EMERGY.................................. ................ 206

Thorn Forest Production and Island Natural Sources ........... ...... ................... 208
Coastal System s.................................................. 210
Saliiias and Salt Lakes ........................... ........... ................. .... 212

10 WEB OF SOCIAL-ECONOMIC PRODUCTION SUBSYSTEMS .......................... 215

Production Subsystems on Bonaire .............................................. 219
Aggregated Social-Economic Production Subsystems........................................... 222









Alternative Web of Social-Economic Production Subsystems ................................ 225
Alternative Aggregated Diagram ............................ .. .... ................ 226

11 STONE AND SAND FOR CONSTRUCTING MATERIAL ASSETS....................... 228

Heavy Equipm ent Subsystem ......... ..................... ................. ... ...... .......... 230
Construction Subsystem ............ .. ................ ......... ..... ....................... 234
Stone Crushing Subsystem ................................. .............. 243
R oadw ay S ubsyste m ............................................ ............................................. 24 8

12 INTERNATIO NA L TRA DE ......... ............................ .................... ................ 253

The Core-Periphery Model Within States and Between..................... ............... 254
Resource Brokers ................................ ................ 255
Importing on Bonaire.................................. 256
Inter-Island Shipping .................. .. ................. ... ............ 259
The Port (Harbor and Piloting) ...... ............................ 262
Stevedoring and Agents ......... ... ........... .......................... 264
W wholesalers .............. ...... ............ ......... ............... .......... 267
Retailers.................... .............................. ......... 268
Export Industries on Bonaire .............. ... .................... ........................ 270
Oil Transshipment ..................................... 270
Salt W works .............. .......................................... ............ ................ 272
Radio Relay Stations..................................................... 275
Tourism .............. .............................................................. .................. ......... 276
Growth limits and tourism policy ........................................ 279
Emergy and the ecotourism product......................... ................... 283
Tourism intensity and sustainability .......... ... ......... ........ .... .......... 286
Five hotels com prison ......... .............. ............................. ................ 290
Inclusion policies and em ploym ent............... .. ....................... ........ ....... 295
A irp o rt ......... ..... ... ............... .................. ............................................... 2 9 8

13 STATES AND STATE GOVERNMENT ON BONAIRE .............. ................ 300

S states and State Elites.......................................................... ................ 302
T he S tate on B onaire ................................ ............... ..................................... 303
The State Equation and Financial Aid .................................... 305
Wage Labor Force .. ....... ............................... 305
Promotion of Industry ......... ...... ................ ......... 306
Intensification of Production ........................................ 307
C o nstructio n ........................................................................... 3 0 9
The State Equation, Land and Taxes ........................................... 310
Electricity Production ... ............................................................ 315
W after Desalination................................. ................................ 316
W aste M anagem ent...... ......... ........................... ................. ................ 318
The State as a Subsystem ......... ........ .......... .................. 319
Estimates of Emergy Inputs to Government ......... ... .................................. .. 319
Police/M military ................................................................ ............. . 319
Laws and courts .................... .... ..... ........ .. ................ 320
Taxes and finances ...................................... ................... .......... 320
Intensification of production................................... ................ 321









P rom otion of industry .................................................. ............... 32 1
W age labor force maintenance................................................. 321

14 SUMMARIZING THE WEB OF SOCIAL-ECONOMIC SUBSYSTEMS.................. 323

Constructing Web Hierarchy with Emergy Flows, Emergy Storages and Unit Counts
..................................... ................................ .......................................................... 3 2 4
Energy Hierarchy and Sociocultural Self-Organization........................................... 331


SECTION III: ISSUES AND DISCUSSION ........................................................ 340

15 SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL AND ECOLOGICAL
D Y N A M IC S ................................................. ...... ........... ...... 34 1

A Science of C om plex System s ...................................... ......................... .......... 341
P o ints fo r A nth ro p o lo g y ........................................................................... ................ 3 4 2
Comparing Ecological and Social Systems ............................................ .......... 345
W here's the Ecology? ............. .... ..... .... ............ . ........ ........ 346
Evolutionism in Anthropology................................... .......... .. ..... .............. 348
An "Arrow in Time": Direction and Teleology Reexamined ...................................... 351
The Fourth Law?: Maximum Empower................................. .............. 354
W hat's Evolutionary about Cultural Evolution? .................... ............. ................ 356
Cultural Evolution from an Ecology of Complexity ......... ................................ 359
Natural Resource Use and Re-Use in Ecosystems with Humans.......................... 361

16 EVOLUTION IN CULTURAL AND NATURAL SYSTEMS: APPLYING SYSTEMS
MODELING TO HUMANS AND CULTURE ................. ........ ...................... 366

Fam ily Level Foragers ................................ ........... ............... ............... 367
Plants and Anim als ...................... .................. ... ........... ........... 367
Storages of Natural Resources ...................... ................... ................ 368
Sources and Storages as Limiting Factors ......... ....................................... 369
Assets ............... .......... .. ............. ....... ............................ 369
Social Hierarchy ............................... ...................... 369
Cultural Models .................................. .... ................ 369
Recycle ............... ........................................ ........... ................ 370
H eat S ink ...... ........ ................................................................. ... .......... ... 370
Case Study: !Kung San Family Level Foragers ................................. ................. 371
Loca l G groups ........................................................... .................... . 372
Domesticated Plants and Animals........... ........... ............. .. .............. 373
Social Hierarchy ............ .................................. 373
L in e a g e s ................................................... 3 7 3
Public Ceremonies ................. .............. .................... 373
Charism atic Leader................................. ................ 374
C cultural M models .............................................................................. .................... 374
Case Study: "Highland" Yanomamo Local Group Village ................... .................. 374
C h iefd o m s .................. ................................................................................ 3 7 6
Irrig atio n A g ricu ltu re ......................................................................... 3 76
Plants and Animals .. ....... ............................... 377
L in e a g e s ......................................................... .... ................ 3 7 9









Social Hierarchy ................ .................................. 379
Redistribution ................................................... 379
A rchaic States........................................... ........... ......... 380
Case Study: Inka Empire (1463-1532) ......... .. ......................... ......... ... 381
Inka Elites ................ ........................ ........... ................ 382
Inka N on-Elites.................................................................................................... 384
Modern States and W orld Systems ................... ............................... ................ 385
Modern State and W orld System Elites.......... .............. .................. 388
Industry Elites ................................. 389
M military E lites ............. ............................. ................................................. 39 1
World System Non-Elites ......... ........... .............................. 392
State and World System Summary ......... ............. .............. ................ 393
Social Structural Hierarchy.................................... ................ 393
D division of Labor ................................................................. ............................... 393
A sse ts ........... ....... ........ .............................................................. ................. 3 9 4
People..................................... ................ 394
Storages and Pulsing ....... ........... ................................... 395
Initial Conditions, Competition for Resources, and the Self-Organization of World
S system s ....................................................................................... ...... ........ 397
US-Americas Cold War System ....................... ..................... 397
The Cold W ar W orld ......................................... ................................... 399
W orld System Simulation Results ........... ................... .. ........ 401
Current World Systems ................................................. 402
Idealized Future W orld Systems?................................................ 404
Actual Future? ............. ................................. 405
Are World Economies Already Running on Less? ................ ...... ......... 405
Hierarchy and Convergence in Markets .................... ................. 407
E early M a rkets ...................... ............................... ................. . ............. 408
A ncie nt T ow ns ........................ ........................ .................. . ............. 409
Factory T ow ns ......................... ........... ......................... . ............. 4 10
W world S system s ... .................................................................. . ............. 4 12

17 LIMITED RESOURCES AND THE RISE AND FALL OF WORLD CIVILIZATIONS 414

Environmental Production ............ ......... ......... ......... .......... ................ 416
People and Culture ............................................ .................. 417
Other Initial Storage and Flow Values ....... .................... .............. 418
Cultural Evolution Simulation Results ................................ ........... 418
Sustainability of the Agriculture Consumption Pathway ................. ............ ....... 420
Population Pressure and Self-O rganization..................................................... 422
The last growth industries of the post-industrial capitalist economies................... 425
Inelastic demand ............ .... ......... .......... ................ 426
A addictive Products ............................................... ................ ................ 426
Low or no M material Inputs ........ ..... ................................... ..... ................ 426
Commodities that Directly Amplify the Capture of Assets by Elites................... 427
Defense of Private Property / Coercion ..................... ............... 427
Maintenance of World System Inflows........................... ... ................ 427

18 ENERGY ACCOUNTING AS AN ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS ......................... 429

Macroeconomics and Environmental Accounting.................................................. 430









New Assumptions for an Ecological-Economic Model...................................... 433
G ross Dom estic Product, G DP........................................................... 434
Land-Based Industries, Law, Property, and Coercive Force.................................. 436

19 SOCIOCULTURAL SELF-ORGANIZATION ................................................. 440

Diagram m ing Sociocultural Systems............................................. .......... ...... 440
Autocatalytic M odules .............................................. .. 441
Depreciation and Heat Sink......................................................... 442
Producers and Consum ers........................ ..................................................... 443
The Primacy of Infrastructure vs. Sociocultural Self-Organization ...................... 444
Infrastructure............................................... 446
Turnover Tim e ................................................................... .. 449
Selection at Multiple Scales within Sociocultural Systems................. ................ 451
Storage and Flows .................. .. ............. ... ........... 451
Autocatalytic Modules ................................................ .............. ...... ....... 453
Interaction and the Production of Sociocultural Systems................................... 453
Sociocultural Systems within Ecosystems........................................ 454
T u rno ve r tim e s ................. .......................................................... 4 5 4
Cultural Models ... .......................................... ....... .......... 455

20 HIERARCHY IN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE ............................. 457

H hierarchy ............... ............... ... ... ........................... .......... 457
Language ............................................ ........... 458
Phonology ....................... ...... .............. .......................... 458
M orphology .............. ..................... ............... ........ ..... ......... 459
S yntax....................................................... .................. 459
T territory .............. ............. ...... .. ................... .......... ......... 460
Tim e..................................... ......... ........... 460
Convergence ............................. ................ 460
Feedback ................. ......... ....................... ................... 460
Sym bolic Culture.................................................. 461
Cultural Themes ................................................. 461
Cultural Models ................... ........ ...................................... 462
Ecological (and Social) Engineering.......................................... 464
Science and Cumulative "Information"................................. 465
Language and Symbolic Culture ................................... 465
Pragmatics W hat's the payoff? ........................................... .................. 466

21 HOW SYSTEMS ECOLOGISTS HAVE MODELED HUMANS AND CULTURE..... 468

Structural-Functional vs. Evolutionary Models.................................. 468
A Need for More Space and More Context ...................................... 471
Suggestions ................ ............. .................... .... .............. 473
Needing an Ecology that is Cultural Ecology................................. 474
S suggestions ............................ ................................ 476
Modern States Need (Cultural) Ecology Too .............. ................................ .. 477
Economy ic Sectors .............................................. ................ ................ 478
In s titu tio n s ................................................................................................. 4 7 9
Inform action .......................... ................................ ....... ....... 480









Summary of this Discussion and Critique................... ..... ................. 481
W hat's In It for Anthropologists? .................................. 481

22 CONCLUSIONS ....... ........... ............... ................ .... ............ 483

Island and International Scale ........ ............................................................... 485
Sustainability ........ ................................................................... 490
The Underdevelopment of Peripheries................................ ... ................... 490
Intra-lsland W eb of Economic Production ................ .......................................... 494
The Structural Complexification of an Economy ...... ...... ......... ........................ 494
Using Stone and Sand ....................................................... 499
Households and the Production of Labor .......................... .......... ................... 500
Farming or Wage Labor? .................................. 502
W hy are W ages Low (or High)? ....... ........................................ ................ 502
E cotourism on B onaire .............................................. ................. 503
W hat S ize D evelopm ent? ................................. ............................................. 506
Three Questions about Development................................................. 507
W hy not farm? ....................................................................... ......... ....... .... ......... 507
The Slow Bake? ...... ....................... ......... ......... 509
Ecotourism as a W edge? .................. ............. ... ................ 511
Summing Up Theory and Methods .................................. 512
Other Ecologies ................. ....... .......... ......... 512
Other Evolutions ................. ....... ... ................ 513
Other Systems Ecologies ......... ......... ................. .... ................ 515
Sum Up..... ..................................................................... 515

APPENDICES

A BONAIRE SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS .................. ................................ 517

B THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS....................... 527

C MACROECONOMIC DATA FOR BONAIRE ............................. ................ 537

Expenditure A pproach...................... .. ............. .. ................... ................ 537
The Sectoral O rigin of G DP.................................................................... 538
Emergy Sources Flowing into the Bonaire Economy................................... 539
M missing Num bers ............. ..... ............. ............. .. .. ....... ......... 539
Imports to Bonaire............................................ 539
F u e ls ............. ......... .. .............. .. ................................................... 5 4 0
U n-R reported T rade ...................... ........................... .... ............................... 541

D NATURAL SYSTEMS EMERGY ANALYSIS .......................... ............... 542

D2 COASTAL SYSTEMS ANALYSIS ......................................... ................ 547

E WATER BUDGET EMERGY ANALYSIS................................................ 551

F HOUSEHOLDS SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS ............................... ................ 553

G HEAVY EQUIPMENT SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS....................... ................ 560









H CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS ........................... ............. 564

I ROCK CRUSHING SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS ............................................... 569

J ROADWAY SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS ............. ......................... ............... 573

K INTER-ISLAND SHIPPING SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS............... ........... 578

L PORT SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS................................................. ................ 583

M STEVEDORING SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS................................. 588

N W HOLESALERS SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS.................................................... 593

O RETAIL SALES SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS..................... ..................... 598

P OIL TRANSHIPPMENT SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS.................. ................ 603

Q SALT WORKS EMERGY ANALYSIS............... _..................................... 607

R RADIO RELAY STATIONS EMERGY ANALYSIS........ ................................... 611

S TOURISM INDUSTRY SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS....................................... 615

T AIRPORT SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS ................................................... 622

U WEB ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS..................... 627

V WEB WATER PRODUCTION SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS............................... 631

W WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS ..................................... 635

X BANKING SYSTEM EMERGY ANALYSIS............................... ................... 638

Y POURIER REPORT: ENGLISH VERSION SUMMARY.................................... 641

Z NATIONAL TOURISM POLICY .................. ................ ................ 645

AA BONAIRE 1950s EMERGY ANALYSIS....................... ............. ...... 652

BB AMERINDIAN BONAIRE EMERGY ANALYSIS....................... ................. 655

CC PO PULATIO N VA LUES................................................. ............................. 657

DD SIM ULATIO NS ....... .. ...................................................... ............... 660

LIST O F REFERENCES ......................... ..................... 662

BIO G RA PH ICA L S KETC H ...................... .. ...................................... ................ 675
















LIST OF TABLES



Table Page

1: Renewable Resources for Households ........................ ......... .................. 165

2: Slow Renewable Island Sources....... ........ ........... .............................. 167

3: Non-Renewable Island Sources....... ........ ........... ......... ............... 169

4: Imported Emergy and Island Technology Sources ......... ..... ................................... 171

5: Emdollar Values for Emergy Flows ....... .. ................... ......... ............... ..... ........... 174

6: Constructed Household Hierarchy .................................................. 177

7: Output and "Emergy per Dollar"........... .... .... .. ......... ........................ 178

8 : R e new able Isla nd S sources ........................................................................................... 183

9: Slow-Renewable Island Sources ...................................................... 184

10: Non-Renewable Island Sources................................. ................ 184

11: Im ported Em ergy ............ ............................ ....... ...................... 185

12: Emergy of Exports ....................... ..... ... .................. ................ 186

13: Em ergy Indices for N nations ......... ................. ................................... ................ 193

14: Emergy User per Person ......................................... . .................................. 194

15: Economic/ Environmental Ratio ........ ......... ......... ......................... 197

16: Percent Renewable Emergy (Environmental Loading) ............................................ 198

17: G row th Lim its ................. ................................................ ............... . ..... . .. 28 1

18: Policies that Promote the Inclusion of Bonairians in Development .............................. 281

19: Features of the State on Bonaire .................................. ...................... 304

20: Total Island Tax Revenues ('1000 NAf).................................... ........... ............... 311



xvii









21: Land as Property (Part I)..... ...................................... 313

22: Land as Property (Part II)............................................... 314

23: S torages of !K ung S an Foragers....................................................... .... ................ 372

24: Storages of the Trobriand Islanders .................... ... ........................... 378

25: S torages of Inka Em pire .............................................. ........... .... ................ 381

26: S storage of Inka E lites ....................................................... 383

27: Storages of Inka Non-Elites ........................................................... ................ 384

28: S torages of a W world S system .......................................................................... ..... 388

29: Storages of W orld System Elites............................ ................... ................... 390

30: Storages of W orld System Non-Elites .......................................... ................... 392

31: Trade Goods in Early Markets .......................................... ................ 409

32: Trade Goods in Ancient Towns .............................. ................ ................ 410

33: Trade Goods in Factory Towns .............................. ................ ................ 411

34: Trade Goods of World Systems .................................. ....... ................ 413

35: Efficiency Calibrations ........................................... .......... 417

36: Turnover Tim e C alibrations .................................................................................... 418

37: Storages within a Sociocultural System .................................. 452

38: Em ergy Indices for N nations .................................................... ................................ 488

39: Percent Renewable Emergy (Environmental Loading) .............................................. 489

40: GDP by Expenditure Approach .................................................. ...... ................ 537

4 1: S ectoral O rigin of G D P .............................. ............ ...... ..................... . ............. 538

42: Bonaire Merchandise Adjusted ...................................................... 540

43: Household Incom e Estim ates ............................................................................. 559

44: Intensity Ratios Five Hotel Comparison .................................... ............... 620

45: Tourism Statistics ............... .............. ................................................... 620

46: Bonaire Population D ata .............................. ..................................... ................ 657



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47: Netherlands Population Data .................................. ................ ................ 658
















LIST OF FIGURES



Figure Page

1: K ite Flying C ontest................................. ............... ...... 1

2: The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean..................................... 11

3: The Leeward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.................................... 12

4: Bonaire Topography ...................... ............... ................. .. ................ 13

5: S eru G randi Lim estone T errace .......................................................... ... .................. 14

6: Topography and Soils .......... .......................... ..... ........................ 15

7: Brandaris the Highpoint of the Island (240 m) ......................................... .......... 16

8: Major Urban Areas...... ................................. ................ 17

9: Population of Bonaire..................................................... ............... 18

10: Bonaire Population since Contact ....... ....... ........ .................... ..... ........... 20

11: Population of the Leeward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba................... 22

12 : P plantations ................. ... ............................................ ... . ... .... . ..... 25

13: Bonaire's Population in the Last 200 Years....................................... ..................... 26

14: Population of the N etherlands .............................. ............................. ................ 29

15: Netherlands Population in Log Scale ........................................ ........................ 30

16: Netherlands Population Since 1500 ............................ ................ ........ ..... 33

17: Population Densities, Metropolitan Areas Comparison......................................... 47

18: T horn Forest V vegetation ......................................................... ......... ................ 49

19: C coastal E ecosystem s ............... ............................ ......... ............................. 50

20: Short-Lived Rainfall Collected in Dams ......... ................................ 51









2 1: K adushi C and le C actus .............................................. ........................................... 52

22: Fertile Soil (tera pretu) under Vegetation. ............ ................................... ........... 54

23: Plowed Fields ..................... .................. ............................. 55

24: Coastal Systems Include Mangroves at Lac Bay .............................. ............ .... 57

25: Sorghum in a Kunuku. ................................................ ......................... ....... 58

26: Yatu Candle Cactus and Aloe vera ................................... .. ................ 59

27: Iguana (Iguana iguana) ............. ........ ............ ............ ... ..... ........... 61

28: Colorful Lizard (Cnemidophorus murinus ruthveni) .............. ...... ................ 63

29: C ountless Lizards on Bonaire ............................................................................. 64

30: Donkeys Graze Freely over Much of Bonaire......................................................... 66

31: Goats Are Flexible Browsers.................. ............................ 68

32: Goats on the Move.................................... ................ 69

33: Mesquite Can Provide Fodder for Goats................................... .............. 71

34: A Kunuku (Farm ) ......................................................................... ............... ............... 72

35: Pulling S orghum for G oat Fodder........................................................... ................ 73

36: Charcoal Is Still Produced in Smaller Quantities ............................................ 75

37: Salt Lakes Support Rare Flamingo Breeding Populations............................. ....... 76

38: S alinjas A re U usually D ry ........................................................................ ................ 77

39: Mondi and Kunuku's North of Playa (foreground)........................ ..... .............. 78

40: Kunuku Lands............................................. ................ 79

41: Kunuku System. ................ ................. ....... ................ 81

42: Many Kunukus Are Fenced With Cactus (Yatu) .................................................. 82

43: K unuku H house w ith C istern...................... .. ............. ........................ ................ 83

44: Feeding G oats and C hickens...................... .. ............. ...................... ................ 84

45: Kunuku Timelines ............ .. ... ........... ... ......... .. ................... 85

46: A Large Dam Holds Rainwater for Weeks or Months ................................................ 86



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47: Water Brought to the Kunuku with a Truck................... ......... .......... ............ 87

48: Goat Browsing Is Tolerated by Bonairians ................ ............................... ............ 88

49: Water Budget, the Mondi, and Kunuku's............................ ............................ 89

50: S system for R raising G oats ............. ...................................................... ... ....... 90

51: G oats Eating in a Sorghum Field ........................................... ........................... 91

52: S orghum H ay for G oats ...................... .. ............. ............................. ................ 92

53: Farmer and His Sheep......................................... ............ 93

54: G row ing S orghum ...................... .. .. ......... .. .. .. ....... ............................. 95

55: S orghum (m aishi chikitu) ........... ......... .. .............. .. ........................ ................ 96

56 : G row ing Fruit and V egetables........................................................... ... .. ................ 97

5 7 : C h a rc o a l P it ............. ......... .. .............. .. ................................................... 9 9

5 8 : M a k in g C h a rco a l ............. ......... .. .............. .. ............................................. 9 9

5 9 : R a is in g C h ic ke n s ............. ......... .. .............. .. ............................................ 10 0

60: Iguanas Are Often Kept Alive Until Eaten................. ..................... 101

61: Iguanas Caught for Food ............ ............................... 102

62: M an w ith Iguanas Tied to His Bike ...................... ....................... ........ ................ 104

63: Fishing, Pleasure, and Live-in Boats ........................................ 107

64: Major Coastal Systems are the Fringing Reefs and Lac Bay Estuary.......................... 111

65: C conducting Interview s.. .............. ......... ................................. ................ 116

66: Selected Responses to First Half.................................... 141

67: Selected Responses to Second Half ................................ ................ 155

6 8 : T yp ica l H o u se ............. ......... .. .. ......... .. ........ ......... ......................................... 15 7

69: Other Typical Houses ............ ........... ........ .......................... 158

70: Household System ................ ...... .................. ....................... ................ 160

71: New er M middle C lass Housing ...................... .. ............. .................... ................ 163

72: Sorghum Production Depends on Rainfall ................ ........................... ............... 164



xxii









73: Corralled Goats Fed with Sorghum Hay................................. 165

74: Waves, Wind, Tide, and Currents Emergy Converge on the East Coast..................... 166

75: Eroded Topsoil is a Cost of Developm ent ................. ........................................... 168

76: Volcanic Rock is Mined for Construction ....................................... ................ 169

77: Propane G as for Households............................................................ ................ 170

78 : H household E m ergy Inflow s ...................................... .............................................. 172

79: Household Emergy Flows Summary ................................ .... ................ 173

80: Household Incom e and Em ergy Inflows................. ................................................ 176

81: Bonaire w within W world System s ............................................................... ................ 180

82: National Systems Diagram of Bonaire................................................. 182

83: Emegy Sources and Storages of Bonaire ................................ 186

84: Overview Diagram of Bonaire, ca. 1995........................................................... .......... 187

85: Bonaire T hree-A rm D iagram .................................................................. ................ 188

86 : B o naire E m ergy F low s ..................................................... ...................................... 189

87: Three-Arm Diagram for Bonaire, ca. 1955 ................ ........................................... 189

88: O ld-fashioned House (Kas'iAntes) ...................................... ........................ .......... 190

89: Millstone ................................ .......................... 190

90: Three-Arm Diagram for the Netherlands Antilles, ca. 1995 ................................. 191

91: Netherlands Antilles Em ergy Flows ................................................................ .... 192

92: PDV SA Refinery on C uracao ................................................................. ................ 194

93: Urban Population of Curacao................................. ................ 195

94: Bonaire within the US-EC-Japan W orld System ...................................................... 202

95: Bonaire within the US-EC-Japan World System (Ver 2)............................................. 203

96: Bonaire in D utch C context .................................................... .................................. 204

9 7 : N o rthe ast C o a st................................................................................................ 2 06

98: Bonaire Natural Systems ........... ............................... 207


xxiii









99: Thorn Forest (Mondi) Ecosystem ......... .......................................................... 209

100: C coastal S ytem s................................ .............. ....... 2 11

101: East Coast Coral Reefs ............................... ................................. ................ 212

10 2 : S a li a s a n d S a lt La ke s ............................................................................................. 2 13

103: A Large Salt Lake in the Northwest (Gotomeer)......................................... 214

104: Web of Social-Economic Production ................................. 215

105: Em ergy Inflows per Establishm ent.................................................... .................. 217

106 : P reduction S ubsystem .......................................... ............................................... 2 19

107: Aggregated Social-Economic System .................................. 223

108: Web of Social-Economic Production (Ver 2) .................................. ................ 226

109: Aggregated Social-Economic System (Ver 2) ................................ ................ 227

110: Stone and Sand on Bonaire ......... ................. ................................ ................ 228

111: R ock and S and T ruck ....................................................................................... . 230

112: Heavy Equipment Subsystem ...................................................... 231

113: Backhoe Loader................................. ............... ...... 232

114: Typical Construction Site ............................... ............................... ................ 235

115: P professional C construction ..................................... ............................................... 236

116: Ship with Cement. .............. ................................. 237

117: Volcanic Sedim ents Q uarry................................................ ............................. 238

118: Ripped Volcanic Sedim ents .................................................. ................ 239

119: Public Housing ................ ............ ......................... ........... . 241

120: Construction Systems Diagram ........ ............................................................... 242

12 1: Large Lim esto ne Q uarry ........................................................................................... 244

122: Stone Crushing Systems Diagram .................................. 245

123: Sm aller Lim stone Q uarry .............................. ... ...................................... 246

124: Stone C rushing Plant ......... .... ................................... ............... 247



xxiv









125: Limestone for Fill............................................... ................ 248

126: Roadways System s Diagram ............................................................................ 249

127: Road to Rincon ..................................................................... ..... 250

128: R oad in the P ark ......................................................... 250

12 9 : N ew R oad S ubbase ...................................................... ....................................... 2 5 1

130: A asphalt M machine ..................................................... 252

131: Stone and S and for A asphalt ................................................................. ................ 252

132: Importing on Bonaire ........... ................................. 253

133: C ore-Periphery M odel .................................................... ..................................... 254

134: Hierarchy and Convergence in Trade with Bonaire ................................. ............. 255

135: Importing Subsystems on Bonaire .................................. 257

136: Importing Subsystems Including Feedback Services ............................................. 258

137: Inter-Island Shipping .............................................................. ....... 260

138: Inter-Island Container Shipping................................ ............... 261

139: Tugboat of the Bonaire Harbor and Piloting ................ ......................................... 263

140: Cruise Ship at one of Cruise Piers .................................. 264

141: Rice Boat at one of the Cruise Piers ................................. 265

142: G iant Autom obile Ship at a Cruise Pier ...................................... ....... ................ 266

143: Retail "Snack"...................................................................... ........ ....... 268

144: Another Snack (and Lottery Store).................................................. ...... .......... 269

145: O il Transshipm ent Term inal ............................................... ............................. 270

146: O il Term final from the Air ............................... .......... ......... ................ 271

147: M mountains of Crystallized Salt......................................................... 272

148: S alt W orks P ier ............................. .............. ....... ............................ 273

149: Salt W orks Systems Diagram ...................................................... 274

150: Short-wave Antenna Array of Radio Netherlands on Bonaire.................................. 275



xxv









15 1: S cuba D giving E cotourism ........................................................................... ..... ...... 277

152: S tay-over T tourists ....................................................... 278

153: Washington Park Nature Tourism ................................. ..... ................ 280

154: Cruise Ship Tourism ....... ....... ............................... 282

155: Ecotourism System s D iagram ......................................................................... .... 284

156: Annual Emergy Inflows to the Tourism Industry ............................. ............... 285

157: Lodging for Higher-end Dive Tourists................................. ..................................... 288

158: Subsystem Intensity Ratios ........................................... ........ .... ................ 289

159: Hotel Em ergy Inflows from Utilities.................................... ................ 291

160: Coastal Hotel Properties .............................. ................................... ................ 292

16 1: Intensity R atios of H hotels ................................................. ............................... 293

162: Airport with ALM and KLM Aircraft ..................... ..................... 299

163: Politicians and the Assets of Government............... .............. ..................... 303

164 : F inancia l A id ................................................... 306

165: Financial Aid Em ergy .............. ............................. ........................................... 308

166: Aid for Projects with Construction Components ............................. ............... 310

167: W after and Electric Plant............................ ................. .................... ................ 315

168: W E B from A above ....................................................... ................ 3 16

169: Landfill W aste to be Buried ............................................... .............................. 318

170: Energy Transformation Hierarchy ................................. ..... ................ 323

171: Total A annual Em ergy Inflow s ............................................................................ 325

172: Em ergy Inflows Per Establishm ent......................... .................................... ....... 326

173: Annual Emergy Inflows per Locally Owned Establishment..................................... 327

174: Count of Production Subsystem s ............... .............. .................. ............. ........ 328

175: Count of Production Subsystems (from Emergy Analyses) ....................................... 329

176: Log Count of Production Subsystems (from Emergy Analyses) ............................... 330



xxvi









177: Number of Subsystems (Historical Count, Log Scale)............................................. 331

178: Social-Econom ic W eb 1950 ........... ......... ............... ..................... ................ 333

179: Social-Econom ic W eb 1970 ....................... ............... ..................... ................ 333

180: Social-Econom ic W eb 1985 ....................... ............... ..................... ................ 334

181: Social-Econom ic W eb 1995 ....................... ............... ..................... ................ 334

182: Energy Hierarchy ........................... ......................................................... 335

183: Production System Hierarchies ....... .. .... ............ ....................... ................ 336

184: Aggregated Social-Economic W eb 1995.................................................. ............ 337

185: Multiple Stable States ..... .................................. ....... .......... 338

186: Hierarchy and Scale in an Ecosystem......................................................... 351

187: Holling's Diagram of Ecosystem Processes ................ ......................................... 352

189: Odum's Diagram of Self-Organization ................................ ....... ............. 355

19 1: F a m ily Leve l F o ra g e rs .............................................. ........................................... 36 8

192 : !K ung S an Foragers ................................................... .......... ........... ...... 37 1

193: "Highland" Yanomamo Family and Village Local Group............ ...................... 375

194: Trobriand Islanders Simple Chiefdom .................................. 377

195: Archaic State ........................................ 380

1 9 6 : In k a E lite s ........... .. ..... ................................................. .................. 3 8 2

197: Inka Non-Elites ........................................... 384

196: A W world System ...................................................................... 386

199: W orld System Elite Corporate Production ................ ............................ ................ 389

200: World System Non-Elite Occupational Groups................................. 392

199: US-Americas Cold W ar System .................................. ...................... 398

200: Cold War World ........................................ 400

201: Sim ulation Run .......................................... 401

202: C current W world System s .......................... .. ..................................... ................ 403



xxvii









203: Idealized Future World Systems? .................................. 404

204: A actual Future? .................................................................. 406

205: Early M arket................................................. 409

2 06 : A ncie nt T ow ns ......................................................................... 4 10

207: Factory T ow ns .................................................................. 4 11

208: W world S system .................................................... 4 12

209: Aggregated Diagram of Cultural Evolution ............................................................. 414

210: Evolution S im ulation Details...................................... ................. ................ 415

211: Simulation Run 1 ..... ....................... ........................ 419

2 12 : S im ulation R un 2 ....................................................................... 42 1

2 13: S im ulation R un 3 ....................................................... ................ 422

216: World Energy Consumption and Population Growth ............................................... 423

215: World Energy Consumption per Person ................. ..................... ................ 424

216: The C circular Flow of Incom e ................ ............................................................. 429

2 17: A H ierarchy of "H ouseholds"............................................................................ .... .. 43 1

218: Flows of Em ergy and Incom e........................................................ 432

219: G D P and Em ergy in a Nation ............................................................... ................ 435

220: A S im ple N action M odel....................................................... ............................. 437

221: Nation and Land Based Industries .................................. 438

222 : Linear F low s and S storage .......................................................................... ..... ...... 440

223: A utocatalytic M odule ................. .......................................... ........ .... ........ 441

224: Consumer Module.......... ........................................... ................ 442

225: Producers and Consum ers ............................................... .............................. 443

226 : S ociocultural S system ........................................... ................................................ 445

227: Components of a Sociocultural System................................ .................. 447

228: H hierarchy in Language .................................................... ........ ................. 459



xxviii









229: H ierarchy in Sym bolic C culture .............................................................. ................ 462

230: C om ponents of C culture .................................................... .................................... 463

231: A Farm in Arkansas .......................................... 471

232: Java H om e G arden ............................................................ ............................. 473

2 33 : M ao ri C hiefdom ........................................................................ 4 74

234: Egyptian S tate .................................................................. 476

2 3 5 : M o d e rn S tate .......................................................................... 4 78

236 : Institutions in the U S ................. ........................................ ................ 479

237: National Systems Diagram of Bonaire................................ .................. 485

238: Overview Diagram of Bonaire, ca. 1995....................... ...... ................. 486

239: F financial A id E m ergy ........... ......................................................... . ............. 487

240: Bonaire within the US-EC-Japan World System................................. 491

241: Bonaire in D utch C context ............................ ................... ................................. 492

242: Web of Social-Economic Production ................................. 494

243: Aggregated Social-Economic System .................................. 495

244: Production System Hierarchies ............................................................ ................ 496

245: M multiple S table S states ................ ....................................................................... 497

246: Energy Transformation Hierarchy .................................. 498

247: Stone and Sand on Bonaire ................................................................. ................ 499

248: Household System ................................... .......................... .... .... ............ 501

249: Household Em ergy Flows Sum m ary .................................... ........... ................... 502

250: Stay-over Tourists ................. ................. ........................... ........... 504

251: Ecotourism System s D iagram ......................................................................... .... 505

252: Intensity Ratios of Hotels .............................. ................................ ................ 507








xxix
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

ECOSYSTEMS, SOCIOCULTURAL SYSTEMS, AND ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS
FOR UNDERSTANDING DEVELOPMENT:
THE CASE OF ECOTOURISM ON THE ISLAND OF BONAIRE, N.A.

By

Thomas Abel

December 2000


Chairman: Dr. William F. Keegan
Major Department: Anthropology

The occurrence of economic development associated with ecotourism on the

island of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles is described in this dissertation and

evaluated with a form of ecological economics known as emergy accounting. Emergy is

an alternative currency that places all products of world ecosystems on one scale, based

on the human-ecological work that contributed to the production of that product. Emergy

is thus a donor system of value because it measures contributions to production rather

than willingness to pay.

Multiple scales were analyzed simultaneously and were compared to describe

the event of ecotourism development on Bonaire and produce arguments in explanation

after the fact. The recent economic growth on Bonaire was seeded by infrastructural

investments from the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles that began in the 1950s.

Development on Bonaire (and Curacao) is subsidized by the high-emergy inputs of

crude oil from Venezuela, refined on Curacao. The results of these macro events on

Bonaire have been a significant transformation of the island's social-economic hierarchy,









which was lead by export industry growth in the 1970s, and followed by tourism in the

1980-90s. Tourism development has "filled in" the economic hierarchy on Bonaire,

fueling the emergence of many small and medium size businesses.

In addition to these findings, this dissertation will measure and explain: (1) the

"underdevelopment" of Peripheries worldwide, including Bonaire in particular, (2)

sustainability, with a measure called "percent renewable", (3) structural complexification

of an economy as it has undergone 50 years of development activity, (4) why

households in a development context would abandon fishing and farming for

participation in the market, (5) why wages are low, or sometimes high, in a development

context, (6) a recommended development size with an index called "development

intensity."















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


Figure 1: Kite Flying Contest
Available energies attract use by people and nature. Strong and incessant trade winds
have long been harnessed by Bonairians for sailing, fishing, windmill pumps, natural air
conditioning, and kite flying, each refined to skillful end.



How can you do holistic science halfway? We say a whole is more than the sum

of its parts. With the intensifying global nature of human affairs this has never been

more true. The so-called developing countries cannot be fully understood without

placing them in the context of developed countries, international markets, historical

circumstance, and world energy supplies. At a smaller scale, development choices

within developing countries cannot be evaluated thoroughly without situating them in

ecosystems and national economies that channel material resources, exports, and

waste by-products. Finally, people, work, and households, cannot be sufficiently









understood without adequately locating them within this national or regional ecological-

economic context.

It was therefore the intention of this research from its inception to pick a

manageable topic and research site and to evaluate it within whole systems at multiple

scales. Bonaire is a small island, and ecotourism development is a single event (with

instances worldwide) that has transformed the lives of Bonairians for the last 15 years.

While some social researchers make efforts to describe the "setting" of their fieldwork, it

can be argued that without explicit methods that give the researcher analytic tools to

address multiple scales and academic disciplines, their efforts are incomplete.

Few scientific methods attempt to traverse spatial and temporal scales, and

especially disciplinary boundaries (see CHAPTER 15 for further discussion). Our

scientific tradition often tends in the opposite direction, toward reductionist, experimental

and narrowly disciplinary work. As the ecologist C.S. Holling (Holling 1995:12)

contends, the single-scaled, disciplinary approach is valuable for some problems or

questions that are addressed by science and the public, i.e., molecular biology or

genetic engineering. However, we have many more questions for which this approach is

simply inadequate, i.e., questions about weather, ecosystems, and much of human

social behavior. By contrast, a few approaches to science are interdisciplinary,

integrative, historical, analytical, comparative, and experimental (at appropriate scales).

Examples are ecology, evolutionary biology, global climate science, and systems

science. The last century has seen the social sciences pushed and pulled between

these poles, and even beyond into literature and the humanities.

This dissertation research uses methods from this second stream of science to

address the multiple-scaled contexts and consequences of ecotourism development on

Bonaire. Methods for the research come from systems ecology and emergy analysis, as

they have been devised by H.T. Odum, his colleagues, and students, over the last 40









years (Odum 1971, Odum and Odum 1976, Odum 1983, Odum 1996a, Hall 1995, Odum

and Odum 2000). Odum has studied systems of countless variety, and has worked to

produce theory and methods to explain them. His intention has been to identify general

principles for natural systems at all scales (Odum 2000). His methods are quantitative,

with precision that is appropriate to capture determinant processes at each scale. His

focus is energy and the transformations of energy in ecosystems and other self-

organizing systems, which applies to all scales in nature.

This dissertation research is therefore broad in scope and simultaneously

directed to multiple scales of analysis. In order to deal with large scales, appropriate

units and details of analysis are chosen.

The results of this research are not typical to the reductionist stream of science.

Systems science does not expect disproof by experiment, and ultimate agreement by

the scientific community. Natural, complex systems must be evaluated not by

experiment, but by case studies of undirected transformations of whole systems, as with

the emergence of ecotourism on Bonaire. Peer assessment and judgement, not

unanimous agreement, are the final measure of this type of research (see CHAPTER 15

for further discussion).

The dissertation is divided into three sections. They are "An Ecological

Ethnography," "Emergy Analyses," and "Issues and Discussion." The first two sections

are the heart of the empirical research and evaluation. The section of Emergy Analyses

is further divided into three scales: Households, the island-international scale, and the

web of corporate production between these two poles. The last section, Issues and

Discussion, elaborates on and discusses the issues of emergy analysis, evolution,

complex systems, self-organization, hierarchy and scale, which are all raised by the

dissertation fieldwork and analysis that precedes them. This section is referenced









countless times by the prior two sections, and thus also serves as a defacto appendix to

them.


Understanding Development

The impacts of economic "development" are many and manifold. Development

transforms people and nature simultaneously at multiple spatial and temporal scales. It

invariably captures the natural production and mineral resources of less-developed

countries and funnels them into the global economy. What do they get in return? How

does development ripple through an economy (and ecology), transforming the economic

strategies of people and their relationships with nature? Ecological economics is a

quantitative alternative to economic analysis that can address these questions. It aims

to locate economic behavior within its ecological context, incorporating environmental

limits and multi-scaled impacts. Emergy analysis is a form of ecological economics, or

environmental accounting, that provides means to evaluate national economies and

natural systems with quantitative measures (Odum 1996a). Emergy is a donor system

of value because it represents what is put into a thing rather than what can be received

for a thing (Brown and Ulgiati 1999). Emergy is a single currency that can represent

flows or storage of energy, materials, goods or services. Emergy is first and foremost a

systems concept, which was constructed from the systems principles of self-

organization, hierarchy, scale, pulsing, and others. In his recent book, Environmental

Accounting, Odum expressed his hopes for emergy analysis:

Whereas environmental issues are now characterized by adversarial
decision making, rancor, and confusion, these conflicts may not be
necessary in the future. A science-based evaluation system is now
available to represent both the environmental values and the economic
values with a common measure. Emergy, spelled with an "m," measures
both the work of nature and that of humans in generating products and
service. By selecting choices that maximize emergy production and use,
policies and judgements can favor those environmental alternatives that
maximize real wealth, the whole economy, and the public benefit. (Odum
1996a:1).









Anthropologists can infuse ecological-economic analyses with the rich data of human-

ecological fieldwork, and in return gain tools that link communities with the global

economy.

Understanding the environmental and cultural impacts of economic development

choices is a global imperative as world resources are being depleted and international

capital overtakes the last natural frontiers. Theoretical frameworks from systems

science are necessary to evaluate the nested, multiple-scaled effects of human actions

in nature. Even ecotourism development generates effects that ripple through natural

and cultural environments. What is the extent and nature of the impacts of ecotourism

development on Bonaire? How can the interrelated effects of development on ecology

and culture be evaluated? Can general principles about ecotourism development be

stated? Through research that explicitly addresses the interconnected human and

natural impacts of development, this research can give policy-makers useful results for

decision making.


Evolution

One underlying goal of this research is to demonstrate the usefulness of

evolutionary theory to cultural anthropologists in their fieldwork. In recent years, a strong

critique of evolutionary theory was led by research into the thermodynamics of self-

organization and complex systems, with important implications for anthropologists

interested in the evolution of cultural forms. Evolution is now argued by many

researchers to be a multiple-scaled and hierarchical process, that includes the special

case of biological evolution, but that also includes physical and chemical selection at

smaller scales, and ecosystem and biosphere self-organization at larger scales. People

are parts within open systems of nature that are constantly in flux, and that self-organize

within the real limits of their material environments. Anthropologists should understand









the implications of this new science for studies of culture change, of economic

development, and at larger time-scales, of the evolution of cultural forms.


Purposes of the Study

The issues raised in this introduction are here distilled into a nested list of

research purposes.

1) Improved Infrastructure Evaluation with Systems Ecology. Cultural
Materialists, and other ecological anthropologists, lack methods for dealing
with the infrastructure in its entirety. Many environmental features can be
limiting factors on sociocultural systems. Ingestible calories or protein are
single measures of limits to individuals. But countless other environmental
features limit one another and humans. And the process of limiting is highly
dynamic, not static. Methods are needed that can explicitly model the
complex and dynamic human-environment conjunction. This study
demonstrates the use of systems modeling to represent these complex
processes.
2) Evolution forAll Anthropologists. Some say that evolutionary theory is being
transformed by new theories from the study of complex systems, chaos, etc.
Complex systems are understood to be thermodynamic and self-organizing
phenomena. Ecosystems are complex systems that self-organize within the
thermodynamics of the biosphere. Sociocultural systems are intimately
joined with ecosystem self-organization. This study demonstrates the
usefulness of complex systems theory, evolutionary theory, and cultural
evolutionary theory for cultural anthropologists interested in culture change.
3) Ecological Evaluation of Development. So-called "economic development"
has impacts on a region that ripple through ecological and cultural systems.
Economists and others focus on the monetary impacts, balance of trade, etc.
Better measures of the impacts of development focus on the inflows of new
materials, fuels, and other goods that transform the infrastructure of a region.
Material goods can be judged on an "ecological economic" basis, which
embodies their productive value-not monetary value. Imports and exports
of material goods are important indicators of development impacts. This
study will measure and judge the effects of imports and exports on the
material basis of livelihoods on the island of Bonaire. It will use the brand of
ecological economics known as emergy accounting.
4) Sociocultural Transformation with Ecotourism Development. Ecotourism is
one currently popular development strategy. Some see tourists and dollars
coming in, tourists going out, with minor impacts on local culture and ecology.
But a much broader lens must be focused on an entire region within which an
ecotourism destination resides. Methods that explicitly identify and measure
the material transformations associated with development should be applied.
Furthermore, methods should be used that register and measure the cultural
self-organization that occurs with material transformations. This study
measures these processes that accompany ecotourism to the island of
Bonaire.









Methods Research

This research is "methods research," demonstrating that it is possible to do

anthropological fieldwork at the multiple scales of individual, societal, and ecological.

How do you do fieldwork? Anthropologists (and other scientists) have lacked
scientific methods that deal with complex systems, aggregate variables,
human/environment systemic interactions, and evolutionary change.
(Scientific) Anthropologists (and other scientists) have been directed (and
restricted) by the methods associated with reductionist science, and by the
expectations of mechanistic explanations and control (also of reductionist
science), to focus on simple problems with single or very few independent
variables, essentially to abandon the study of the organization of emergent
variables (such as social organization, or class, or world systems), which for
many years sustained anthropology and set it apart from other sciences.
Anthropologists are being driven by political-economic imperatives to focus
research on simple, amenable (and within the relatively short-term)
"problems" within other-cultural contexts. Research is therefore rarely
contributing to a body of theory that is more than very narrowly focused and
single-scaled.
Can you do fieldwork at the individual level AND at the aggregate
societal/economic/ecological organizational level? How do you do fieldwork
at the aggregate level? Do you have to build up from the simple to the
aggregate? Or can you use variables that exist only at the aggregate scale?
This research will address this issue of performing anthropological fieldwork
at multiple scales.


Hypothesis

With these intentions in mind, a simple and general hypothesis can be stated:

Increases in imported goods and services associated with tourism
development on Bonaire can explain changes in individual economic
strategies and societal economic organization.

The hypothesis does not predict how economic strategies and organization will

change with development. Instead an historical explanatory scenario is produced that, it

will be argued, can better explain observed changes that occurred on Bonaire than can

competing scenarios. This explanatory scenario is retrospective or retrodictive in nature.

It is driven by theories of dynamics and evolution in complex systems. It incorporates

structural, functional, and processual explanation from cultural evolutionary theory. In


restated form:









* The hypothesis does not predict the details of change.
* It states that an explanatory scenario can be produced that can better explain the
changes than a competing scenario.
* Research creates a retrospective or historical (retrodictive) understanding of the
process of change.
* Explanation is grounded in systems and evolutionary theory of structure, function
and process.


Methods

How do you identify and measure material/ecological/infrastructural variables?

This is the most important and under-explored question within materialist/ecological

anthropology. This question often is answered in reductionist models with food calories

consumed, which omits all other material or energy limits within ecosystems. This

research uses the ecological economics of emergy accounting to redress this problem

with measurements of material variables at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

How do you determine which infrastructural variables are important? The answer

is to use theoretical models of ecological structure and function. Ecological theory

focuses your attention to the inflows of materials, energy, and economic goods. How do

you measure these flows? Again, this research will use emergy accounting.

What sociocultural processes will therefore be evaluated? They are the

following: (1) Subsistence economic behaviors, (2) Social-economic hierarchy, (3)

Social-economic structure and function, and (4) International lending and trade.

This research addresses these questions and issues through the analysis of a

case study of undirected culture change. The event of ecotourism on Bonaire is a

fascinating example of economic development and the transformations that it can bring.


Results and Conclusions

The ecological-historical and systems-descriptive explanatory account of the

processes of change associated with ecotourism development on Bonaire is the






9


principle result of this research. A number of intermediate results and conclusions are

also reached. Among its conclusions, the dissertation will measure and explain:

(1) the "underdevelopment" of Peripheries worldwide, including Bonaire in
particular
(2) sustainability, with a measure called "percent renewable"
(3) structural complexification of an economy as it has undergone 50 years of
development activity
(4) why households in a development context would abandon fishing and farming
for participation in the market
(5) why wages are low, or sometimes high, in a development context
(6) a recommended development size, with an index called "development
intensity"
















SECTION I: AN ECOLOGICAL ETHNOGRAPHY


This first section is descriptive. It is intended to present a picture of Bonaire and

its inhabitants to unfamiliar readers. As a picture, it has a point of focus. The section

begins with a brief chapter to characterize the island via some physical parameters.

This is followed by a chapter that locates Bonaire in the flow of history. A brief

descriptive and comparative ecology follows that. Next comes an ethnographic account

of farming, based on participant-observation and informal interviews. Last is a survey of

household economic strategies. The focus or thread that joins each of these chapters is

an accounting of ecological, material, and economic processes. These processes have

shaped, and been shaped by, a human presence on Bonaire.















CHAPTER 2
BONAIRE IN THE CARIBBEAN


Figure 2: The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean


As this century began, six Caribbean islands (the Netherlands Antilles),

Suriname, and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) were possessions of the Netherlands.

The East Indies declared independence in 1945. In the early 1950s, the Netherlands

Antilles improved its position within the Kingdom of the Netherlands when it was granted

domestic political autonomy via a new constitution. Suriname became an independent

nation in 1975. In 1986, Aruba gained a separate status (status aparte), removing itself

from the Netherlands Antilles (and Curacao's shadow) as an equal partner in the

Kingdom of the Netherlands. In recent years, the Netherlands Antilles (five islands) and









Aruba (Figure 2) voted against referendums for independence from the Kingdom of the

Netherlands.


Figure 3: The Leeward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are also known as the ABC Islands. This map shows
marine topography. Note the steep underwater descent of Curacao and Bonaire, and
the relatively deep trench between the islands and the mainland. The result is narrow
reefs and nearby deepwater marine ecosystems. Based on
(US_Defense_Mapping_Agency 1993)



Of the Caribbean islands, the southern three form one cohesive historical and

linguistic group, sometimes called the Leeward Islands (Figure 3). The northern group is

known as the Windward Islands (although actually in the Leeward group of the Lesser

Antilles). The first language of residents of the Leeward group is a creole called

Papiamentu. In Papiamentu the islands are known as Boneiru, Korsow, and Aruba. The









origins of Papiamentu are debated, but the creole indicates influence of Portuguese,

Caquetio (Amerindian), Spanish, Dutch, and a mixture of African languages (Ratzlaff

1992). Additional vocabulary has been borrowed from English and French. The

surprising and strong Portuguese influence comes from the ex-Brazilian Portuguese

Jews who migrated to Curacao in the early 17th Century as slave traders. In the

Windward group, Dutch is the first language, and English is widely spoken.


II 1 100l0m \ I
Figure 4: Bonaire Topography
Note the proximity of the 200-meter line to the coast. This indicates a steep dropoff,
which means several things to the island. Large ships can dock very close to shore,
which is a benefit for the oil transshipment terminal, the salt works, and for cruise ship
tourism. Perhaps of greatest value to the island today, the steep drop means that coral









reefs form very close to shore. Bonaire has some of the best scuba diving, and
especially shore diving, in the world. Based on (US_Defense_Mapping_Agency 1996).




The Marine Setting

Bonaire is located 87 km from the coast of Venezuela, and 40 km to the east of

Curacao (Figure 3). Its greatest length is 35 km and its greatest width is 11 km. The

island is 287 sq km, and is located at approximately 12 degrees north latitude.


Figure 5: Seru Grandi Limestone Terrace
An ancient marine limestone terrace, Seru Grandi was once an underwater reef. Much
of Bonaire is uplifted limestone.


Between Bonaire and Venezuela the separating sea reaches a depth of 1700 m

(Voous 1983:20). The immediate sea surrounding the island is characterized by a

shallow terrace stretching 20 to 250 m from the coast, leading to a steep drop-off of the

sea floor. Compare the 200-meter line of Bonaire (and Curacao) with that of the


AP, .,,








Venezuelan mainland and notice that Bonaire slopes away far more quickly (Figure 3

and Figure 4). Note also that Aruba has a different underwater topography, located on

the continental shelf of the mainland.

Strong and persistent easterly trade winds build high waves on the eastern coast

and calm seas on the west. The mean tidal range is only about 30 cm.


Tradewinds


Figure 6: Topography and Soils
Two large areas of volcanic soils surround the original volcanic peaks (Brandaris is the
high point of the island at 240 m). A high limestone ridge lies between them. Lower
limestone terraces account for the remainder of the island.


(:D









Terrestrial Bonaire

Submarine volcanoes erupted on the ocean floor over 50 million years ago.

Perhaps 3 to 5 million years ago the inactive volcanoes were uplifted above sea level.

Reefs formed and erosion reduced the volcanoes. As uplift continued, reefs were raised

from the sea producing the distinctive limestone terracing of Bonaire (Figure 5). The

most ancient limestone terrace is the high ridge (130 m Seru Domi formation) located

between Playa and Rincon (Figure 6).


Figure 7: Brandaris the Highpoint of the Island (:


Urban Bonaire

Major urban areas are in red in Figure 8. The principle urban distinction is

between Rincon in the north and Playa in the south. "Playa" often refers to the entire

southern urban area, and not simply the beach as the name implies. Scattered

households also exist behind the limestone ridge in the middle of the island (Tra'i

Montana), along Lac Bay, and in the kunukus.















































Figure 8: Major Urban Areas
The major urban areas are Rincon in the north and "Playa" in the south (shown in red).
Bonaire is home to approximately 14,000 persons, with nearly 3,000 living in Rincon.
The international airport is located just south of Playa.














CHAPTER 3
ECONOMIC HISTORY AND DEMOGRAPHY


-1500 -1000 -500


0 500


1000


1500 2000


Year


Figure 9: Population of Bonaire
The first inhabitants of the island were foragers who arrived about 3400 years ago.
Ceramic using agriculturalists migrated to Bonaire around 500 AD (Haviser 1991:188-9).
A hypothetical curve is drawn for both populations (notice the population is not shown to
be in "equilibrium" but exhibits some fluctuations or pulsing). In the last 150 years the
population of Bonaire has risen dramatically due to articulation with world fossil fuel
economies (See Figure 10 and Figure 13 for details of this rise, see APPENDIX CC,
Table 46).



The focus of this chapter is the economic history and demography of Bonaire and

surroundings. It is decidedly not a detailed history, but in brief form traces

transformations in production and population that channel other events of history. The

interwoven dynamics of demography and economy, the push and pull of population with

production, is a nexus of cause and effect that has properties at scales larger than


I U,UUU


14, UUU
Ecotourism
12,000 Growth"

10,000inenDevelopent

8,ooo Aid "
6,000Curacao and Aruba
Refineries Open
4,000 Agricultural People D ---_.,-n ^
Colonized by Arrive oe Disease and Deporttng
Hunter-gatherer-fishers 2,000 Co mthen A 1 94'
1 from the Continent ,~









individual persons in space and time. Although details from small scales may go

unseen, greater knowledge of the processes of history can be teased into view.


The Amerindian Population

The first Spanish contact with the Amerindian inhabitants of Bonaire was in 1499.

At contact, the agriculture and pottery-using population of Bonaire was Caquetio, related

to the Caquetio on the Venezuelan coast. The Amerindian population of Bonaire was

small relative to the current island population (see Figure 9 and Figure 10). According

to (Haviser 1991:190):

On Bonaire, the Ceramic Age peoples probably never exceeded a
population of about 800-1200 people, who lived in Sedentary
Communities with pole-construction huts, located in the vicinity of their
various manioc, maize, and possibly agave, agricultural fields.

The historian Hartog reports that the entire population of Bonaire was captured

and exported to Esparola to work in copper mines (Hartog 1978:11). However, this feat

seems beyond the capabilities of the Spanish, Goslinga disagrees with it (Goslinga

1979:14), and Haviser does not repeat the claim. Rather it is more likely that the

Caquetio population was crippled by Spanish disease in the great epidemic that so

reduced the whole of the Americas, and that much, but not all, of the remaining

population was captured and deported. Haviser indicates that Caquetio populations

remaining on Bonaire maintained a great deal of autonomy throughout the Spanish

reign, and distinct Amerindian ethnic communities persisted on Bonaire until the 19th

Century.

With the eventual 15th and 16th century contacts of Spanish slave
hunters and explorers, the Amerindians of Bonaire became more cautious
of Europeans and retreated to more isolated settlements at Fontein and
Rincon. However, the general lifeways of these Bonairean Amerindians
who survived slave captures and disease, were relatively undisturbed by
the 16th century Spanish political domination. It was the Amerindians
responsibility to provide livestock and agricultural produce for the
Spanish, but otherwise they were allowed to maintain their own lifeways
(Haviser 1991:190).











The Spanish Reign

Perhaps the single most transformational act of the Spanish was to bring

livestock from the Old World to Bonaire. Horses, cattle, donkeys, goats, sheep, etc.

were brought to Bonaire in 1527 (Hartog 1978:11). The impact of these large herbivores

must have been no less than revolutionary for the Bonaire ecology. Goats and sheep

were especially successful in the semi-arid climate, and by 1679 there were 8,500 sheep

and goats on Bonaire (Hartog 1978:34). The presence of these small and mobile

grazers and browsers meant selection for thorn forest vegetation (acacia, mesquite,

many cactus species, etc.) that could defend itself from foraging animals, and that today

dominates the landscape.


16,000

14,000

12,000

10,000

8,000

6,000

4,000

2,000

0
1


500


1600


1700


1800


2000


Year



Figure 10: Bonaire Population since Contact
Bonaire's population reflects the supporting role it has played to Curacao, and later also
Aruba. Recent years of Dutch development aid, and ecotourism have brought a


Ecotourism
Growth

Development
Aid


Privatization /
Hard Times and VV
Emmigration
Curacao and Arut
-ae [Ed vV Refineries Open
Slavery Ends
(1863)

Disease and Deporting Salt, Wood,
- Amerindian Population Livestock Exporti- Settlement Restrictions
Relaxed









population explosion to Bonaire, not on the scale of Curacao and Aruba (Figure 11), but
remarkable in absolute terms. This is especially true considering the slim natural
resource base of the island, a condition also of Aruba and Curacao. See APPENDIX
CC, Table 46 for citations.



Tree cutting was another activity of the Spanish that had long-lasting effects. At

the time of contact, Bonaire was called "Isla de Palo Brasil" or "Dyewood Island" by Juan

de la Cosa, presumably because of its great abundance of dyewood (Hartog 1978:4).

Dyewood (Haematoxylon brasiletto, Brasia in Papiamentu) was a highly desirable forest

timber of the day because it could be rasped or ground to obtain cardinal red dyes. It

was valuable in both the Spanish, and later the Dutch, textile industries, and trade in

dyewood continued until the beginning of this century.


The Dutch in the Caribbean

Comprehending the Dutch relationship with contemporary Bonaire requires some

mastering of the history of the their union. In a critique of evolutionary theory from some

years ago, Gould (1979) demonstrated that constraints on the evolution of new forms

are often as interesting as the new forms themselves. Present form is always a

transformation from a past form, with future options channeled, though not determined,

by the past. Although contemporary Bonaire is shaped by many ecological, political, and

economic limits that will be discussed in other chapters, its present form is also a

product of its history.

The Leeward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles--Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao--

are islands of similar physical size, however the current population of Bonaire is about

14,000, compared to 152,000 on Curacao and 88,000 on Aruba (Figure 11). What

historical events channeled these developments and set the stage for Bonaire today?










160,000

140,000 t

120,000 Reineries
Re-Open
100,000 -
S1,* Curacao
S80,000 e Bonaire
Shell oesuba
60,000 Refinery ^--
Opens /
40,000 (1918) Exxon
Amerindian Dutch "Period of Confusion" *4 /Refinery
20,000 nnnepopation Capture (17 -6 / Opens
and Spanish slanos (1924
(1634,36) Bonaire
0 T + I co-tourism
1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000
Year

Figure 11: Population of the Leeward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
Note the early distinction of Curacao from Bonaire and Aruba, and the much later
separation of the refinery islands of Curacao and Aruba from Bonaire. The exact path of
population growth on Curacao between 1634 and 1775 is not known, but beginning and
end points are. Curacao, with its remarkable natural harbor, was the center of Dutch
slave trade in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Dutch wars with France and England
brought periods of English occupation and general confusion to Curacao, however Dutch
control was re-established after 1816. The next major event was the arrival of refineries,
which sent populations skyrocketing. Refinery hard-times came in the mid-1980s, but
they have recovered in recent years. Economic diversification, led by offshore banking
and tourism, is adding further expansion. See APPENDIX CC, Table 46 for citations.



In 1623 the first Dutch ships came to the islands (Hartog 1978:17). The Dutch

had been at war with the Spanish since 1568, and the "Eighty Years' War" would last

until the Dutch prevailed in 1648 (Figure 16). An important economic resource, and

therefore strategic resource, of the day was salt, which the Dutch used extensively for

curing herring and other food preservation (Goslinga 1979:20-25). Cut off by the

Spanish from the salt pans of the Cape Verde Islands, the Dutch were forced to seek it


elsewhere. Sights were set on the Caribbean.









The famous Dutch East India Company (the VOC) was formed in 1602, which

united competing trading companies in pursuit of trade to the "Indies", actually Asia and

the islands of Indonesia. Modeled after the VOC, an Atlantic charter was granted in

1621 to the Dutch West India Company (the WIC), whose mission in fact went beyond

trade:

Like its sister company in the East, the WIC was a joint-stock corporation
organized by private merchants and individual shareholders. Unlike the
other company, however, the WIC was an explicit instrument of war and
privateering against Spain (Goslinga 1979:21).

The WIC would harass the Spanish fleet, especially the great flota, which had

brought tremendous wealth to Spain for many years. Incidentally, islands were scouted

for salt and other strategic value. The salt pans of Curacao and its excellent natural

harbor were identified, and in 1634 the Dutch invaded the island and took it from a small

outpost of Spanish.

Curacao's strategic position for shipping might be obvious, but is more so from

the sailor's perspective of the day:

...her position relative to the trade wind system allowed for sailing to and
from a wide arc of the Antilles, from Cuba to Guadeloupe, without having
once to beat to windward. This could prove an enormously time-
consuming operation against the boisterous Caribbean trades and heavy
currents and was so recognized by the earliest European navigators in
that sea (Jackson 1965:4).

The island harbor, with narrow entrance and large deep bay (today called

Schottegat and the home of the giant PDVSA (ex-Shell) oil refinery), was quickly

fortified. In 1636, Aruba and Bonaire were also occupied to secure the Dutch position on

Curacao. This supporting role played by Aruba and Bonaire to Curacao marked a

division of labor that persisted until this century. Besides eliminating easy staging points

for attack on Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire became resource islands, occupied to supply

Curacao with goods, and to produce export commodities for the homeland. From

Bonaire the Dutch exported meat for the inhabitants of Curacao. Aruba was used for









horse raising. From Bonaire also was taken salt from natural salt ponds for curing

herring in the Baltic and for making butter and cheese, dyewood for textile dyes, lignum

vitae (Guajacum officinale), a hard wood used in ship's pulley-blocks, watapana pods for

tanning hides, and sorghum grown also for Curacao (Hartog 1978:15-38).

As the Dutch became important slave traders in the 17th and 18th Centuries,

Curacao became the center of the slave market. In the 50 years between 1675 and

1725 it can be estimated that 100,000 slaves passed through the Curacao harbor

(Goslinga 1985:188). A small number of slaves were used on Bonaire for salt

production, but extensive slave labor was never employed as it was on the sugar islands

of the Caribbean.

Throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries, Bonaire continued its meat and

resource production role, a supporting role to Curacao and the Netherlands (Figure 10).

The entire island was "managed" as a salt plantation, first by the Dutch West Indies

Company and later by the Dutch government. It was even leased by a New Yorker for a

short time, when it could not turn a profit for its Dutch managers (Hartog 1978:36-37).

Small-scale farms, owned or held by ex-slaves, filled in the cracks where they occurred.

Goats, sorghum, and fish provided subsistence, and goats and sheep were allowed to

forage on government lands. In 1863, slavery was abolished on the Dutch islands and

approximately 650-750 mostly salt-producing slaves on Bonaire were freed (Klomp

1986:18).

By 1868 the Netherlands government recognized the difficulty in making money

on Bonaire without slave labor, and they attempted to sell off the island. Bonaire was

gradually divided into private "plantations" with private ownership (Figure 12). Ex-slaves

suffered now low wages, monopolies by plantation owners, and reduced access to

grazing land, and many emigrated (Figure 13). Migration and remittances became a








common pattern for Bonairians, as they came to experience the Caribbean
migration/remittances phenomenon that persists to this day.


0


Figure 12: Plantations
Following the abolition of slavery in 1863, the island was put up for sale in 1868. After
some hand changes, these "plantations" remain. Washington, Slagbaai, and Brazil were
bought back by the government, and today form the Washington-Slagbaai National Park.


The "plantations" of Bonaire, atypical in the Caribbean, teetered between
economic survival and failure. Salt continued to be the main export commodity, with










watapana pods for tanning a distant second (Goslinga 1990:353-55). Salt production

was and is a precarious industry. With all Caribbean export commodities, it was

vulnerable to international competition and demand fluctuations. Add to that the

vagaries of Bonaire's weather, which in some years can have five times the rainfall,

spelling defeat for a year's salt crop (Hartog 1978:50-51).


16,000


14,000


12,000


10,000


8,000


6,000


4,000


2,000


1800 1820 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000
Year

Figure 13: Bonaire's Population in the Last 200 Years
Two significant emigrations occurred due to external events, one a Dutch policy
decision, and the other a development decision of oil companies to place refineries on
Curacao and Aruba. Dutch development aid, ecotourism, and a new retirement law
have fueled population growth since mid-century. See APPENDIX CC, Table 46 for
citations.


At the turn of this century the population of Bonaire was approximately 5000 and

growing as the effects of world industrialization trickled into the islands (Figure 13). In









1915, the Dutch-British Shell with the General Asphalt Company of the United States

signed an agreement to drill for oil in the Maracaibo region of Venezuela (Goslinga

1979:141-43). Due to concerns for political stability and shallow harbors in Venezuela, a

refinery was built on Curacao to refine and ship the Venezuelan oil (Figure 11). In 1924,

Lago Oil, a subsidiary of Esso, later Exxon, began another refinery on Aruba. Aruba,

with even fewer citizens than Bonaire in that day, was completely transformed. For

Bonairians the refineries offered a new source of cash remittances, and emigration

nearly emptied the island of its workforce. By 1926 the population of Bonaire had risen

to 7,521 (Hartog 1978:71), but in 1928 the figure had slid dramatically to 5,166 as

Bonairians moved to their neighbor's refineries (Figure 13). In 1948 there were only

4,995 Bonairians on Bonaire, and in 1960 there were still only 5,812 inhabitants on the

island (Hartog 1978:88).

The 1960s brought significant "development" funds from Holland to Bonaire.

Infrastructure was improved for island travel, shipping and air travel (Hartog 1978:90)

(see CHAPTER 13, The State Equation and Financial Aid). In the 1950s, salt production

had declined to zero. In 1967, after careful study, the Dutch multinational chemical

company Akzo took over and reconstructed the salt ponds on Bonaire (Hartog

1978:108). In 1972, Northville Industries, an American petroleum storage company,

began construction of an oil transshipment terminal on Bonaire (Hartog 1978:93). Two

giant microwave radio broadcasting stations were built on Bonaire in the 1960s, Trans

World Radio, an American company beaming religious fare to Latin America, and a relay

station for Radio Nederland. A rice milling facility was constructed on Bonaire in the

1980s to gain tariff free access to the European Union for South American rice.

Following the construction phase of these export industries, they have not directly

provided significant employment to the island population.









The European Context

Why were the Leeward Islands settled by the Dutch? Why did the particular

patterns of resource extraction, commerce, and slave trade appear? Why was slavery

practiced on these islands in such small numbers? Why do the Dutch in our century

provide "development aid"? Why did the Netherlands Antilles not achieve independence

in the 1970s with much of the Caribbean? To understand this history of Bonaire it is

necessary to understand the position and goals of its metropolitan colonizing power--the

Netherlands, especially the coastal province of Holland, which includes the 17th Century

world trade powerhouse of Amsterdam. Those of us who think we know the history of

Western Imperialism will be quite surprised by the view from the Low Country.

"Too much water"--TeBrake, in his ecological archaeology, called it the "greatest

of all obstacles to human presence in the western Netherlands" (TeBrake 1985:148).

The unlikely hydrology of peat bogs, salt marshes, and storm surges kept the Roman

Empire south of the Rhine, and nearly so the Carolingian Empire of Charlemagne which

followed them. The coastal dune populations of the western Netherlands were buffered

from the social and political forces overtaking western Europe by a nearly impassable

terrain--the "Low-Country", the Neder-lands--of bogs and marsh. While remaining

European woodlands were being felled and put to the plow in the first millennium AD, the

western Netherlands underwent a very different transformation.

Neolithic farmers had first brought cattle and mixed fishing and foraging

strategies to the coastal sandy ridges of the Netherlands in the third millennium BC

(TeBrake 1985:81-86) (Figure 14). From the Bronze Age (1900-750 BC) onward, trade

from western Europe to the British Isles and Scandinavia was sailed across the low

country, especially along the Rhine and through the Baltic and North Sea, and trading

settlements grew on the dune ridges at the mouths of great rivers. Coastal populations,

known as Frisians, could trade cattle hides for bronze, and chiefdoms could exact










payment for safe passage (TeBrake 1985:88). The Frisians were equally at home on

land and water, described by an anonymous 10th Century biographer as "people who

lived in water like fish and rarely traveled outside their home territory unless they could

do so by ship (TeBrake 1985:144)."


Prereclamationr Reclamation
S14
S__________Grinon
c Natural Gas
o Frisians
SSettling 10 (i95
E Coastal
Dunes 8 Roman arolingan il & Gas
Rule Rule Economy
o Bronze Iron 57-406)
(1. Age Age 4 Golden
2 AgeL
2 industrial (Coal)
0 Revolution
-1500 -1000 -500 0 500 1000 1500 2000
Year

Figure 14: Population of the Netherlands
The "prereclemation" population of the Netherlands is not zero (see the log scale curve
in Figure 15). As explained in the text, the Roman and Carolingian periods had little
effect on coastal Netherlands' populations. In the "prereclamation" era, the Frisians
expanding into the coastal dune areas were effectively buffered from other western
Europeans by the "Low Country" of peat bog and salt marsh. The rapid population
increase of the "reclamation" era is evident in this graph. See APPENDIX CC, Table 47
for citations.



From the Bronze Age onward, the food production of coastal populations came to

settle on livestock, crop raising, and fishing. Peat was burned for fuel. Livestock were

cattle, plus sheep, goats, pigs, dogs, and chickens. Cattle supplied meat, milk and

traction, and later cheese and butter. Crops were einkorn, emmer wheat, bread wheat,

hulled barley, flax, and field weeds. Food production overwhelmingly emphasized...










...raising livestock that were grazed on the ample grasslands available
everywhere in the coastal districts, cultivation of the sandy and sandy-
clay ridges that were the focus of settlements, and fishing in the plentiful
waters of estuaries, salt marshes, rivers, and peat bogs (TeBrake
1985:172).


IUUUU
Frisians
Settling-1,000
Coastal
Dunes


Golden
Agel*v
Revolu


Bronze Iron Ro aingia
Age Rule Rule
S (57-406 (65-850)

H_


tion


-1500 -1000


-500


0 500
Year


1000


1500 2000


Figure 15: Netherlands Population in Log Scale
In log scale format, it is now possible to see that the early Netherlands populations were
not unsubstantial, although relative to the 15 million inhabitants of today they were not
visible in Figure 14. Even in log scale, the appearance of population growth since
"reclamation" is striking. (Population figures prior to 1000 AD are difficult to find and
have been estimated.) See APPENDIX CC, Table 47 for citations.



In sum, prior to 1000 A.D., the Frisians had become agro-pastoralist-fishers, and

"the merchants par excellence of northwestern Europe" (TeBrake 1985:177). The high

natural productivity of coastal estuaries, mighty rivers, deltas, bogs and marshes,

reminds us of the natural environmental bonanza afforded to the American Indians of the

Northwest Coast. Amerindians like the Kwakiutl formed big man collectivities supported

principally by the foraging of marine and estuary resources (Johnson and Earle


1UUUUU
Prereclamation Redamation
4 O il
_______________A \ r\ r\ r\___________ __________









1987:160-186)1. The high natural productivity of western Netherlands was coupled with

the domesticated livestock and agricultural crops available to western Europeans. This

potent mix sent population densities to 20 per square kilometer in the northwest, only

exceeded by the Paris basin and parts of Flanders in the day (TeBrake 1985:171).

Johnson and Earle (Johnson and Earle 1987:248-274) contend that 10th and

11th Century France is better recognized as the home of family-level groups, local

groups, and simple and complex chiefdoms, rather than "kingdoms" (archaic states) as

they are usually labeled in the historic literature. The name "kingdom" denotes a level of

political, military, and production specialization that was not evident. The same can be

said for the coastal Netherlands. Terms translated as "count", or "duke", or "noble" only

cloud the picture (Rietbergen and Seegers 1992), conjuring images of political

centralization that would remain unimagined for several centuries along the coastal

dunes. Small communities operated autonomously, and formed shifting alliances with

leadership contended between competing clans. Merchant trade was "decentralized"

among "innumerable little villages", and only a few port towns appeared, such as

Dorestad on the Rhine (TeBrake 1985:131). Absent were large polities with standing

armies, public works, great economic inequalities, and weak peasantries. These would

await the "reclamation" period.


Intensification of Production

Reclamation for Farming

The era before 1000 A.D. in the western Netherlands is known as

"prereclamation" (Figure 14 and Figure 15). What followed was a dramatic


1 The fact that these two similar settings are located in the northwest corner of great
continents at identical latitudes is not coincidence. Year-round rainfall and high-energy
storms impart great driving energies in both environments. Evidence the evolution of
windmills in the Netherlands. While the Netherlands lacks the coastal cliffs to catch









transformation of land and water, unequaled perhaps in the world. The reclamation and

settlement of the peat bogs of the western Netherlands was accomplished with ditches,

dikes, dams, bridges, canals, sluices, polders, pumps and windmills. Not at once, and

not by grand design, but piecemeal the peat bogs were drained for crops and pasture.

Ditching at first did the trick, as peat will stop forming and dry out when water tables are

lowered. Later, as subsidence, oxidation, and mining had consumed peat surfaces and

lowered them to below sea level, much more ingenious methods were innovated to hold

back the water. Today practically all of western Netherlands is below sea level.

Central authority was not a prerequisite for ditching a peat bog, but community

cooperation was. As populations and food production expanded in the peat bog areas,

the organizational impacts of reclamation became felt:

From the very beginning of the reclamation and colonization process
there was a need to coordinate diking and drainage operations in an effort
to combat the natural tendency of individuals simply to send unwanted
water downstream without worrying about how it might affect someone
else (TeBrake 1985:228).

Emerging communities were forced to organize and coordinate their reclamation

activities and emergent elites often took key roles. In later years, the economic and

political elites of the Dutch state could turn these duties into coercive powers to exact

taxes, labor, or military service. Reclamation was the lever to create a "hydraulic

empire", but of an inverted sort in which water was a commodity to be removed not

partitioned.

Merchant Shipping

Balancing the agricultural intensification in the peat countryside was an

expansion of merchant towns. When it is an option, water transport is an energetically

superior means of moving bulk goods, especially when medieval roads are the


equal rains, its wide rivers and deltas return the rainfall and sediments of the continent to
the low country.









alternative. As the reclaimed peat-bog wilderness filled with farmers, river market towns

appeared, such as Dordrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leeuwarden,

and Groningen. Growing urban markets would have been supplied by the newfound

countryside and by trade from western Europe and Baltic Sea ports.


16

14

12

10

8

6

4

2

0
1500


1600 1700 1800 1900


2000


Year

Figure 16: Netherlands Population Since 1500
In the last 500 years the population of the Netherlands had two major growth eras, one
prior to the "Golden Age", and one which coincided with the Industrial Revolution of coal,
iron, and steam power, and now oil and natural gas. See APPENDIX CC, Table 47 for
citations.



Salted Herring

Another production strategy to blossom in the late Middle Ages was herring

fishing. Herring had long been fished in the coastal waters, but now gutted, salted, and

cured, it could be shipped in barrels (called barrel herring) to emerging markets

(Rietbergen and Seegers 1992:57), (Van der Wee 1993:129). Salt was thereafter a









critical commodity for Dutch merchants. In the 16th Century, specialized fleets of fishing

boats, called haringbuis, were factory ships for herring fishing that possessed speed,

durability, and increased cargo. These ships were "factory" ships because herring could

be gutted and salted on board. Salted herring has been called the "Dutch gold mine" for

its market success. The technology of salted fish and haringbuis permitted the Dutch to

dominate the North Sea herring fishery, and later the Iceland cod fishery, and

Spitzbergen whale fishery.

Textiles

The production of wool and linen from sheep and flax had great antiquity in the

Netherlands as household goods. A thriving textile export industry emerged in the

Netherlands with the shipping industry to make it work. Wool was soon also imported

from England. The Dutch traded textiles, a secondary commodity, throughout Europe

for primary goods, the typical pattern of an industrial world system (Wallerstein 1974:96).

By 1560, other imported "raw materials and unfinished products" were Baltic grain,

Spanish wool, French dyes, Portuguese sugar, French salt, Portuguese spices and

Italian silk (Van der Wee 1993:106). These commodities fed people and fueled the

textile industry.

Shipbuilding

Shipbuilding became a keystone industry, labeled an "industry" in the modern

sense because it was conducted in standardized, repetitive methods. One 17th Century

warship could require 2000 oak trees, most brought from the Baltic. Holland's

advantage in shipbuilding became autocatalytic, as Dutch shipbuilding used the shipping

of lumber to perpetuate itself. In 1630-50, when the Dutch Republic dominated

European world trade, they possessed a merchant fleet of 2500 ships, plus 2000 or

more haringbuis (Rietbergen and Seegers 1992:93). The Dutch became masters of

Baltic trade and thus Eastern Europe's wheat exports. Amsterdam in the 16th Century









emerged as "the granary of Western and, from the end of the century, also of Southern

Europe" (Van der Wee 1993:32).

Other valuable export commodities were beer, cheese, and butter. Low country

hops fed breweries. Cheese and butter were produced from dairy cattle and preserved

with salt, the value of which to the Dutch was thus further punctuated.

Banking and Finance

One final pillar in the hegemony of the Golden Age (1630-50) Dutch Republic,

and a force to this day, was the success of Dutch financial technologies. The private

bankers of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange led innovations in finance,

credit, stock, and currency, which captured and unleashed new resources into the

production stream. Bankers around the world would copy Dutch financial innovations.

In the 17th Century, the Dutch guilder was the dominant currency of the world (Van der

Wee 1993:33).

Competition would topple Holland from its short-lived world economic hegemony

(see World System Simulation Results). Both military and economic warfare was waged

by the French and British against the Dutch, and against each other. Their neighbors

did not destroy the Dutch, rather they simply surpassed them. The second half of the

17th and the 18th Centuries brought economic recession in the once powerful textile and

shipbuilding industries. Capital was becoming international, and much of it moved to

Britain, as did many of the merchants who owned it. Population growth in the

Netherlands stagnated with economic stagnation (and some contraction) in these years

(Figure 16). During the years of stagnation (contraction) the gap between the rich and

poor widened and the elite class became impenetrable (Rietbergen and Seegers

1992:107).









The Industrial Era Coal, Oil and Natural Gas

The invention of the steam engine in Britain in 1781 began a revolution in the

production of mechanical work. Coal, iron, and steam technologies fueled the

economies of Europe and the world. New unimaginable energies were unleashed into

industry, transport (trains and ships), and warfare, in an "industrial" revolution. In the

next 100 years the population of the Netherlands would triple (Figure 14, Figure 15,

Figure 16). "Carboniferous Capitalism" seized the world.

Of particular importance for the Netherlands was the second carbon fuel

revolution. Oil would follow coal as the fire of industry in this century (see McGrane

1994:180-207) for a fascinating account of the historical dynamics of coal and oil use).

Oil, natural gas, and the petrochemical industry that they spawned, are the yet

underpinnings of the current world. In 1906 the Shell Transport and Trading Company

of Britain merged with Dutch interests in the Far East to form the Royal Dutch/Shell

Group, owned 60% by Royal Dutch with majority shareholders in the Netherlands.

Today this oil company is the largest in the world, and one of the world's largest

multinationals. Begun in the Dutch East Indies, Shell moved early into Venezuela and

Mexico. Royal Dutch/Shell has remained the most international of the major oil

companies, with operations in more than 130 countries worldwide2 (Jones 1988:171)

(Shell 1998:20).

One last stroke of energy fortune for the Netherlands has been the discovery in

1959 of large natural gas reserves beneath Dutch soil. The Netherlands today is the

largest producer of natural gas in Western Europe. In 1996, the Netherlands consumed


2 Giant transnationals like the Royal Dutch/Shell Group operate much like independent
nations, as Jones reported back in 1988 (Jones 1988:171): "Shell...has its own global
private telecommunications system, an extremely efficient economic intelligence network
and a world wide network of representatives and government relations advisers. In this
it is probably comparable or superior to the diplomatic services of all but the top few
international powers."









approximately half of the natural gas that it produced, the highest level of domestic

penetration in the world. The Dutch meet 98% of household energy needs with natural

gas, 70% in the commercial sector, 65% in industry, and 55% in power production

(International_Energy_Agency 1998:216).

The value of fossil fuels to the Netherlands cannot be overstated. Emergy

analysis has shown that fossil fuels have high net emergy yields (6/1), i.e., they

contribute far more work to an economy than is paid for on the market (Odum

1996a:136-163). Early in this century, when fuel reserves were plentiful and near the

surface, that yield was even higher (60/1). The Netherlands economy has benefited

mightily from their fortunate affiliations with fossil fuel. Today they have the highest

emergy self-sufficiency index in the world (Odum 1996a:217), one of the highest emergy

per person ratios (Odum 1996a:206), and surely one of the highest empower densities,

given the small size of the country. This emergy bounty supports a tremendous

population density of 457 people per square km. For comparison, this exceeds the

density of New Jersey (402 people per square km), and over a land area twice the size

of that US state (see CHAPTER 8 for further discussion).

The contemporary economy of the Netherlands is buoyed by industries other

than fossil fuels, which have had remarkable success considering the size of the country

(15 million persons), but are perhaps less surprising in the context of history. A number

of Dutch-born companies can be found today in the top fifth of the Global Fortune 500.

ABN AMRO Holding is a banking giant, while the Ing Group is an insurance

multinational, both the descendants and beneficiaries perhaps of Dutch financial

advantage achieved in centuries past. Unilever and Ahold are huge multinational food-

processing corporations, which sit squarely in the tradition of 17th Century food export

expertise. The Akzo Group is a multinational chemical giant that began with the salt

industry. Millions of cattle, pigs and poultry provide meat and dairy products for









domestic and export markets. A once light-bulb manufacturing company has become

multinational electronics giant Philips Electronics. Rotterdam is the world's largest port

for petroleum processing and transshipment, which serves Royal Dutch Shell, the chief

successor to Dutch merchant shipping.


The Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles in Brief

To summarize, in comparison to the rest of western Europe, the Low Country of

peat-bogs and marshes in the Early Middle Ages was scarcely populated. Political

control was distributed throughout scattered populations of agro-pastoral-fisher-traders

who lived in a highly productive but difficult natural environment of estuaries, deltas,

pasturage, and coastal fisheries, along river trade routes that tapped the entire

continent. These populations were nearly inaccessible by land and thus escaped foreign

domination for millennia.

From at least 1000 AD, the Frisian populations in the west and northwest began

a slow and piecemeal process of intensifying agricultural production by draining peat

bogs for farming. This process literally "fueled" a population explosion, by providing peat

for cooking and heating fuel, and tapping ancient storage of nutrients for agricultural

production. As populations swelled, intensification occurred in shipping and fishing

technologies as well. An inverted "hydraulic empire" appeared in which emergent elites

could force further intensifications by controlling the politics of water management, in this

case the displacement of water and not its distribution.

Canals came to link growing urban areas, and merchants of waterborne trade

rose to great importance in the emerging economic strategies of the coast. Financial

institutions appeared and innovated in support of mercantile activities. The Baltic trade

in wheat and lumber fed populations and supplied shipping industries. Economic

production on the coast geared itself toward producing nonperishables for exchange,









and wool and linen textiles grew into industries, as did preserved foods, such as cheese,

butter, and herring (all reliant on salt), and beer. Needless to say, salt refining became

another linchpin industry.

By the 16th Century the stage was set for the Netherlands to become a world

leader in trade. Possessing shipping virtuosity, and thus military might, the Dutch

besieged the Spanish and Portuguese, and eventually toppled their monopolies over

Atlantic trade. By closing the port at Antwerp, the Dutch nearly monopolized textile

production, and instigated mass migration to Amsterdam of additional merchant and

financial expertise. The Golden Age (1630-1650) of Dutch economic history followed.

The Dutch, however, would soon be supplanted by the British who were having a

like revolution in production. International investment had become more mobile, and the

British inherited much of Dutch banking and industry. While the Dutch would continue to

be world players in shipping, shipbuilding, finance, textiles, and other industries, they

would now begin a long slide from the top. The stagnation in 18th Century demography

reflects an economic stagnation that would not relent until the steam-powered industrial

revolution shook the world (Figure 16).

In essence, the Dutch had spent their ancient storage of untapped resources.

They had consumed their peat landscape and now were putting greater energies into

defending that position against the sea. They must have certainly pulsed the Atlantic

fisheries near their coasts, and were probably facing diminished returns on fishing

investments. Their local lumber was all but gone, and only imports could quench their

thirst for wood. Intensive agriculture had sapped the countryside of easy nutrients.

Coal power, "Carboniferous Capitalism", brought the Netherlands out of its slump

in the early 19th Century, as it did much of the world. The British led intensification of

coal, iron, and steam engines channeled new energies to virtually every facet of

economic life and food production. Dutch population--and as well western European--









took off. The Dutch colonies of Suriname in the west, and Indonesia in the east,

supplied the Republic with raw goods. The Netherlands Antilles meanwhile, were still

the backlands, with only Willemstad paying its way.

The place of the Netherlands Antilles, and as well the Netherlands economy,

would change with the next carbon revolution--oil. Royal Dutch/Shell, formed in 1906, is

today one of the largest corporations in the world. The Shell refinery on Curacao could

not have rocked the island more if it had been a direct hit from a hurricane. The Lago

(Exxon) refinery on Aruba likewise, or more so. High emergy oil poured into the Dutch

economy and leaked into the islands as industry and population exploded. In this

second half-century, Groningen natural gas has been the succeeding engine of Dutch

growth, and therefore the basis of Dutch development aid to the islands, which has been

significant.

Bonaire received perhaps the overflow of this "prosperity", as labor moved to

refineries and remittances returned in countercurrent. In addition, a rather odd

assortment of export industries came to dot the landscape, as concerted efforts were

made by the Netherlands, by the Central Government of the Netherlands Antilles

(anchored in Curacao), and by some Bonairians to establish a paying niche for Bonaire

in the world market economy. Giant microwave antenna farms, a rice processing mill

(on a rice- and water-less island), a salt works covering 1/10 of the island surface

(fortunately the least-desirable of all terrains), and a great oil transshipment terminal, all

appeared on Bonaire. These industries abut small urban centers, rural kunukus, fertile

fisheries, and strikingly beautiful living coral reefs.


Bonaire within Multiple Scales

The place of Bonaire in the world political economy is not uncomplicated. It is at

once a small island with an Island government; one of five islands in the Netherlands









Antilles, governed by a Central government; a part of an autonomous state (the

Netherlands Antilles) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and subject to its laws and

privileges; and a participant in the global economy and therefore variously bound by the

IMF, World Bank, and other supra-national institutions, treaties, and corporations.

As the home of 14,000 persons, Bonaire is a place to live, work, and raise

children. Throughout its post-contact history, the island residents have interacted with

this layered context at various times in manifold ways. When ignored, Bonairians have

nearly sustained themselves, albeit as fishers and goat farmers. However, in the last

half-century, the layered context has increasingly impinged.

The placement of refineries on Curacao and Aruba emphatically inserted these

two islands into the Dutch and global economies. Bonaire's politicians were mandated

to seek similar development opportunities for their island constituency, and to demand

aid for infrastructure from the Central and Dutch governments (Klomp 1986). Aid for

schools, transportation, water, electricity, housing, etc. was forthcoming (see The State

Equation and Financial Aid). Economic prosperity, it was hoped, would come to

everyday Bonairians as it had come to some fortunate Antilleans on other islands.

At the national scale, many Caribbean islands have innovated new development

options in recent decades, including tourism, transshipment, and offshore banking.

Some might be suited to Bonaire if the island could be outfit with the proper

infrastructure and policy. Bonaire had been a longtime (minor) liability to the

Netherlands and Central government, and if development could succeed, Bonaire might

be cajoled to pay for its own public sector, at the least.

In the largest context (of the IMF, World Bank, and transnational corporations),

public sector debt is a mechanism that binds an economy to the global market (the

Netherlands Antilles has over $2 billion in 1998 public debt). When governments accept

international loans they must generate foreign currency to repay them. Export goods,









often primary commodities like timber or metal ores, bring foreign currency to an

economy. In the Caribbean, the most viable export industry is often tourism, which

generates foreign currency by "exporting" a tourism product to be consumed by

foreigners, albeit on domestic soil. Irrespective of internal economic well being, national

governments are pressured to generate foreign exchange to service international loans.

International capital gives the global context immense leverage to influence national

policies, vis. Structural Adjustment Programs.


The 1980s and 1990s

Refineries

The 1980s and 1990s brought substantial transformations to the Netherlands

Antilles context. Economic good fortune temporarily turned its back on the Netherlands

Antilles when the corporate owners of the two refineries did the same (Figure 11).

Exxon's subsidiary, Lago Oil and Transport, closed its refinery on Aruba in 1985.

Closure of the Shell refinery on Curacao was narrowly averted by international

intervention (negotiations between the Netherlands, Venezuela, the Netherlands Antilles

and Shell Curacao). The Curacao refinery was instead sold to the Netherlands Antilles

government for the symbolic price of one guilder, but with $47 million going for existing

stocks and machinery (EUROPA 1989:1887). As part of the deal, the state oil company

of Venezuela, PDVSA, agreed to lease the refinery (at reduced production levels), and

keep 1900 employees (with a 40% wage cut).

In fact, the Antillean refinery business had suffered since the OPEC oil crisis of

1973. In 1982 the refinery labor force was 4,000 jobs, compared to 21,000 in the 1950s

(EUROPA 1989:1887). Dutch and Antillean governments took steps to diversify the

economies of the Antilles. One approach was to build infrastructure for shipping, air

travel, water and electric as they did on Bonaire and St. Maarten. St. Maarten emerged









from economic obscurity in the 1970s, and with Aruba established successful mass

tourism products. Since 1980, tourism has been the leading employer outside of the

public sector for the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba (EUROPA 1989:1887).

Tax Haven

Besides tourism and refining, offshore banking has been a large revenue

generator for the islands. Since 1963, tax treaties have made Curacao a tax haven for

wealthy persons avoiding tax obligations in the US, Europe, and elsewhere. In 1986, tax

revenues from offshore companies amounted to 53% of the revenues of the Curacao

Island government and 15% of the foreign exchange receipts of the entire Netherlands

Antilles (ECLAC 1987:8). In 1994, there were 33,048 companies registered in Curacao,

of which 21,149 were "offshore" companies (EUROPA 1998:2477).

Tax law income generating strategies have also come to Bonaire. The Retiree

Incentive Law (or Pensionado Law) was designed to "encourage wealthy individuals

(primarily Dutch and other heavily taxed Europeans) to retire in the Netherlands Antilles

(Island Government 1990:11-12)." The law allows "wealthy Dutch nationals to pay only

5% tax, providing that they purchase or build a house in the Netherlands Antilles costing

over 240,000 guilders, employ at least one servant and are over 30 years of age (EIU

1997:34)." The Netherlands Antilles Central government earns 100 million guilders per

year in taxing Dutch citizens. The Bonaire economy is directly stimulated by the influx of

Dutch, who bring construction jobs in the short-term, but who's spending in the long-term

may fuel inflation.

Structural Adjustment Programs

Total public debt for the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba was over $2 billion in

1994 (EIU 1997:69). Bonaire's contribution to that sum is small, and much of the

development aid to Bonaire has been in grants. In 1988, the Netherlands required the

Antilles to cut its public expenditure by 40% as a condition of receiving more aid (EIU









1989:55). One thousand civil servants were dismissed in 1987, and 1,400 more in 1988.

The ruling party in the Central government was toppled in the next election, but the cuts

stood. Numerous government industries were (semi-) privatized on all the islands,

including sewage, water and electric. Perhaps the most devastating change for average

citizens has been the tightening and re-writing of tax laws for personal income and

property.

After carrying budget deficits again for several years, the Central government, in

consultation with the IMF, undertook a structural adjustment program in 1996. It is

intended to eliminate fiscal deficits in four years. Adjustment measures included "a

rationalization of the civil service, a wage "freeze" during 1996-97, reform of civil-service

pensions, the introduction of a health insurance scheme, and the introduction of new

taxes (this last was reportedly a precondition for assistance from the Netherlands in

restoring international reserves) (EUROPA 1998:2478)." Voters again held the ruling

political party responsible. Still, as the situation stands, the incoming government is

"likely to have little opportunity to relax austerity measures if the support of its

international creditors [is] to be retained (EUROPA 1998:2478)."


Persevering in a Many-Scaled World Context

Countless writers have recognized the dangers to smaller countries in the global

market context. Lack of control is the greatest threat, as events and decisions made

elsewhere can have dramatic effects at home. Stated succinctly (and with remarkable

honesty) in an investment guide (Coopers & Lybrand 1995:33):

Bonaire has an open economy largely dependent on external factors
outside of the island's immediate control, such as tourism and related
activities, oil transshipment, salt manufacturing and shipment and
external transfers of development aid and investment capital.

Recent events have shaken the current development strategies for the

Netherlands Antilles, and punctuate its precarious position in the many-scaled world









context. Offshore banking tax laws have repeatedly been amended or repealed, as

efforts have been made to curtail suspected drug-money laundering on Curacao. The

Retiree Incentive Law was amended in 1997 to raise the tax rate to 15%, to increase the

house value to 750,000 guilders, and to increase the age limit to 55. The Dutch

government claimed that it lost 600 million guilders per year as the law previously stood.

But the loss of 100 million guilders to the Central government of the Netherlands Antilles

is one-third of the total tax revenue (EIU 1995:34).

A bitter appraisal was made of the oil industry situation in 1986, at the time of

Aruba's refinery closure and the sale of Shell Curacao:

...the Caribbean oil industry always was, and still is, dependent, well-nigh
absolutely, on decisions taken by external interests with no inherent or
permanent commitment to the level of oil industry activities needed to
ensure that they contribute to the well-being and development of the
Caribbean nations (Odell 1986:44).

Since that time, in another big turnaround, the Aruba refinery was sold to Coastal

Oil of Houston, Texas, and reopened in 1991. The refinery was refurbished in 1989-91,

helping to fuel another construction boom on Aruba (note Aruba's latest population jump

in Figure 11).

Recently the European Union decided to restrict the import of rice and sugar from

Overseas Countries and Territories, which has crippled the rice mill on Bonaire (Central-

Bank 1997).

The tourism industry in small countries is sometimes directly foreign owned, and

even when not, is highly dependent on foreign tourism operators, airlines, and the state

of the world economy.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to self-determination is the global economy itself.

Foreign borrowing requires foreign exchange in repayment. Foreign exchange

generation requires export earnings from world trade. Countries like the Netherlands









Antilles are forced by their international creditors to facilitate economic development in

order to produce export goods. This rationale of capitalism requires growth.


Ecotourism at Appropriate Intensities

Tourism might be the most sensible "export" industry to emerge on Bonaire since

the salt works (see also Tourism). Caribbean islands in the world marketplace are

synonymous with vacation travel, and Bonaire's ecotourism product distinguishes itself in

the market for its pristine coral reefs and easy shore-dive coastlines. In its Structure

Plan (Island Government 1990), the National Tourism Policy (TCB 1995 and APPENDIX

Z) and the so-called "Pourier Report" (Pourier 1992 and APPENDIX Y), Bonaire has

made exceptional efforts to define policy that will maintain its tourism product and

include its citizens in the economic benefits.

Bonaire's ecotourism policies are intended to protect the island from hotel over-

building and reef destruction. Policies protect local labor, with various provisions for

educating and training the tourism workforce and restricting foreign labor immigration.

Policies guarantee public access to the coastal zones. Policies aim to limit foreign

capital investment when locally-available capital resources can be found. Policies intend

to expand the linkages between tourism and other sectors of the local economy,

particularly agriculture, livestock, fishery, handicraft and services. Policies exist to limit

casino gambling and restrict foreign fast-food chains from entering the market. In

general, policies strive to support tourism development that will raise the wealth of

Bonaire and its inhabitants.

The three greatest challenges to ecotourism could be the related issues of

economic (over-) growth, resident workforce participation (at all levels of the industry),

and population density. Government policy-makers are aware that the very tourism

product that the island is selling can be ruined by an over-zealous development strategy.







47


As stated in the National Tourism Policy, "Development which does not take careful

account of environmental and human resource concerns could deplete or eliminate the

very assets which makes Bonaire attractive to visitors and local residents alike."

Especially in tourism that is "eco-", depleting the natural ecology from above or below

the sea will degrade the tourism product itself.


350

300

250
200

150
100


Figure 17: Population Densities, Metropolitan Areas Comparison.
This graph compares the population densities of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire with select
Florida metro areas, as defined in the US Census for 1990. By this metric, the densities
of Aruba and Curacao are very high, comparable to the Miami metro areas. Bonaire's
density is comparable to the Ocala metro area. This comparison seems to appropriately
suggest the relative intensities of development of the islands. (Comparing population
densities is always problematic. If the island densities were compared to city densities,
they would be under-valued because they have both rural and urban areas. If the
islands were compared to county densities, the island might be either over-valued or
under-valued, depending on the size of the urban area in the county and the political-
economic intentions in creating county boundaries. This comparison with Florida
metropolitan areas is a better solution, because the metropolitan standard is used.)


446

391 385
344





163 161
- ---133 129
- - 86 84 79 --76-6
n m 684 64 59 48
:-:-::-:--:-::-i~ fIaM









Maintaining natural assets is ultimately a human density and development

intensity issue. Facilitating the training of local populations to assume leading positions

in the tourism industry is a related concern. Figure 17 compares population densities for

the Leeward Islands with the densities of metropolitan areas in Florida. While there are

difficulties with any comparison, the graph suggests that development on Aruba and

Curacao is dense. High-density development draws greater resources from the natural

environment, increasing the intensity of development.

Development intensities calculated with emergy measurements indeed show

Curacao to have a far greater intensity of development (see CHAPTER 8). The

development intensity of Bonaire, however, is also seen to be fairly high. This may not

be an issue in itself, as will be discussed in CHAPTER 8. Development intensity is a

relative measure. Ecotourism that is not disruptive to local ecosystems and sociocultural

systems is development that matches the existing system in intensity. In the Amazon,

for example, the existing intensity may indeed be very low, and ecotourism intensity

should be low if not to disrupt existing systems, while at other sites, like Bonaire, the pre-

ecotourism development intensity may be higher to begin with. The Tourism section in

CHAPTER 12 discusses this issue in full.















CHAPTER 4
HUMAN-ECOSYSTEMS ON BONAIRE


Bonaire's Natural Systems

Stoffers differentiates a number of terrestrial plant communities on Bonaire

(Stinapa 1982). The terrestrial vegetation has been more generally described by

Westermann and Zonneveld (Westermann and Zonneveld 1956:58):




F~,iu 18: T "*orn Fors V~gt .i ~oni




















Figure 18: Thorn Forest Vegetation


Bonaire's primary vegetation is largely a factor of the tropical semi-arid
climate with its prolonged dry season, and consists mainly of tropical dry
scrub and woodlands of slightly varying types. The xerophytic character
is pronounced and there is a distinct predominance of low and thorny
trees and shrubs--some of which are semi-deciduous--belonging to the
Leguminosae, Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae, Cactaceae, and other families
of less importance. Almost everywhere the soil is greatly exposed









through lack of a coherent plant cover. It is only during the infrequent wet
seasons that a close herbaceous cover develops in places. The
limestone plateaus, with their typical "Karst" features, are practically
devoid of normal soil, but may nevertheless carry a fairly dense
vegetation of low trees and shrubs. The influence of the strong trade-
winds is apparent: the windward slopes of the higher mountains show a
much poorer vegetation cover than the leeward slopes.

An aggregated description of the ecosystems of Bonaire might be three: (1) the

thorn forest (Figure 18, Figure 21, Figure 22), which covers the semi-arid terrestrial

environment (called mondi in Papiamentu), (2) the salinja and salt lake regions (Figure

37, Figure 38), and (3) the coastal ecosystems, including the coral reefs, the small coves

(Figure 19), and the large estuary in the southeast (Lac Bay, Figure 24). The thorn

forest may be split into the limestone and volcanic soil areas (see Figure 6, in CHAPTER

2), although much vegetation is not strictly limited to one soil type or another.





















Figure 19: Coastal Ecosystems



Terrestrial life on Bonaire must contend with the low rainfall of its semi-arid

environment (Figure 20). Rainfall averages 530 mm/yr, but yearly totals vary widely,

some years with 250 mm and others with 950 mm (Westermann and Zonneveld









1956:54). There is also great variation between a short rain season and longer drought

period.























Figure 20: Short-Lived Rainfall Collected in Dams


The total annual rainfall is not the only important figure since there is a
critical point in monthly rainfall below which evaporation exceeds
precipitation, and plant growth begins to experience drought.


In the tropics, this point is represented by 100mm of rainfall per month. In
general, in Bonaire there are only one or two months per year in which
rainfall exceeds 100 mm. Consequently the vegetation--as far as it is
dependent on the precipitation--suffers from drought for the greatest part
of the year (Stoffers in Stinapa 1982:34).

Figure 49, CHAPTER 5 depicts the use of water on Bonaire. See APPENDIX E for the

water budget emergy analysis.


Natural Production in Arid and Semi-arid Regions of the World

Bonaire's ecosystems can usefully be compared to other desert arid or semi-arid

regions of the world. Arid environments often show low productivity, with pulses of


production following rains.









[In arid environments] productivity and biomass are low... below most
other ecosystems. However, at certain times and places, deserts show
high levels of productivity and biomass that are well within the range of
temperate and tropical grasslands, shrublands and woodlands. (Noy-Meir
1985:93)

Primary production can be irregular during the year, and vary significantly

between years.

In deserts... productivity is highly variable and highly correlated with
rainfall. Plant productivity in most desert regions is extremely variable
between years and between places, ranging from zero to several
hundreds of grams per square meter. The main reason is the variability
in time and space in rainfall, or more precisely in the effective water input
to the root zone (Noy-Meir 1985:93-4).


Figure 21: Kadushi Candle Cactus


This pattern of great variability is similar to the rainfall pattern on Bonaire

described above. In some deserts, annuals and short-lived or drought-deciduous

perennials are a response to limited rainfall. On Bonaire, however, there is additionally a

predominance of long-lived trees (watapana, acacia, mesquite, kibrahacha (Poui tree,

Tabebuia billberghii), the once exported wayaka (lignum-vitae, Guaiacum officinale), and









the large candle cacti, kadushi (Cereus repandus, Figure 21)) and yatu (Lemaireocereus

griseus, Figure 26).

...in some hot deserts there are... long-lived non-deciduous shrubs, trees
or succulents. Where these forms are dominant, the biomass turnover of
the desert community may even be slower than that of an adjacent semi-
arid grassland (Noy-Meir 1985:95-6).


Detritus and Wind

Arid environments have several unique and interesting features, one of which is

the fate of live plant matter. Fewer herbivores may be present than might be expected

to consume live plant primary production.

In deserts... utilization efficiency of plant production by herbivores is low.
Theoretically, it may be expected that herbivores are able to utilize only a
small proportion of plant production in deserts, because most herbivore
populations cannot respond fast enough to the large and rapid variations
in available plant biomass water... On the other hand, a large proportion
of seed production in deserts and semi-arid regions (up to 90-95%) may
be taken by granivores (ants, rodents and birds). (Noy-Meir 1985:96)

Bonaire has a large population of domestic goats, which is kept alive in droughts

by their owners, and which is therefore available when plant production pulses. Even

so, much live plant matter becomes litterfall on Bonaire and in other arid environments.

Wind erosion and detritivores play an important role in removing plant detritus in arid

environments.

In deserts... most plant material is removed by physical erosion and/or by
detritivores. Since only a small proportion (2-10%) of leaf and stem
biomass in deserts is consumed by herbivores while green, most of it
remains as litter or standing dead biomass. In temperate forests and
grasslands this materials is then mostly decomposed by bacteria and
fungi. In deserts microbial activity is limited to the short periods of the
year when the soil surface is moist. There is probably little or no
microbial decomposition in the long dry periods which usually follow the
accumulation of dead plant material at the end of the growing season.
Most of the material, nevertheless, disappears from the surface during the
dry season or the following wet season; only dead wood and some rather
tough stems may remain on the desert surfaces for years. The finer
material is removed by a combination of two processes: consumption by
soil invertebrate detritivores (termites, ants, mites, isopods) which are
quite abundant in deserts; and physical fragmentation, erosion and









transport by wind and water [high winds on Bonaire therefore must play
an important role]. The transported organic material accumulates around
obstacles (e.g. shrubs) and in gullies and depressions, where it is then
attacked by detritivores (Noy-Meir 1985:97).


Fertile Islands and Tera Pretu on Bonaire

Another defining feature of arid environments is the existence of "fertile islands"

of productivity (Figure 22). This characteristic is recognized by Bonairians who call the

valuable soil under trees and shrubs tera pretu (black soil).


Figure 22: Fertile Soil (tera


Nutrients are concentrated around shrubs and in the top soil layer. Most
indicators of soil fertility (organic matter, total and available nitrogen,
phosphorus and cations, numbers and activity of microbial and arthropod
decomposers) are generally low in desert soils, but in the soil under and
around shrubs, and particularly in the top layer there, these
measurements are all several times higher than elsewhere. There are
several reasons for this: the direct input of shrub litter, additional
deposition of litter transported by wind or water, microclimatic and soil
surface conditions under the shrub which are more favorable for
biological activity, and enrichment by animals which prefer the shrub
micro-environment (e.g. ants). West and Skujins (1978) described the
desert landscape as consisting of "fertile islands" with high biological









activity covering a small fraction of the area, surrounded by a generally
infertile surface. (Noy-Meir 1985:98).

Nitrogen is a sometimes-limiting nutrient in arid systems, and "fertile islands" may

assist in holding on to it.


Figure 23: Plowed Fields
Characteristically leaning


watapana trees grow in plowed fields.


The distribution of nitrogen in arid soils is closely tied to organic matter;
hence it is greatest in areas of aboveground and below ground carbon
accumulation.

In North American deserts, it has been well established that annual plants
are concentrated under shrub canopies. Litter accumulates under shrub
canopies, producing a soil with higher organic matter, higher nutrient
levels, and enhanced water infiltration. These factors combine to support
luxuriant growth of annual plants under the canopy. The low nutrient
levels in the intershrub spaces, lower infiltration, and harsher thermal
environment combine to produce sparse annual plants in these areas.
Shrubs with litter layers are the "islands of fertility" in a shrub-dominated
desert...

Nitrogen may enter a system through atmospheric dust (translocation) or
by N fixed by the energy of electrical storms in the atmospheric N2...









Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by Rhizobium or free-living rhizosphere
organisms needs to be measured in desert ecosystems. Noy-Meir (1974)
and Hadley and Szarek (1981) point out that this process occurs in
leguminous and other desert plants and could be substantial... (Whitford
1986:111-2).

On Bonaire there are many leguminous plants, including acacia, mesquite,

watapana, and tamarind. These trees are often permitted to grow within kunukus

(Figure 23). In fact, many sorghum fields are dotted with watapana, despite the difficulty

of plowing around them, etc. These trees provide nutrients to the soil as well as shade,

seeds and leaves for goats.


Plants on Bonaire

Plants on Bonaire must meet the difficult problems of low rainfall, irregular

rainfall, and rainfall concentrated in a 3 month rainy season.

The pattern of plant diversity on Bonaire may be a response to this stressful

water regime, among other factors:

[On Bonaire] the flora comprises about 340 species, a relatively large
number if one takes into account the small surface of the island and the
low rainfall. It is rather peculiar that in Bonaire many of the plant families
(ca 40%) are represented by a single species only, whilst there are only a
few families with 15 or more species. Among the latter are found the
legume family, composite family, spurge family, sedge family, and the
grasses (Stoffers in Stinapa 1982:34).

The relatively high diversity on Bonaire might be explicable by considering the

close proximity of the three ecosystems described above, thorn forest (Figure 18),

salinja (Figure 38), salt lakes (Figure 37), and coastal (Figure 19, Figure 24). Rather

than being peculiar, the pattern of few species within a functional group is not

uncommon in other high stress environments, because diversity within an ecosystem

might require sufficient or stable energy flows (Odum 1983:344-45).































Figure 24: Coastal


Adaptations of plants in arid environments listed by Whittaker (1970) include the

following. Each of these features can be found among Bonaire's vegetation:

(a) deep or wide-ranging root systems;
(b) water-storage tissues;
(c) protective covering by wax, hairs and other coatings;
(d) reducing leaf surface by shedding leaves;
(e) use of green stems for photosynthesis;
(f) stomatal functions including 'reversed' actions with carbon dioxide being
taken in at night and fixed as malate which is then available as carbon
dioxide source during the day (CAM);
(g) tolerance of tissue to reduced water-content even to nearly air-dry conditions
in some club mosses and ferns;
(h) high osmotic concentrations allowing water uptake from relatively dry soils;
(i) growth during seasons when water is available






























Figure 25: Sorghum in a Kunuku.
Sorghum is green in the short growing season.


It is often repeated in the literature that there are four ecological methods by

which plants and animals meet drought conditions (McGinnies 1984:313). This

functional model has been usefully applied to Bonaire (Westermann and Zonneveld

1956:59-60):

Drought-escaping

Plants: Annuals and ephemerals which grow during moist seasons and
live through dry seasons in the seed stage. Seeds of these plants
germinate with the first substantial rains and the plants complete their
entire life cycle in the brief one to three months before the desert
becomes too dry again for growth. Woody species that leaf when it is
rainy and drop their leaves during dry periods have similar drought
avoiding systems. (Simpson and Solbrig 1977:15)

Animals: Animals that enter arid lands only when moisture is available--
largely insects and other invertebrates [migratory birds on Bonaire]

Bonaire (Westermann and Zonneveld 1956:59):

Many annuals
Sorghum Sorghum vulgare (Maishi chikitu)(see Figure 25, Figure
35)
Ipomoea


...









Ruellia tuberosa

Drought-evading (avoiding)

Plants: Plants making economical use of limited soil moisture supply
through wide spacing, reduced leaf and stem surface.

Animals: Burrowing animals, with night activity, that do not need to
provide water for temperature control.

Bonaire (Westermann and Zonneveld 1956:60):

...xerophytic shrubs and trees with large root systems and special
adjustments for reducing evaporation, i.e., relatively small size,
flat, umbelliform crowns, small, often leathery leaves, and thorny
stems and branches. Several have some value as fodder for
goats and sheep.
Acacia
Watapana
Brazilwood
Pokhout
Weli-sali (Croton)

Drought-resistant

Plants: Succulents that store water and are able to continue growth when
soil moisture is not available. Not characteristic of extreme deserts.


"WI_ '


Figure 26: Yatu Candle Cactus and Aloe vera









Animals: Animals that resist drought through physiological processes by
which they are able to concentrate their urine, lose little water in the
feces, stop perspiration, endure dehydration and still remain active--the
camels is a fine example [goats on Bonaire].

Bonaire:

Cactuses--Yatu (Figure 26), kadushi (Figure 21), tuna, others
Agaves
Aloe vera

Drought-enduring

Plants: Drought-dormant plants that estivate when drought occurs and
continue growth when moisture is available. This includes many
prominent desert seed plants and also algae, lichens, mosses, and ferns.

Animals: Animals that estivate and any invertebrates that recover after
desiccation. Also vertebrates such as ground squirrels and gophers that
estivate during hot dry periods. (McGinnies 1984:313)

Bonaire:
Several grasses
(Sorghum can also estivate for short periods)

A fifth category (phreatophytes) is suggested by (Simpson and Solbrig 1977:16-

7), and Bonaire possesses, in great abundance, a very important member of this

functional group--mesquite.

Phreatophytes

Woody perennials that grow in and exploit water rich microhabitats.
These species... have exceedingly long tap roots as well as more shallow
lateral root systems that allow them to top underground water below the
surface of the soil when the superficial supply is depleted... Usually,
phreatophytes are restricted in true deserts to wash edges where they
can reach underground water sources, or to low areas of high water
holding capacity. In less arid regions where rainfall is relatively high or
local factors such as elevation or exposure increase the amount of
superficial available moisture, individuals of Prosopis do not necessarily
behave like phreatophytes. Despite their specialized root systems,
phreatophytes are still exposed to high solar insolation and hot dry air.
They consequently have specializations in morphology, physiology, and
phenology that tend to reduce high transpiration rates.


Prosopisjuliflora Kuida (a salt tolerant species of mesquite)









Animals on Bonaire

Adaptations of animals to arid environments listed by Whittaker (1970) include

the following:

(a) increasing water intake by eating plant tissue with high water content or by
drinking dew;
(b) direct water uptake from the air (arthropods);
(c) use of metabolic water from respiration of food;
(d) reduction of water loss by excretion and egestion of concentrated urine and
nearly dry feces;
(e) impermeable body coverings to reduce water loss;
(f) reducing water loss by inactivity, shade and underground shelters (McGinnies
1984:311-3)






















Figure 27: Iguana (Iguana iguana)



Invertebrates

As stated above, in arid environments where microbial activity and herbivory is

low, much of plant production is consumed as litter or standing dead biomass by soil

invertebrate detritivores. An important taxa in some arid ecosystems including Bonaire

is termites. Not only do they decompose detritus, but they also perform vital functions in

the mechanical production and conditioning of topsoil.









Subterranean termites are diverse and abundant in the warm arid and
semiarid regions of the world. Wood and Sands (1978) point out that in
many semiarid ecosystems the biomass energy flow through termites is
greater than or equal to that of mammals, including grazing herbivores...

In the absence of termites, physical weathering and activity of fungi and
bacteria accounted for only 4% mass loss from dung pats during the
growing season... If termites were eliminated from such an ecosystem,
dung would require from twenty-five to thirty years to be reincorporated
into the soil. The accumulation of organic matter into dung and the
physical presence of increasing quantities of this material would markedly
reduce the productivity of semiarid rangelands for grazing livestock...

Based on data from the Sahel in Africa and some data from Australia,
Wood and Sands (1978) provide evidence that termites are "keystone"
taxa in other arid and semiarid ecosystems. Termites are not only
abundant but change the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil
process, consume a major fraction of the primary productivity, and return
nutrients to the ecosystem via salivary secretions, feces, corpses, and
predators...

The importance of termites in semiarid and arid ecosystems is not limited
to organic matter processing and nutrient cycling. Nest construction,
galleries, and tunnels all affect soil structure and soil chemistry... The
large quantities of material turned over by this kind of activity can be very
significant. (Whitford 1986:107-9)

Another critical invertebrate taxa on Bonaire is landsnails. The leeward group of

the Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba) boasts 30-40 different species of

snails.

Most landsnails prefer a limestone habitat, not only because this offers
them an inexhaustible supply of limestone, needed for the development of
their shells, but also because this habitat often presents better conditions
for obtaining food, retains water and offers better protection against the
radiation of the sun, compared to non-calcareous, crumbling substrates.
(Hummelinck in Stinapa 1982:48).

Vertebrates

Vertebrates in arid ecosystems play many important and overlapping roles.

...almost all organic materials except wood, detritus, and microorganisms
are consumed by desert vertebrates. Most kinds of foods are eaten by
more than one functional group: green vegetation by large reptiles, small
mammals, and large mammals; seeds by small birds and small
mammals; insects by small reptiles, small birds, small terrestrial
mammals, and bats; vertebrates by large reptiles, large birds, and large
mammals; and nectar by small birds and bats. This apparent overlap in









diet means that different taxonomic and functional groups of vertebrates
compete potentially for limited food resources in unproductive desert
environments. (Brown 1986:59)


Figure 28: Colorful Lizard (Cnemidophorus murinus ruthveni)


Reptiles have special advantages in hot and arid environments. They are

efficient users of limited available energies. Bonaire has 7 species of lizards (Figure 28,

Figure 29), two of which are unique to Bonaire (Stinapa 1982:47). Bonaire's lizard

population is tremendous, and includes the common iguana, Iguana iguana (Figure 27),

which in past times was known to reach 2 meters.

Reptiles, especially lizards and snakes, are diverse and abundant in
deserts. Much of their success can be attributed to a suite of traits that
enable them to play ecological roles very different from those of birds and
mammals. Unlike endotherms, which use internal heat production to
maintain high, relatively constant body temperatures, reptiles are
ectothermic; their body temperature varies with the thermal
characteristics of their environment... Associated with these differences in
thermoregulatory and activity patterns, reptiles have much lower energy
requirements than those of birds and mammals. Even at comparable
body temperatures (30-40 C) standard resting metabolic rates of
ectothermic reptiles and amphibians are only 10 to 20% those of
endothermic vertebrates of comparable size. Since desert reptiles spend
substantial parts of their daily and annual cycles inactive and at much
lower body temperatures, their long-term rates of energy intake are even









lower, perhaps only 1 to 5% those of birds and mammals of comparable
size...A habitat or food resource that could sustain only a small
population of birds or mammals can support a much larger population of
lizards, snakes, or tortoises. Thus, reptiles are ecologically more efficient
than endotherms in the sense that a much larger proportion of the food
they consume is incorporated into biomass and made available to their
predators at higher trophic levels. Available data suggest that ectotherms
are at least an order of magnitude more efficient as producers of biomass
than are birds and mammals of comparable size. Furthermore, the
reptiles can go dormant and survive for many months without eating food.
(Brown 1986:53)






















Figure 29: Countless Lizards on Bonaire



Birds are also very common on Bonaire and in other arid environments. Birds

have very different energy problems than reptiles. They meet their food requirements

with mobility, among other characteristics.

First, they are endothermic. They maintain high, relatively constant body
temperatures. This is associated with high rates of metabolism, and with
high levels of foraging and activity... The vast majority of desert birds
mush have high, relatively constant rates of food intake throughout the
year.

A second general attribute of birds is their ability to fly. The mobility
conferred by flight enables birds to avoid many of the problems of
continually meeting high energy requirements in an environment of low









and fluctuating food resources. The temporal and spatial scale of
movement varies among species, but almost all desert birds use their
mobility to track food supplies. Many species are migratory; they are not
permanent residents of arid habitats, but move into them only during
seasons when sufficient food resources are available [Bonaire is visited
by over 100 migratory bird species]. (Brown 1986:55)

Brown has identified three functional groups of birds in arid environments (Brown

1986:55-56):

1) Small insectivores. This taxonomically diverse assemblage contains
many species with body weights in the range of 4 to 80 g. In includes
diurnal woodpeckers, flycatchers, wrens, phainopeplas, verdins, and
shrikes; the repuscular goatsuckers; and the small nocturnal owls.
Although all of these feed primarily on insects, they exhibit a wide
variety of foraging behaviors, including aerial hawking, sallying,
foliage gleaning, and ground and trunk foraging. Rather than
executing a special category for the few species of nectar-feeding
hummingbirds, they are included here because they also feed, to a
large extent, on insects.

2) Small granivores. Those birds which feed primarily on seeds are
diurnal, weigh from 10 to 200 g, and belong to three groups: the
finches, doves, and quail. The finches take seeds primarily in the
winter, when migrant sparrows join the residents sparrows, house
finches, and towhees. The sparrows often form mixed-species flocks
and forage over large areas. Doves and quail tend to be present
throughout the year, although they may move around within the
deserts.

3) Large carnivores. This group contains the large nocturnal owls and
the diurnal hawks [on Bonaire], eagles, ravens, and roadrunners.
These are relatively large birds, weighing from 100 g to 5 kg. They
take a variety of prey, including lizards, snakes, other birds, and small
mammals.

Bonaire has many members of these functional groups. The most common bird

fauna on Bonaire are:

... the Bananquit Coereba flaveola is by far the commonest. Yellow
Warblers Dendroica petechia, Tropical Mockingbirds Mimus gilvus,
Smooth flycatchers Sublegatus modestus, Brown-crested Flycatchers
Myiarchus tyrrannulus, Common Ground Doves Columbigallina passerina
and Eared Doves Zenaida auriculata, are also conspicuous by their
numbers, as are Parakeets Aratinga pertinax and two species of
hummingbird, particularly the Ruby-topaz Chrysolampis mosquitus.
(Voous 1983:20).









In number, there are many bird species on Bonaire. A large number of those

species are migratory, taking advantage of the pulses of production that occur with

irregular rains in arid ecosystems:

The number of bird species recorded in Bonaire is 181; among these are
51 breeding species, 91 migrants from North America, 21 visitors from
continental South America; besides 24 species of seabirds. Three
subspecies of birds are restricted to Bonaire, viz. The Parakeet [Prikichi in
Papiamentu] Aratinga pertinax xanthogenius, the Pearly-eyed Thrasher
[Chuchubi spanyo] Margarops fuscatus bonairensis, and the Bananaquit
[Chibichibi] Coereba flaveola bonairensis. (Voous 1983:22)

Mammals in arid environments are perhaps faced with the greatest difficulties.

They must endure heat and drought, while maintaining a constant body temperature and

moisture intake.


i .


Figure 30: Donkeys Graze Freely over Much of Bonaire


All mammals are basically endothermic, and most species, like birds,
require sustained high levels of food intake to support their high metabolic
rates. Many species of rodents or bats either hibernate or estivate.
During seasons when food is unavailable they become inactive, allow
their body temperatures to drop to near ambient levels, and drastically
reduce their energy requirements.









1) Small granivores. It is composed exclusively of small (7-120 g),
nocturnal rodents of the families Heteromyidae and Cricetidae. These
burrowing rodents exist largely or exclusively on the seeds of desert
plants.

2) Small to medium-sized folivores. This group includes several kinds of
rodents and lagamorphs. These grazers and browsers span a fairly
wide range of body sizes (100 g to 1 kg), are both diurnal and
nocturnal, and include hibernators and fossorial species.

3) Small to medium-sized omnivores. Most representatives of this group
are small (15-100g) rodents... Most of these are primarily
insectivorous...

4) Large carnivores...foxes and coyotes... [Dogs on Bonaire]

5) Large folivores. This group includes the native grazers and
browsers... To these must be added domestic sheep, goats (Figure
31, Figure 32), cattle, burros (Figure 30), and horses.

6) Bats. Most of the bats are exclusively insectivorous, although nectar-
and pollen-eating forms occur in some habitats [on Bonaire]. (Voous
1983:57-8)

Vertebrates play important feedback roles in arid ecosystems:

Vertebrates are among the largest and most active of desert organisms.
They can play potentially important roles by transporting objects and by
changing the physical nature of materials... Certain birds and bats are the
primary, often obligate pollinators of many desert plants, including some
of the dominant shrubs and succulents... Other vertebrates, especially
the highly mobile birds and large mammals, are important dispersers of
seeds.

During the processing of food, all vertebrates transform and transport
materials. When they deposit feces and urine, they leave physically
altered organic and inorganic substances in new locations, sometimes far
from where they are produced and ingested.


Vertebrates also process and modify soil. Many of the small mammals
are burrowers, and their extensive digging activities mix the soil and alter
its physical properties... These rodents also transport large quantities of
organic material to their dens, which then become highly concentrated
sources of decomposing detritus. (Brown 1986:60-1)

On Bonaire, goats disperse prickly-pear cactus (Opuntia wentiana, called tuna in

Papiamentu), a critical early succession species that quickly cover bare ground when

abandoned. Goats also provide for the transport of nutrients from the mondi into









sorghum kunukus, which may be vital in maintaining soil fertility in fields that receive no

fertilizers.


Goats

Goats are numerous on Bonaire (Figure 31, Figure 32). They have been on

Bonaire since the earliest days of colonial control, and have clearly played an important

role in shaping the ecology of the island. The resulting thorn forest terrestrial ecosystem

is well armed to limit the damage of foraging goats. Goats contribute to the movement

of nutrients and seeds, and provide mechanical services to their arid ecosystems. They

are flexible browsers that can survive the most uncertain environments with a little help

from humans.


Figure 31: Goats Are Flexible









The wide distribution of goats, from the temperate zone to the semi-arid
and super-humid tropical environments, is possibly due to their ability to
feed on a wide variety of foodstuffs--mainly tree and shrub leaves and
grasses. They are able to utilize feeds normally not eaten by cattle or
sheep.

... [Goats] relish variety in their feed and do not thrive well when kept on a
single type of feed for any length of time. They prefer to select from many
varieties of feeds, such as a combination of grasses and shrub plants or
tree leaves. Goats tend to nibble at the shoots and leaves of growing
plants and reject the stems. Even the same plant may be consumed at
one time and rejected at other times... The most important factor affecting
choice of feed is the availability of a variety of feeds. (Devendra and
McLeroy 1982:55)


Figure 32: Goats on the Move


Despite the valuable ecosystems roles played by goats, their presence and

numbers on Bonaire, and their free ranging browsing of the mondi make them

controversial island inhabitants (Figure 32). Here is a typical negative depiction of the

effects of goat foraging:

Tens of thousands of goats and sheep are running half wild over the
islands. In consequence, much of the exposed soil has been removed by
wind and water. In some areas this has led to secondary deserts, e.g. in




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