Netherlands Antilles


  • Location:
    • Integral part of Netherlands, comprising two island groups of three islands each, the Netherlands Leeward and the Netherlands Windward Islands, in the Caribbean Sea. The former group, consisting of Curacao, Bonaire, and until 1986 Aruba separated from Netherlands Antilles and has received a status apart within the Kingdom of Holland. The area of the Netherlands Leeward Islands is 925 sq km (357 sq mi). The Netherlands Windward Islands consist of the southern half of Saint Martin (Saint Maarten) and all of Saint Eustatius and Saba, covering a total area of about 67 sq km (about 26 sq mi). These islands are situated at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles Chain, to the southeast of Puerto Rico.
  • Area:
    • Total: 960 sq km Note: Includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin)
    • Water: 0 sq km
    • Land: 960 sq km
  • Coastline:
    • 64 km
  • Maritime Claims:
    • Exclusive Fishing Zone: 12 NM
    • Territorial Sea: 12 NM
  • Natural Resources:
    • Phosphates (Curacao only),salt (Bonaire only)


  • Population: 216,226 (July 2003 est.)
  • Nationality:
    • noun: Dutch Antillean(s) adjective: Dutch Antillean
  • Ethnic groups: mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian
  • Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-Day Adventist
  • Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely spoken, Spanish


  • Country name:
    • conventional short form: Netherlands Antilles
    • former: Curacao and Dependencies
  • Dependency status: part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
  • Government type: parliamentary
  • Capital: Willemstad
  • Administrative divisions: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    note: each island has its own government
  • International organization participation: Caricom (observer), ECLAC (associate), Interpol, IOC, UNESCO (associate), WCL, WCO, WMO, WToO (associate)


  • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (2002 est.)
  • Industries: tourism (Curacao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao)
  • Agriculture - products: aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
  • Exports: $553 million f.o.b. (2002)
  • Exports - commodities: petroleum products
  • Imports: $1.43 billion f.o.b. (2002)
  • Imports - commodities: crude petroleum, food, manufactures
  • Currency: Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG)

National Policy:

    • Marine Affairs Policy

      National coordination of environmental management and development activities is much needed to decrease conflict and interference among the many desired uses of coastal lands and waters. A first step was taken when in November 1987 an interdisciplinary workshop was held to formulate a National Marine Program. This National Marine Program will be the basis of a national marine policy for the nearby future. At the moment there is no National Policy addressing the management of the jurisdiction of marine resources.


  • Marine Science & Research Policy
  • Coastal Area Policy
  • Environmental Policy

    In Curacao there is an Island ordinance for the Marine Environment (1976) that prohibits the breaking off corals and spearfishing. A new proposal for establishing protected natural areas is still waiting to be submitted to the Island Council for approval. Other islands (Bonaire and Saba) have similar Islands Ordinances, while St. Maarten and St. Eustatius have none.

Insitutional Structure:

      National Parks Foundation


      STINAPA CARMABI, P.O. Box 2090, Curacao


      Telephone: (599-9)62-8161 Cable: CARMABI CURACAO Telefax: (599-9)62-6780

      Stichting Caraibisch Marien Biologisch


      CARMABI (Curacao)


      Piscadera baai, P.O. Box 2090, Curacao


      Telephone: (599-9)62-4242 Cable: CARMABI CURACAO

National Focal Point for IOCARIBE

      Mr. Albert Martis - CURACAO


      Meteorological Department of Curacao




    Tel: (5999) 839 3364

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    NETHERLANDS Director of the Climate, Energy, Environment and Water Department
    P.O. Box 20061 2500EB Den HaagZuid Holland
      Tel: 31 70 3486486 Fax: 31 70 3484848 Email:

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