Popular with scuba divers
Klein Bonaire is intensively used for the immensely popular diving sport on our island. The uninhabited island was sold to Angel Jeserun in 1868 and remained in private hands until 1999, after which it became part of the Bonaire National Marine Park in 2001.
The last private owner of the islet was DCKB, led by the wealthy Aruban project developer Maurice Neme. He wanted to develop the uninhabited island and he had, among other things, in collaboration with the American-Caribbean singer Harry Belafonte, already developed a housing project under the current name of the district ‘Belnem’: the ‘BEL’ of Belafonte and the ‘NEM’ of Neme, but all plans for the islet met with opposition and disapproval, also because the island became increasingly important for diving tourism and as a nesting place for sea turtles.
Harry Belafonte and Klein Bonaire
The involvement of Belafonte and his love for Bonaire, by the way, is denounced by the Bonairian former politician Jopie Abraham.
In any case, Neme eventually sold ‘Klein’ to nature organizations, after which the building prohibition could be maintained and the unspoiltness of the small island was preserved in this way! (linked articles in Dutch!)