In 2010, the three Caribbean Islands of St Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire formed the Caribbean Netherlands and became special municipalities of the Netherlands. The Netherlands ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Island Government of St Eustatius subsequently agreed to set up an institute at St Eustatius that would foster the development of knowledge and capacity building on the three Caribbean Netherlands' islands in order to encourage excellent research into issues of scientific and social relevance in the Caribbean. CNSI officially opened on 24 April 2014.

CNSI is enabled by NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.
Royal NIOZ is an institute of NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Memorandum of Understanding (in Dutch)

Additional covenant (in Dutch)


CNSI has a multifunctional objective. It serves a facilitating role for research and education for a wide spectrum of disciplines addressing issues and questions relevant to the sustainability of tropical small island economies.

CNSI’s mission is to realise a permanent presence in the Caribbean Netherlands with research facilities, outreach facilities and accommodation for visitors, addressed within the scientific, political and socioeconomic context of the greater Caribbean region, based on:

1) mutual responsibility and understanding

2) sustainable development

3) commitment to multidisciplinary knowledge development and human and institutional capacity building

Vision document


The ambition is to develop CNSI as an authoritative expert and facility centre acknowledged in the Caribbean Netherlands and the wider Caribbean region, positioned at the intersection of science, research, education, management and governance.


Mid-term evaluation CNSI summary