Photos: UNDP DR / Jonathan Delance & Mario Peiró
19 May 2017 - The Dominican Republic is an island country surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. With 1,665 kilometers of shore, it has one of the longest coast lines in the Caribbean.
A small island developing state (SIDS) in the Caribbean, the country relies heavily on foreign revenue from tourism. As a result, all ocean and ocean conservation-related issues are intrinsically linked to the tourism sector, and a multidimensional approach is needed when considering ocean issues in the country.
Healthy coastal ecosystems are also the most cost effective way to protect coastal areas and populations from the impacts of climate change, particularly in a country like the Dominican Republic, considered one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. 76% of the country’s coastal areas are legally protected under the National System of Protected Areas. However, the management of these protected areas requires considerable strengthening to achieve their objectives.
On the road to The Ocean Conference next month in New York, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), initiated the Ocean National Consultation to improve the preservation of marine waters and biodiversity.
A series of 5 consultations nationwide are being held during the month of May in Samaná, Barahona, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Santo Domingo. These sessions allow the collection of available data as well as identifying new and existing commitments from all sectors of society; contributing to the fulfillment of the 14th Sustainable Development Goal: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. For the Dominican Republic, SDG 14 is of paramount importance to its sustainable development, as the country’s economy heavily depends on ocean-related activities.
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