CR signs agreement to co-participate in marine sanctuary protection

A public-private partnership that seeks the handling of the second largest protected area on the South East Coast of the Dominican Republic was agreed between the Ministry of Environment and an important group of strategic institutions, representatives from communities, fishermen cooperatives, among others, to protect the marine sanctuary in the area.

The protected area comprises the coastal-marine zone from San Pedro de Macorís to Cabo Engaño and extends to the Canal de la Mona.

Two nonprofit foundations will implement activities defined each year by the Council of co-management, who will be responsible for monitoring the performance of these organizations.

The environmental activities of the Eastern part of the sanctuary will be implemented by the “Alianza Arrecifes del Este”, a non-profit organization formed by the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Eastern region, the Association of Aquatic Services of the La Altagracia province, the Punta Cana Foundation, the Tourism Cluster of La Altagracia and the International Association Blue Finance.

While in the South part of the sanctuary it will be performed by the “Consorcio Arrecifes del Sur”, entity formed by the Central Romana Foundation, FUNDEMAR, the Tourism Cluster of La Romana- Bayahibe, the Hotels Association of La Romana-Bayahibe, and the International Association Blue Finance

Both foundations will provide the staff and the necessary equipment operate and will be responsible for securing the necessary finance through investors funding, entrance fee to the sanctuary and other services on sustainable tourism. The activities will cover ecosystems improvement, generating jobs for coastal communities and fishermen, environmental education, surveillance, communication and maintenance.

The main purpose of the agreement is to ensure effective management and sustainable financing for the sanctuary. The benefits expected for the nation are the conservation and restoration of the marine biodiversity of the country, improve its touristic attraction, create new jobs and opportunities in the eco-tourism sector, providing alternatives to unsustainable fishing and resilience against climate change.

Southeastern reefs Marine Sanctuary is a nature reserve created by a government decree 571-09, whose purpose is to preserve the natural habitat and the special environments that are formed along the continental shelf of the South-East region of the Hispaniola island. The protected area, the second largest in the country, has an area of 7,862.59 square kms and ranges from the Canal de la Mona (to the East of Cabo Engaño) to the existing marina portion South of the Higuamo River, where numerous ocean species inhabit.