Japanese ambassador to the Dominican Republic Masahiro Takagi learned about the efforts for sustainable mountain conservation at the Loma Quita Espuela Scientific Reserve during his weekend two-day visit to San Francisco de Macorís.
Ambassador Takagi was received by Jesús Moreno Portalatín, president of the Loma Quita Espuela Foundation. The foundation was created by the founder of the Helados Bon ice cream company to preserve the important water sources in the central mountain.
The Fundación Quita Espuela private-public conservation effort is a novel venture. It was the first time in the country when people were not evicted by the government from a protected area. Instead they were trained and supported to become caretakers of sustainable activities in the mountain area. Today there is a small hotel and trails so that visitors can have a comfortable stay while learning about the importance of sustainable environmental actions in the protected and scientific research area.
Bishop Emeritus Monsignor Jesús María De Jesús Moya, vice president; Rafael Fernández, secretary; Kimhe Joa, treasurer and María Paulino, member of the organization, were also present to accompany the ambassador.
Ambassador Takagi and his companions stayed at the Don Lulú Ranch, at the entrance to the Loma Quita Espuela Scientific Reserve.
From there, the ambassador hiked the Cloud Trail to Quita Espuela Peak. He also met with young local students for talks on the experiences of Japan with forest conservation.
Ambassador Takagi participated in a lunch meeting with directors and technicians of the Loma Quita Espuela Foundation and visited the organization’s facilities.
The Foundation team gave explanations on the efforts to conserve the Reserve’s rainforest and the support it provides to communities to improve and increase cacao production in the region.
The day event ended with planting native trees from the reserve.
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12 February 2024