2021 Travel News ArchiveTravel

Restoring life underwater: Economic contribution of coral reefs is enormous

Coral reefs generate US$1.14 billion a year in the Dominican Republic as a result of economic activities linked to the beaches in Bayahibe, Punta Cana and Samana. The findings were presented at an event held at the Ministry of Economy. The study is part of an international public-private alliance.

The recreational use of beaches, recreational diving and fishing and research were quantified to highlight the need to step up actions to preserve the services offered by the coastal coral reef ecosystem.

The study revealed that in 11.2 kilometers of Punta Cana coral reefs generate US$514, 377,423.00 per year; while the 34.7 kilometers of coast in Bayahibe, the contribution is US$575,476,200.00. The 17 kilometers of coasts in Samaná contribute per year US$52,420,500.00.

The multi-stakeholder partnership is between the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economy, GIZ international cooperation agency of the German government, Punta Cana Foundation and Fundemar in the Dominican Republic and the government of Costa Rica. The parties are working to save coral reefs. The economic valuation was presented as part of the findings of the “Triangular Project Development of an Innovative Financial Mechanism for the Conservation of Coral Reefs in Dominican Republic.”

During the presentation of the findings, Ministry of Economy’s deputy minister of International Cooperation of the MEPyD, Olaya Dotel and deputy minister of Coastal and Marine Resources of the Ministry of Environment, José Ramón Reyes, highlighted the importance of conserving coral reefs, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.

“This project focused on strengthening public-private efforts, achieving an exchange of experiences and knowledge for the construction of the proposed financial mechanism and facilitating the replication of best practices. In short, to promote innovation, to develop new approaches where actions are insufficient,” said José Ramón Reyes in his opening remarks.

At the beginning of the activity, Deputy Minister of International Cooperation Olaya Dotel highlighted the honor of participating in the results achieved in the framework of this project executed under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, the private sector and the support of two important international cooperation partners: the governments of Germany and Costa Rica.

He expressed that the Costa Rican Conservation System has become a strategic ally to continue advancing in strengthening the capacities and institutions of the Dominican Republic.

“It fills us with satisfaction to emphasize that with this activity and with work teams we have achieved the objective and results that our countries proposed in 2017 to launch the conservation of coral reefs through a financial mechanism that allows private sector investment in the services they provide to these systems,” said Dotel.

Also present at the presentation were Rafael Gutiérrez Rojas, executive director of the National System of Conservation Areas of Costa Rica (SINAC); Saskia Rodríguez Steichen, Director of International Cooperation of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy of Costa Rica (Mideplan); Katrin Wenderman, deputy chief at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Dominican Republic.

Also present were Mauricio Solano, technical advisor, Biodiversity and Business Program in Central America and the Dominican Republic of the German Development Agency, GIZ; Nina Lysenko, Director of Marine and Coastal Resources, Vice Ministry of Marine and Coastal Resources, Dominican Republic and Rita Sellares, executive director, Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies (Fundemar).

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Ministry of Environment

GIZ

12 October 2021