Local February 15, 2013 | 8:10 am

Dominican environmentalists rebuke touted pact as a “lie”

Santo Domingo.- The country’s environmental movement yesterday rebuked the government’s pact with the alleged titleholders in Bahia de las Aguilas, Pedernales (southwest), arguing that it would create a bad precedent in the cases of protected areas and legal security.

"We do agree with developing tourism in Pedernales and throughout the South, what we oppose is that the government cedes lands that belong to us all, to individuals who have fake titles that are the result of a colossal fraud, "said of Grupo Jaragua director Ivonne Arias.

The biologist Luis Carvajal also agrees that the pact sets a bad precedent. "The government’s decision is very regrettable," and complained that the announcement reveals a narrow vision on development.

The environmentalists said the government is lying when it says the protected areas will not be affected, noting that in the executive order signed by president on Danilo Medina on January 15, nearly all plots numbered 7-13 are within the national park.

"I do not understand why they lie on that basis that they are not in a protected area, because you just have to take the parcels and put them on a map to see that they are," Arias said.

Bahia de las Aguilas lies within the Jaragua National Park, which in turn forms part of to the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve, designated by the UNESCO.

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