Local April 22, 2016 | 8:56 am

Earth Day: Scientists give Dominican authorities a failing grade

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic today marks EarthDay, while the Academy of Sciences calls the country’s ecosystems seriously threatened,as evidenced by water shortages, major water sources polluted, lost or eroded soil,deteriorated watersheds, and the unchecked extraction of aggregates in most ofthe country’s rivers, "with the authorities’ indifferent gaze."

It also cited the siltation of the parched dams anddeteriorated highlands ecosystems, the razing of wooded areas with subsequentloss of biodiversity, poorly managed solid waste, high noise levels, andadvancing desertification.

“Another problem is the absence of a plan on land use andserious threats to our National System of Protected Areas.”

"This is a serious and complex challenge which ourcountry faces ahead, which is aggravated by being an island state with threatsfrom the effects of climate change that coincide with predictions of rising sealevels and losses of large coastal areas."

The Academy of Sciences also warns that the inability of governmentagencies to deal with those problems makes the situation even more it

It adds that the population feels powerless andunprotected, because it doesn’t see any authority able to protect the naturalresources by enforcing the law on environmental crimes.

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