Local February 27, 2023 | 9:05 am

Warning to protect mangroves in border fence construction work

A gredar moves earth to make way for the continuation of the wall.

Santiago, DR
In a communication sent by the then Minister Orlando Jorge Mera to the Minister of Defense, Carlos Luciano Díaz Morfa, on March 7, 2022, the latter explains the requirements for the environmental authorization of the construction works of the intelligent perimeter fence system to be built on the border between our country and Haiti.

Paragraph 5 of the communication states that “we request that you include and give priority to the sections that will protect the protected areas adjacent to our border, such as the Saladilla Lagoon, the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park and Sierra de Neiba, so that our system of protected areas is strengthened for the benefit of our biodiversity and the current and future generations of Dominicans.”

The document also states that the project must include a person in charge or environmental manager of the project who will take an inventory of the forest species impacted by the activities to prepare a compensation program for the replacement of 10 trees for each affected tree.

However, in conversations of the Listín Diario team with the personnel working on the construction of the wall in the Saladilla Lagoon, they assured that they are dismantling the mangroves without any engineer or environmental manager to keep an inventory of the environmental damages.

According to a group of environmentalists who visited the area, thousands of square meters of mangroves in the Saladilla Lagoon Wildlife Refuge have been destroyed.

However, in a press release, the Ministry of Defense states that in the case of the wetlands and mangroves of the Saladilla Lagoon, which occupy 1,500,000 square meters, only approximately six thousand square meters have been touched by opening a path for the fence of 250 linear meters. The damage caused to this wetland puts at risk the lives of dozens of species for which this is their refuge.

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Paul Tierney
March 1, 2023 8:10 am

Inventory the environmental damages, hah! There is a country culture to coverup the prior status anything damaged that could be questioned later. An example of this is resort business having a fire of suspicious nature. The resort starts to clean the fire site immediately after the fire before any investigative agency can get a foot in to find a cause. The government is not unknown for breaking its own rules. It can be bet upon there was no person hired to be an environmental manager.