Local December 15, 2023 | 8:11 am

Dominican Republic enforces strict measures to protect water bodies

Santo Domingo.- The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MMARN) of the Dominican Republic has issued Resolution no. 0050/2023, effectively banning the placement or abandonment of any non-natural materials near rivers and bodies of water. Authored by Minister Miguel Ceara Hatton on December 13, 2023, this comprehensive ban encompasses a wide range of items, including chairs, motor vehicles, tables, and other objects that could harm the ecosystem or water quality.

Vice Minister of Soil and Water, René Mateo, elaborated on the resolution’s role in enhancing the legal framework for water resource protection. The resolution specifically targets common practices such as setting up tables within river channels used as spas, commonly seen in areas like Fula, Bonao; Arroyo Frío, Constanza; and Guaigüí, La Vega.

This initiative will empower various agencies, including the Ministry of the Environment, Proedemaren, mayoral offices, and the National Police, to effectively manage and ensure safety at different spas. The MMARN’s provincial and municipal offices are tasked with a 90-day survey of all rivers and bodies of water with existing infrastructure, including housing or businesses, that violate the mandatory protection strip of thirty meters on both river banks.

The MMARN will coordinate with the Ministry of Tourism, Proedemaren, and other entities to ensure the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of rivers and bodies of water. This includes a ban on single-use plastics and foam items near these water bodies.

In addition, there’s a one-year timeframe for relevant MMARN bodies to develop action plans in collaboration with mayors, governorships, and vendors. This period is also an opportunity for shops, businesses, and vendors to adapt to new practices regarding the disposal of single-use plastics and foam.

The resolution requires authorization from the MMARN for publicized mass or recreational activities near water bodies, taking into account various environmental and safety factors. Businesses and organizers are responsible for waste management during such events.

Furthermore, the resolution stipulates recreational use schedules for rivers and bodies of water and mandates developers and owners of nearby structures to display informative signage. They are also responsible for alerting authorities in case of emergencies or risks to water bodies or public health.

Finally, the resolution enforces environmental noise protection standards and prohibits the use of motor vehicles with high-power music equipment within the mandatory protection zone around water bodies. This comprehensive approach aims to safeguard the Dominican Republic’s natural water resources and promote responsible and sustainable use.

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Paul Tierney
December 15, 2023 9:45 am

When the Rio Ozama is cleaned up completely and maintained clean, then it will be the proof strict measures are being enforced. Until such time all the public is getting lip service.

December 15, 2023 5:36 pm
Reply to  Paul Tierney

Baron Munchausen time ( read “elections” ) is coming …
Gloves are off …