Local January 3, 2024 | 8:05 am

Abinader champions environmental collaboration with new agreement

Santo Domingo .- President Luis Abinader highlighted the importance of citizen empowerment and the environmental sector’s contributions in a recent event at the National Palace. He led the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MMARN) and the Coalition for the Defense of Protected Areas, emphasizing the shared goal of safeguarding protected areas.

President Abinader stressed the significance of public-social sector observation and social auditing in government management. He acknowledged that while there might be disagreements, the collective aim is to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations. He stated, “If there is no environmental sustainability, there will be no true economic development.”

The agreement, signed by Environment Minister Miguel Ceara Hatton and representatives from various environmental organizations, seeks to optimize the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) and strengthen environmental policies. Signatories included Eleuterio Martínez from the Academy of Sciences, Yolanda León from Grupo Jaragua, and Editrudis Beltrán Crisóstomo, rector of UASD, among others.

The agreement also witnessed signatures from representatives of Propagas Foundation, Sur Futuro Foundation, and Plan Sierra.

Minister Ceara Hatton outlined that the agreement entails implementing a common agenda for the defense of protected areas and improving environmental policies. A key feature of this pact is the establishment of the “Observatory of Environmental Policies and Protected Areas”, a body designed to observe and consult on issues related to the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of the Dominican Republic’s natural resources, with a focus on protected areas and biodiversity conservation.

This observatory aims to ensure equitable representation of civil society in environmental matters, promoting conservation and sustainable management of protected areas, and advising on environmental policies.

Environmental advocate Luis Carvajal recognized the agreement as a confirmation of the Coalition for the Defense of Protected Areas’ commitment to defending natural spaces and ensuring the provision of essential services like water, soil productivity, climate stability, and support of life. This agreement marks a significant step towards collaborative environmental governance and sustainable resource management in the Dominican Republic.

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