Local May 29, 2024 | 2:49 pm

Foreign Minister Álvarez urges regional emergency declaration on sargassum

Santo Domingo.- Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez reiterated President Luis Abinader’s call within the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) to declare the sargassum outcrop a regional emergency, emphasizing the need to address this issue urgently at the UN General Assembly.

Álvarez, leading the Dominican delegation at the Fourth Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda, highlighted that “pollution and ocean warming are factors exacerbating the uncontrolled sargassum upwelling,” which affects thirty countries in the Greater Caribbean and beyond, particularly the islands.

He noted that sargassum significantly harms coastal communities and the crucial tourism industry in the Caribbean region, on which the Dominican Republic heavily relies.

“This phenomenon especially damages coastal communities and the vital tourism industry of our region,” Álvarez stated, according to a press release.

Álvarez recalled that a year ago, the Dominican Republic secured unanimous support from ACS member countries to combat sargassum during the organization’s summit in Guatemala.

At that summit, Álvarez warned about the threat posed by the macroalgae, which sickens fish that communities depend on for food, obstructs boat passage, and damages the tourism industry.

In the “Declaration of Antigua” signed in Guatemala, heads of state and government recognized climate change as one of the greatest threats to the region and declared sargassum an “emergency,” committing to collaborate on solutions to this problem.

Álvarez reiterated the country’s demand for the commitment to double climate financing by 2025, stating, “This will allow more resources to be available for adaptation and the creation of resilience.”

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