Dominican Republic’s biggest ever tourism project faces thorny issues
Santo Domingo.- On the outskirts of the Pedernales government office, a pro-government demonstration is taking place and a man holds a colorful handwritten sign that reads: “Cacti, mesquite and guasábaras are not above man.”
His message is crude and summarizes in one line the greatest challenge for the ambitious development project of this southwestern province, which is to reconcile economic benefits with environmental reality.
The theory exposed in the poster and defended by the group of protesters in the framework of the second public hearing on the “Tourism Development Plan for Cabo Rojo, Pedernales,” held last Friday in the capital city of the province, is not so simple. to execute, despite massive popular support.
The “fast track” execution of the Pedernales development plan, the most ambitious ever government tourism/real estate project, literally hangs by a thread when it collides with the environmental reality that it has to address and, above all, respect.
The data revealed in the public hearing are overwhelming.
More than 50 species found in the project area are endemic to the island or specifically to the region, such as Melocactus pedernalensis, a type of cactus typical of the Pedernales province.