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Foreign Minister to participate in UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Haiti  

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Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) announced on 19 December that Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez will travel this week to New York to participate in a meeting of the UN Security Council to follow up on Resolution 2645 which extends the permanence of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and which orders the body to meet every 90 days to update the situation in that country. 

MIREX said that the foreign minister «will once again express the support of the Dominican Republic to the proposal of the secretary general of this organization, António Guterres, in the sense that while the aid for the training of the Haitian police is being consolidated, a robust force is necessary, capable of recovering peace and putting an end to the violence unleashed by the armed gangs, infiltrated by the political and economic power», in coherence with previous positions.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s announcement, Roberto Alvarez is expected to «draw attention to the serious humanitarian and insecurity situation in Haiti, which keeps a large part of the population locked in their homes without access to basic services such as health, food and education».  

During his participation in the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, December 21, Minister Alvarez will be accompanied by the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the UN, José Blanco. 

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Implementation of MINERD’s National Induction Program progresses

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Santo Domingo. On December 22 and 23, the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic (MINERD) held virtual meetings with teachers who will benefit from the National Induction Program (PNI), to whom the policy was presented and to whom it was explained how its implementation will contribute to the improvement of the educational system. 

The Vice Minister of Teacher Accreditation and Certification, Francisco D’Óleo, explained that this program is aimed at providing assistance, guidance and accompaniment to new teachers for their effective insertion into the classroom, «transforming educational practice and positively impacting student learning outcomes». 

The PNI is aimed at new teachers entering the public pre-university education system throughout the country, who are supported in their individual professional development, in order to achieve their correct integration into the work, school, cultural and community context that will lead them to develop their teaching skills systematically and progressively, to improve learning outcomes and enable them to advance in their teaching career.    

The workshops were organized by the Vice-Ministry of Teacher Accreditation and Certification, with the purpose of presenting the Program to the 22,846 teachers who will receive support from this public policy. They provided guidance on the implementation phase, which includes complementary training, based on prioritized performance standards, as well as tutorial action, which will be carried out in a contextualized and direct manner.

D’Óleo pointed out that the new teachers who joined the classrooms of the educational centers of all levels and modalities of the public pre-university system for the 2022-2023 school year after having passed the 2021 competition, have the commitment to make a contribution in terms of renewing the classroom and guaranteeing timely learning.

He highlighted the effort and work of the collaboration bodies in the organizational and preparatory phase of the PNI, highlighting among them the Salomé Ureña Teacher Training Institute (ISFODOSU), the National Institute for Teacher Training and Education (INAFOCAM) and the 512 Institute of Inicia Educación, and thanked the participation and support of the regional and district teams and Center directors.

Tania Jiménez, Director of Induction of the MINERD, said that this strategy will benefit teachers by strengthening their professional competencies, guidance for self-development and pedagogical accompaniment, which will support them in facing the challenges of the school context, such as curriculum management, classroom management, learning assessment and the link with families and the community.

Ángela Español, from Institute 512, highlighted the contribution of the tutorial action for the professional development of new teachers, since the tutor «is a mediator who clarifies doubts and provides constant feedback to the beginning teacher, promoting the incorporation of new teaching practices to enhance the learning achievement of their students».

And Bilda Valentín, ISFODOSU’s pedagogical coordinator, informed about the characteristics of the training process, the modules that make up the complementary training, its modality, methodology and evaluation.

During the meeting, the calendar of the training process for these teaching professionals, which begins on January 14, was presented. Access to the program will be through the program’s portal, and the geographical and district distribution of responsibilities with the complementary training, which will be assumed by the 19 Higher Education Institutions involved.

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With more than 120,000 plants for coastal zone protection, Environment achieves record in 2022

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Santo Domingo. The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources reported on December 28 that during the last twelve months it developed important initiatives, which resulted in the planting of more than 120,000 plants for the protection of the country’s coastal areas.

José Ramón Reyes, Vice Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources, explained that at the beginning of the year they had proposed to plant some 100 thousand coastal plants, an amount that has been surpassed from January to December with the planting of 98 thousand mangroves, within the Coastal Restoration Program, of the species Red Mangrove, White Mangrove and Black Mangrove, as well as 33,225 other coastal plants, in an area of 181,550 square meters.

Among the spaces impacted with these plantations, the Ecological Park of Nigua in Arroyo Itabo, San Cristóbal; Ría de Maimón in Iberostar Bávaro, province La Altagracia, Humedal Playa Caobita, in Azua; Base Naval Las Calderas, Matanzas and Le Playé, province Peravia; Fuente de Oro in San Pedro de Macorís and Bayahíbe in La Romana stand out.

The Vice-Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources also carried out 20 workshops aimed at implementing the Shared Local Management Program for the Integrated Management of Coastal Areas, addressed to sectors involved in the performance of a transcendental role in the environmental public policies, destined to the adequate management of the coastal areas in the provinces of Puerto Plata, San Cristóbal, Samaná, Azua, San Pedro de Macorís, La Romana and María Trinidad Sánchez. 

This program benefited 700 users of coastal and marine areas, which has contributed to raising awareness and sensitivity to the protection and improvement of marine resources in these areas.

Likewise, in 2022, 101,024 mangrove plants and other coastal species were produced in the nurseries that the Vice Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources has in operation in Hainamosa, Santo Domingo East; in Arroyo Barril, Samaná, and in Montecristi, of which 89,325 correspond to the Red Mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, and 59,675 have been planted, leaving 29,650 available.

This year, the Vice Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources of the Ministry of the Environment also achieved the signing of the Declaration of Intent of the Orlando Jorge Mera Marine Sanctuary by the presidents of the Dominican Republic and Colombia, in order to set in motion the process for the fulfillment of the 30×30 Initiative on Marine Protected Areas.

The Interinstitutional Thematic Roundtable was also formulated to address the sargasso problem and the Vice Ministry drafted the Proposal for the Draft Bill of the Sectoral Law of the Marine Coastal Zone and its resources, which is in the final review process by the Internal Consultative Committee (CCI), through the Directorate of Environmental Regulations of the Ministry of Environment, an initiative that will be submitted to the National Congress for its approval as soon as this process is concluded.

Another noteworthy action during 2022 was the installation of a coral nursery of the Acropora cervicornis and Porites porites species, in five structures in the municipality of Juan Dolio, Guayacanes, San Pedro de Macorís province.

By 2023, the Vice Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources has set as a goal the planting of 150 thousand coastal and marine plants, as well as to carry out the necessary studies in the province of Pedernales, in order to declare the Beata Mountain Range as a Marine Protected Area.

It has also proposed the enactment of the Coastal and Marine Sector Law, the draft of which has already been prepared by technicians from the Ministry of the Environment and is currently being revised to be sent to the Executive Branch and from there to the National Congress.

Vice Minister Reyes revealed that the department under his responsibility will promote in 2023 an initiative to eliminate single-use plastic in government institutions, in order to protect the health of the population and the coastal and marine ecosystems.

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Energy and Mines, first institution in the Caribbean to be certified ISO 50001

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Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) on December 21 became the first institution in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean to obtain international certification to the ISO 50001:2018 standard, as a sign of its efforts for continuous improvement in energy management and the adoption of measures that contribute to curbing climate change.

ISO 50001 is a voluntary international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to establish a framework on energy performance that promotes the use of practices and technologies that limit the emission of greenhouse gases; and 50001:2018 is about optimizing energy efficiency in public and private organizations.

It should be noted that ISO 50001 certification incorporates, for society as a whole, the dimension of leading by example in strategic sectors of the national economy and enhances the willingness to comply with a series of regulatory requirements that favor sustainability.  

Among its derivatives is the promotion of an organizational culture aware of the responsible and efficient use of energy. It supports the acquisition of designs, products and services that promote or support energy efficiency criteria.

This standard establishes criteria for processes, including the efficient operation and maintenance of energy-using facilities, equipment and systems that without operational control could generate a significant deviation from the institution’s energy performance.

The implementation of this Energy Management System at MEM-RD will allow for a reduction in energy consumption and efficient energy management.

Upon receiving the certification from the representative of AENOR, Ariel Espejo, Minister Antonio Almonte said that this recognition is a satisfaction for the Ministry he heads, as it demonstrates the commitment of this institution with the rational use, efficiency and savings of a cross-cutting service in society such as electricity.

«The delivery of this certificate is part of the milestones we must meet to become the Ministry of Energy and Mines to which we all aspire; when we say all, we mean all Dominicans. In order to have the progress we aspire to, we have had difficulties, but we are also having progress that is expressed in this certificate and that says that we are paying attention to issues that are transcendental to strengthen the image of the MEM,» he said.

On his side, the Vice-Minister of Energy Saving and Efficiency, Alfonso Rodríguez, said that it was not possible to regulate, legislate, demand or call for the rational and efficient use of energy without the Ministry of Energy and Mines setting the example of self-imposing an international standard to improve its own energy management.

«We are leading by example by receiving the ISO 50001 international certification, becoming the only entity in the country and the Caribbean to do so,» he said.

He explained that energy management systems based on the ISO 50001 standard are based on three pillars of sustainable development: economic (increasing competitiveness), social (encouraging responsible energy consumption) and environmental (contributing to the decarbonization of the economy).

Rodriguez permanently headed, during the years 2021 and 2022, a MEM technical team that led the work to implement an «Energy Management System» (SGEn) that guarantees a rational and responsible use of energy at the institution’s headquarters, as instructed by Minister Almonte.

The support of the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), under the framework of two projects, was essential for the successful completion of this certification process: Energy Transition and the Technical Assistance Program for Renewable Energy Development (TAPSEC).

The German ambassador, Maike Friedrichsen, said that her country has taken on the challenges for the energy transition and is working together with the Dominican Government to promote energy efficiency and achieve the goal that the electricity matrix of this nation is composed of 30% renewable energy.

«With this certification, the Dominican Republic, through its Ministry of Energy and Mines, assumes the commitment to promote greater energy savings, moving towards a more just and democratic energy transition. Please know that with Germany you will always have a helping hand to achieve these goals,» he emphasized.

The delivery of the parchment was made during a ceremony led by Minister Almonte and Deputy Minister Alfonso Rodríguez, which was attended by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Maike Friedrichsen; the director of the Energy Transition Project of the German Agency for Cooperation and Development (GIZ), Clemens Findeisen, and Ariel Espejo, local director of the firm AENOR, which audited and supervised the strict compliance with the requirements.

Also present were Max Puig, vice-president of the National Council for Climate Change; Edward Veras, president of the National Energy Commission; Manuel López San Pablo, from the Coordinating Body; Willy Villa, director of Energy Saving and Efficiency Policies of MEM, and representatives of companies in the energy sector, among others.

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