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.