The Dominican Republic was invited by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to participate in the launching ceremony of the «International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022».
In thanking the invitation, the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Orlando Jorge Mera, pointed out that the Dominican territory is predominantly mountainous and contains several orographic axes, such as the Cordillera Central, the most important of the island, the Cordillera Septentrional, the Cordillera Oriental and the Sierras de Samaná, Yamasá, Bahoruco, Martín García and Neiba.
Jorge Mera emphasized that the Cordillera Central is the main mountainous system of all the Antilles and that in it is located the Pico Duarte, with a height of 3,078 meters, which constitutes the highest mountainous elevation of the referred geographic area.
He emphasized that the Central Mountain Range is the origin of the main hydrographic basins, where the waters that irrigate the national territory are captured, guaranteeing the production of food, the hydroelectric generation and the supply of water for consumption in the most important human settlements of the Dominican Republic.
The Minister of the Environment also emphasized that, in order to promote national policies for the development and protection of the country’s mountains, efforts are being made to incorporate the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in public policies, in order to effectively mitigate current and future threats to productive mountain landscapes.
He also stated that to achieve this objective, the country has the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through a project that proposes a multifocal landscape approach. In this project there is an integrated management to generate the benefits produced by the relationship between ecosystem services and sustainable production in a framework of planning and land use, as well as governance and institutionalism, in a shared vision of the territory, with the participation of the mayors’ offices and different local actors, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, together with the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, among others.
The Minister of the Environment said that this project seeks to contribute to the Aichi Goals, the Convention on Biological Biodiversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, the strategic lines on wetlands or Ramsar Convention, the National Development Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Jorge Mera also emphasized that this initiative makes synergy with the Caribbean Biological Corridor -CBC (between the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Jamaica), which seeks the consolidation of the network of protected areas for the Island of Hispaniola and the mitigation of threats to protected areas; to promote the establishment of the Haitian Protected Areas System and the reengineering of the Dominican Republic’s protected areas.
He also pointed out that, within the framework of this project, alliances have been signed with the Dominican Coffee Institute, the Ministry of Agriculture, the FAO, municipalities and local community organizations to strengthen the actions carried out by the Ministry of the Environment towards the effective conservation of ecosystem goods and services of threatened mountain landscapes.
International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development
The United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus on December 16, 2021 a resolution proclaiming 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development.
This resolution has been supported by 94 countries and invites all UN Member States, international and regional organizations and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector and academia, to act to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable mountain development.
The designation of 2022 as the «International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development» recognizes the need to adapt sustainable development measures to mitigate the effects of climate change in these territories through a set of actions that address their specific needs.