Haiti and the Dominican Republic join forces to tackle environmental issues

You would think that being a tropical island nation would come with more environmental perks than it would problems. Unfortunately, for most island nations, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the environment.

While the Dominican Republic is known for their beautiful coral reefs and shorelines, those very things are what is in danger for the country.

The current most public problems are the damages to the environment due to poor atmospheric conditions. Acid rain in the area destroys the land environment and soil while also destroying underwater habitats after rolling into the oceans and lakes.

The effects of pollution in the area are seeing far worse outcomes due to the amount of deforestation in the area as well as the destruction of natural habitats for game hunting and industrialization.

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UNEP.org

All things aren’t looking sour for the country, though. The Dominican Republic and Haiti have recently joined forces with the UN to tackle these issues plaguing their area. They ran a study in which they found four key issues in the island:

  • Haitian poverty, food insecurity and under-development affect virtually all parts of the border zone;
  • Soil erosion, deforestation and a degraded marine environment are all indicative of growing environmental degradation;
  • Weak governance affects the economy and society in the area; and
  • Economic and resource inequalities cause many of the border zone problems

With these four issues, 10 recommendations were given (see below) in which they will spend a total of $136MillionUSD over 5 years to implement.

  • Protecting and increasing vegetation cover;
  • Promoting sustainable agricultural development;
  • Reducing transboundary river flood risk;
  • Improving the sustainability of transboundary trade and bi-national markets;
  • Developing and diversifying the economy of the border zone;
  • Addressing the contamination of transboundary rivers;
  • Improving existing transboundary cooperation mechanisms that deal with environmental issues and transboundary watersheds;
  • Promoting environmental governance to regulate and control the trade of charcoal and other forest products;
  • Strengthening the management of marine and coastal resources; and
  • Analyzing the flooding of Lake Azuei and Lake Enriquillo.

Current environmental issues as noted by the CIA World Factbook: water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation

-Maria Harper

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