The ambassador of the European Union in the Dominican Republic, Katja Afheldt affirmed that the European Union is supporting Caribbean countries with economic resources and technical training to combat sargassum and that it is seen as an opportunity.
Afheldt did not cite a specific figure but said that the European Union intends to support research on sargassum and to finance companies wishing to carry out projects for its economic use.
The embassy offered these details during the Greater Caribbean – EU Regional Conference: Turning Sargasso into an Opportunity, which is being held today in Santo Domingo and where the highest authorities, experts from the public and private sectors, academia, NGOs from the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe are meeting.
The event, jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, aims to exchange information on how to mitigate or use sargassum for the benefit of the entire region.
The conference addresses the impact and risks of sargassum, its monitoring and management, its valorization and use, with a view to fostering public policies, regional frameworks and strengthening cooperation to boost private sector investment.
Although under normal climatic conditions, this seaweed forms a valuable ecosystem, supporting oceanic food webs and providing refuge for endemic species, the uncontrolled increase of its massive blooms has become a threat to the environment, the economy and public health.
This conference hopes to mark a milestone to awaken greater interest in the sargassum phenomenon at the regional level and together we can seek viable solutions to mitigate its impact on Caribbean countries.
Also participating in the event are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Alvarez and the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Miguel Ceara Hatton. Also present are the region’s Ministers of Environment, Tourism and Economy.