Minister of Environment socializes progress and challenges of his administration

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Miguel Ceara Hatton, held a meeting-conversation with journalists, in which he socialized the advances in environmental management, transparency in institutional processes and permitting.

Ceara Hatton highlighted the relevance of the process of organizing and making transparent the processes used by the ministry to provide services to the citizens. He also highlighted the importance of the institution for its impact throughout the national territory and, at the same time, deplored that for decades it was subjected to a process of institutional weakening: “In the last two decades there was a deliberate policy of weakening the ministry, in technical, financial and resource aspects in general”.

“Historically, there has been a tendency to weaken the Ministry of Environment, because the ministry legally has a lot of influence and determines decision making. It even decides whether or not millionaire projects can be carried out, everything that is built in the country has to pass through here, all the factories that want to be installed have to pass through here, all the economic activity has to pass through here,” said Ceara Hatton.

He highlighted the great power that the legal framework gives to the ministry in Dominican society. As an example, he indicated that “we have denied permits for some institutions, hotels or whatever, to establish themselves, or we set rules so that they do not affect the environment. All this has created great tension in the country,” he said.

He thanked the journalists who came to the conversation that took place in the Multipurpose Hall of the Ministry of the Environment. Present at the meeting were the deputy ministers Indhira de Jesús, Milagros de Camps, René Mateo and Federico Franco, as well as the legal director, Ana Patricia Ossers.

Ceara Hatton said that the greatest challenge of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is to “restore enthusiasm to an aging working population that has the responsibility of creating conditions to change the future, in effect of the 4,373 permanent employees.”

“Thirty percent of the ministry’s workers are over 60 years of age and the age group with the highest frequency is 60-65 (13.2 %). The median age is 50 years, that is, half of the permanent employees are over 50 years old and the other half are under 50,” he explained.

He addressed the Dominican Republic’s commitment to train technicians and professionals in areas related to environmental protection and to face the problems associated with climate change, which is a major challenge for countries with fewer resources, such as the Dominican Republic.

He emphasized that his administration has completed a process of dignifying salaries: “The salaries of more than 1,568 collaborators have been adjusted, with an average of 50%, with an amount of RD 17.4 million”.

Ceara Hatton also highlighted initiatives such as the National Plan for Reforestation and Restoration of Forest Ecosystems, the alliances with the academic community and the environmental sector to jointly face the challenges associated with the protection of the National System of Protected Areas. He also addressed the need for the entire Dominican society to understand that it is necessary to strengthen the regime of consequences, so that prosecutors and judges can more effectively punish people who incur in violation of environmental laws.

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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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