Dominican Republic creates its first nature map

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) presented the results of the project “Mapping Nature for People and Planet”, which includes the first Dominican map of environmental conservation areas that can produce the greatest benefits for the country.

The result of the initiative is the delivery to the country of three instruments that will serve to strengthen territorial and sectoral planning taking into account the protection of the planet and the well-being of people: the ELSA map developed in 2021; the access and administration of the UN Biodiversity Lab platform, a global space supported by the UN that provides countries, in real time, access to the best spatial data at the global, regional and national levels on biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable development; and the capacities to develop other ELSA maps focused on different national or subnational priorities.

“The conjunction of public policies, the identified national strategic plans, the typification of these essential areas for life support, which resulted in the ELSA maps, will be very useful for planning the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,” said Federico Franco, Vice Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity of the Ministry of Environment in his speech during the welcome to the activity.

Meanwhile, María Eugenia Morales, UNDP environment and sustainability program officer, explained that “the map of Essential Life Support Areas (ELSA) that we have presented has been developed by combining geospatial data that express national priorities related to biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development.

It is a tool that, we hope, will contribute to guide in the territory the implementation of policies necessary to articulate the conservation of natural capital, improve the conditions of the people who use these resources to live and promote sustainable development on the ground”.

The activity was led by Marina Hernández, Project Coordinator, and presentations were given by Mariana Pérez, Director of Environmental Information, and Solhanlle Bonilla, Director of Planning of the Ministry of the Environment.

The data generated in this process is a tool to support the implementation of projects aimed at increasing the forest cover, protecting biodiversity, restoring ecosystems, sustainable agriculture, soil conservation, mitigating the impacts of climate change, territorial planning, as well as the fulfillment of our international commitments to sustainable development, taking into consideration human wellbeing.

The project is supported by the National Geographic Society, the University of Northern British Columbia, the Global Environment Facility, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and The Sustainable Markets Foundation. It will be executed by the Ministry of the Environment, offering support to institutions and organizations that need this information.

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