The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Miguel Ceara Hatton, held a meeting with representatives of 56 families who were relocated after the removal of 48 houses that were within the core area of the Laguna Saladillo Wildlife Reserve.
Ceara Hatton was accompanied by the Vice-Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity, Federico Franco.
Also present at the meeting were Erick Dorrejo, director of Border Zone Development Policies of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development; Ignacio Rosa, mayor of Pepillo Salcedo, and Nelsy Cruz, provincial governor, as well as representatives of the neighborhood councils and the Provincial Development Plan.
Franco explained that the families were relocated to lands of the Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD) and, in addition, received an incentive bonus to build their houses. However, he said that 3 houses were being built above the protected area boundary, which will be demolished.
“The owners of these 3 houses will receive construction materials, to compensate them for the ones they used, because we understand that their owners were acting due to errors in the stakeout by the surveyors who marked all the lots, but it is being rectified,” Franco said.
Minister Ceara Hatton and his Environment team also visited 2 of the park ranger huts that were erected to strengthen the surveillance of the protected area in the Dominican territory that lies between the Dajabón River and the border surveillance fence that is being built in the area.
“The area also has 4 military watchtowers, thus strengthening the protection of its biodiversity, without affecting the access of Dominicans and Haitians to the Dajabón River,” he said.
“We must understand that, although Haitians and Dominicans reside in different countries, with defined borders, we must all respect the ecosystems that are common, and must be protected and conserved with the commitment of the inhabitants of both peoples,” added Franco.