With the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the governments of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic began a project to learn about experiences in biodiversity issues in selected tourist destinations and community participation in protected areas in Costa Rica.
A delegation of Costa Rican technicians from entities related to protected areas, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and representatives of the international cooperation agency GIZ are in the country for this purpose. Carlos Andrés Peguero, Vice Minister of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), led the welcoming ceremony for the Costa Rican mission which, together with local specialists in the area, will be in charge of the project “Management of Tourist Destinations Responsible with Biodiversity and Resilient to Health Crises”.
The German ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Maike Friedrichsen, and the Costa Rican ambassador to the country, Edwin Arias Chinchilla Peguero, on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, highlighted the commitment of the government headed by President Luis Abinader to respect the environment, protected areas and ecosystems, such as the new tourism project in Pedernales, 66% of which is a protected area.
“We believe that the new page we must build is that of sustainable tourism in harmony with the communities receiving tourism,” he said.
The MITUR official stressed the importance of this initiative to exchange experiences by valuing the richness in biodiversity and tourism development shown by Costa Rica over the years.
At the welcoming ceremony, Maike Friedrischsen, German ambassador in the Dominican Republic, valued the nature, landscapes and human warmth, common factors shared by Costa Rica and the Caribbean country, for which the Government of her country and the German cooperation are pleased to support this type of initiative.
Edwin Arias Chinchilla, Costa Rican Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, highlighted the inclusion in the initiative of some 18 innovative ideas for the recovery of the tourism sector between the two countries, including the development of tourism products and waste management, among others.
He noted that, in two years of implementation, this project comes to contribute to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.
For her part, Olaya Dotel, Vice Minister of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD), thanked the governments of Germany and Costa Rica for providing the necessary tools to successfully contribute to the development of this project.
He said that the exchange of knowledge in terms of sanitary protocols and other tools, following the world crisis generated by COVID-19, was key to sustain Dominican tourism, “which last year 2022 had figures of 7.16 million non-resident tourists and around 8 billion dollars in income, making it a record year for the tourism industry”.
The Dominican Republic’s ambassador to Costa Rica, Mayerlin Cordero Díaz, and Rafael Gutiérrez Rojas, Minister of Environment and Energy and executive director of the Central American country’s Conservation Areas System, also participated virtually.
Both agreed on the benefits that will result from these meetings for issues and aspects in common that both Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have in natural resources such as biodiversity, as well as the experiences of community participation in protected areas.
At the event, held at the MITUR headquarters, the Vice-Minister of Protected Areas of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Federico Franco, also addressed the meeting.
During their stay in the country until the 25th of this month, and in the context of the work agenda, the Costa Rican technicians will visit protected areas and exchange experiences with residents in communities of Samaná, Las Galeras, Jamao al Norte and Puerto Plata.
The project is also supported by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN).
Lear more: TOURIMS