Within the framework of the Ideas for a Green Recovery Program in Central America and the Dominican Republic of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (Aerodom) and the Fundación Verde Profundo (FVP), presented Ecoacción Boca Chica, a project that seeks to boost the economy and create jobs through an economic model based on sustainable tourism and conservation of coastal-marine ecosystems.
The project will allow the inclusion of fishermen and other stakeholders in the Boca Chica community, using as tourist attractions the marine ecosystem rehabilitation interventions already carried out by FVP and disseminated through Aerodom’s different platforms.
The community of Boca Chica and Bahía de Andrés are areas affected by strong demographic pressure, pollution and industrial exploitation. In addition, the areas have the largest reef lagoon in the Caribbean, a unique place in the Dominican Republic due to its biogeographical characteristics.
Among the particularities is its connectivity with the Brujuelas River, the only subway river on the island, which has one of its mouths within the reef lagoon, thus providing fresh water for the mangroves present in the area.
The advance of environmental degradation in the area has had a direct impact on the considerable reduction of the per capita income of its inhabitants. Aware of the situation and in search of subsistence for their families, they have found it necessary to over-exploit the natural resources that remain in the region despite their knowledge of the environmental damage that this may cause.
The event was held at the Foundation and was attended by José Ramón Reyes, Vice Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources; Angel Luis Franco, Director of Fishing Resources of Codopesca; María De León Castro, Vice Mayor of Boca Chica; Kathrin Russner, Director of the Regional Ideas for a Green Recovery Program implemented by GIZ; Mónika Infante, CEO of Aerodom, representatives of Politur, members of the Tourism Cluster of Boca Chica, among others.
Russner explained the objective of the German Cooperation, which seeks to promote, through the alliance with Aerodom and the FVP, the development of sustainable economic activities that generate or maintain sources of employment for the inhabitants of the area and that offer a space for the training and development of the community with the use of alternative means and sources of subsistence that do not harm the environment.
Meanwhile, Infante explained that due to its close ties with the tourism industry and the proximity of its operations at the José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport of the Americas to Boca Chica, they decided to join forces in search of a collaboration that would generate a positive impact on sustainability in line with their commitment to achieve zero net emissions by the year 2050.
In turn, Gough, director of FVP detailed the coastal marine recovery and restoration work carried out since 2017 in the area, which has allowed the creation of these new potential sources of income based on eco-tourism. Through the formalization of ecotourism routes and the training of guides and facilitators, the development of the entire value chain of these services will be stimulated. It will also benefit other actors in the value chain linked to ecotourism services, with existing jobs.
For his part, Ramón Reyes reiterated the commitment of the Dominican State to preserve biodiversity for future generations and his wish that this project can continue to be developed to ensure the preservation of the coastal and marine resources of the area.
At the end, Franco congratulated those present for the enthusiasm and dedication of so many years to develop the project which benefits the community.