Dominican Republic – From Strength to Strength
This is our flagship project. On Feb 23rd 2018, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic will sign a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement for co-management of the Marine Sanctuary Arrecifes del Sureste with a local non-profit consortium/co-management body; comprised of local NGOs, private sector organisations and the NGO Blue finance.
The Sanctuary is almost 8000km2, covering just around 100 km coast and encompassing coral reef ecosystems, several major urban centers and 2 of the country´s primary tourism centres (receiving >3.5M visitors annually). Arrecifes del Sureste is expected to hit the triple bottom line: social, environmental and economic via the creation of new job opportunities in the Blue Economy sector for local populations, as well as the conservation of critical ecosystems.
The non-profit Co-Management body will be responsible for hiring and managing the staff to carry out the activities agreed to by the Government, within the co-management agreement for a period of 10 years. This will be carried out with no increase in public debt, as the body will purchase required equipment and pay personnel for the Sanctuary. The consortium itself will be guided by a multidisciplinary Advisory Council, of public and private citizens. An independent, internationally recognised institution will audit the performance of the consortium annually.
Implementation of all activities will be guided by the annual work plans, prepared by Sanctuary staff for the co-management body, submitted to the Advisory Council and approved by government. These activities, with collaboration from existing institutions are expected to include: Improving the health of marine habitats, Monitoring, Zonation and Enforcement, Community engagement & livelihood enhancement, Support to tourism activities, Maintenance, Management and Marketing.
The consortium will receive major financing for its initial capital expenditures from international impact investors. After time, it is expected to be financially sustainable and generate its own incomes from user fees and innovative tourism models.