The Right Person for the Job
The co-management agreement to manage one of the largest marine sanctuary in the region (Marine Sanctuary Arrecifes del Sureste – almost 8000 km2) was signed on February 23rd by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic with a non-profit consortium/co-management body; comprised of local NGOs, private sector organisations and the NGO Blue finance.
Bf technical staff visited DR in March 2018 and met the major NGOs, funders and marine service providers for both the north and south zones. Discussions were held with Foundation Grupo Punta Cana, Dressel Divers, Iberostar, Fundemar, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Hotel Association & Tourism Cluster among others. These discussions have laid the foundation for the formation of the management plan and informed both technical and administrative procedures.
The search has also started for the two Marine Sanctuary Managers, one to manage the north-east area (Punta Cana and later Bavaro) and the other for the south (Bayahibe environs). Once the Managers have been determined, work will start on identifying and hiring the remainder of the Sanctuary Staff as well as implementing the management plan activities. The process is being steered by the Blue finance team which includes Mr. Ramon Leon, who managed the Bonaire National Park for a decade.
Concurrently, work has started on the design of the world class Visitor Centre. The search is on for an appropriate location and Bf is partnering with Formula D Interactive of South Africa on this venture which will include both high tech and more natural elements to educate and entertain guests.
In parallel BF is defining the financial arrangements and fine tuning the revenue generation models and business plans.