Blue finance in Dominican Republic
Blue Finance Brings Together Public & Private Sectors in the Dominican Republic to Sustainably Manage 8000 km2 of the Marine Sanctuary “Arrecifes del Sureste”
A Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement was signed on February 23rd 2018, for co-management of the second largest Protected Area of the Dominican Republic (and the third for the whole Caribbean region). The co-management body, a non-profit company, 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, the conservation of critical ecosystems and basic financial returns.
The company will receive major financing for its initial capital expenditures from international impact investors. In time, it is expected to be financially sustainable and generate its own incomes from user fees and innovative tourism models. The non-profit company is comprised of 2 local conservation NGOs, 2 local foundations of the major tourism holdings in the country and other associations. The company 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 company 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.
Initial capital expenditures are expected to be provided by the Sustainable Ocean Fund, an impact investment fund managed by Althelia, dedicated to creating, accelerating, and executing sustainable fishery, aquaculture and coastal conservation projects globally, whilst applying best-in-class social and environmental governance.
Since mid-2017, Blue finance has been working closely with the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, who spearheaded the project. Blue finance received sterling support from the FGPC (Fundacion Grupo Punta Cana). Several other local stakeholders (NGOs, tourism associations, foundations, fishery cooperatives etc) were also implicated in the process.
Blue finance will now assist in the implementation of the financial arrangements and establishment of a project management office within the co-management company, to ensure that the highest standards in MPA practice, tourism product development, community engagement and general management are met.