Leaders from Government, Private and Public Sector Gather to Address Preservation of Mangroves
Economic and Ecological Value Emphasized
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — On January 19, representatives from the Dominican National Council on Climate Change, the Dominican National Ministry of Environment and National Resources, the environmental NGO community and members of ECORED business alliance gathered for the “Ecosystem Services of the Mangroves: Endangered Environmental and Economic Values and Solutions for a Sustainable Future” forum convened by Counterpart International and ECORED at the Edificio Corporativo Claro, in Santo Domingo. ECORED (La Red Nacional de Apoyo Empresarial a la Proteccion Ambiental) is the only corporate platform that promote a culture of sustainable development and social responsibility in the public and private sectors of the Dominican Republic. This forum focused on importance of mangrove preservation to economic and ecological future of the island.
“While scientists have long been able to delineate the ecological value of mangroves, now, in collaboration with environmental economists, we are able to start to make a market case for their conservation,” explained the forum’s featured speaker, Dr. J. Boone Kauffman, research professor of Ecosystems Ecology in the department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. “With their unique ability to protect coastal communities from storm surges, and to provide natural water filters for local communities and support area fisheries – our research has shown that mangrove forests have a calculated value of around $45,000 per hectare per year in the Dominican Republic.”
Dr. Kauffman has worked with Counterpart International and our local partners AgroFrontera 2012, studying the mangrove ecosystems of Estero Balsa, Montecristi, Dominican Republic. The groundbreaking research, published in 2014, supported that tall, medium and dwarf mangrove trees are some of the largest natural absorbers of carbon pollution which causes global warming, while adjacent abandoned shrimp ponds which had been converted from mangroves are only storing about 11% of the carbon they used to.
Teresa Crawford, Executive Director of the Social Sector Accelerator, which implements mangrove conservation work in the Dominican Republic, noted that the partnership with ECORED creates a stronger collaboration with the Dominican private sector. Crawford explained, “This is important because the private sector plays an essential role in preserving the environmental assets of the Dominican Republic. Conserving mangrove forests means protecting not only the local communities and businesses so dependent on these ecosystems, but also as international carbon markets continue to develop, mangroves can play a larger role in the future of the Dominican economy.”
Mangrove conservation is part of Counterpart International’s Coastal Community Resiliency Program and is implemented by the Social Sector Accelerator, a member of the Counterpart International Network.
Building on Counterpart’s 50 years of experience building the capacity of the social sector, the Social Sector Accelerator increases investments in capable partners, accelerates the impact of leaders, organizations and networks from the social sector, and improves the quality of development partnerships. For more information about the Social Sector Accelerator please visit: www.capacitydividend.org.
ECORED is a business association whose objective is to facilitate the incorporation of a culture of social responsibility and sustainable development in Dominican Republic. They accomplish this through managing public-private partnerships to achieve the correct balance in environmental, social and economic development for the sustainability of our Dominican Republic.