After three years of implementation, the Integrated Marine Ecosystem Management in Northern Hispaniola project concludes with presentations on its impact in the northern region of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
On August 10, 2022, the IMEM project concluded its activities with an official ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The event highlighted the results and milestones achieved by the project, and included an open Q&A session facilitated by the partners and stakeholders.
The project represented an important milestone in the conservation of marine protected areas (MPAs) in both the Dominican Republic (Montecristi) and Haiti, through the implementation of best practices for effective management of coastal resources, the support for responsible fishing trainings, sustainable rice cultivation programming, and the development of participatory governance with active involvement of local stakeholders.
Officials from USAID, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Counterpart International, AgroFrontera, and FoProBim attended the event. Each of these entities played a fundamental role in the coordination and execution of the project. Representatives of several nongovernmental organizations that have actively contributed to the environmental sector of the DR also attended.
A moment of silence was held to honor the memory of the late Orlando Jorge Mera, who served as Minister of the Environment, and who actively supported multiple efforts for the conservation and management of coastal and marine resources and the sustainable development of the country’s protected areas In addition, during his tenure at the Ministry, and as part of the actions to promote ecotourism, he planned and made possible the enhancement of the infrastructure to access the protected areas of Montecristi, such as the Ecological Trail of El Morro National Park.
Patricia Abreu, country representative for Counterpart International, opened the event with welcoming remarks by followed by a statement by the USAID mission director in DR, Rebecca Latorraca, who emphasized that IMEM has been an important project for sustainable development in the country.
On behalf of the project, Marlig Pérez, program director, Counterpart International in the DR, presented the general framework of IMEM and important data reflecting the impact of this intervention in the northern part of Hispaniola, as well as the milestones and lessons learned for coastal resiliency and biodiversity conservation.
Following the formal presentations, Frederick Payton, executive director, AgroFrontera, and Ronald Cademus, deputy director, FoProBim, fielded questions from the audience. Both men played a pivotal role in the execution of the project.
The event represented an important milestone in the development towards the conservation of the coastal and marine resources of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and it is expected that in the future these activities will continue to be developed in the area and other coastal regions of the island.
Learn more about the Integrated Marine Ecosystems Management in Northern Hispaniola (IMEM) Program in Dominican Republic here.