Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Dominican Republic: Saving Coral Reefs From Tourism, Climate Change and Overfishing

Animals

An estimated 90% of the Dominican Republic's coral reefs have been destroyed, creating a knock-on effect for the entire coastal ecosystem. Local businesses and conservationists are now working to reverse this damage.


Project goal: Making nature more resilient in the face of climate change, tourism and other man-made dangers by protecting and restoring mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs.

Project scope: Providing expertise, equipment and financing to hire staff for projects in 11 Caribbean countries. Since 2014, non-profit conservation group Fundacion Grupo Puntacana has revived corals at 60 sites along the Punta Cana coast in the Dominican Republic.

Project partner: German state-owned development bank KfW, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the International Climate Initiative (IKI), Fundacion Grupo Puntacana.

Project financing: The KfW is providing the Dominican conservation group with €800,000 between 2020 and 2022. The group will invest around €400,000 of its own money. The KfW will have provided €25 million in the 11 project countries by 2025.

Some 6.5 million holidaymakers descend upon the Dominican Republic each year to enjoy its glorious palm-lined beaches and turquoise blue waters.

But mass tourism, polluted water, overfishing and climate change have destroyed an estimated 90 percent of the nation's coral reefs, creating a knock-on effect for the entire coastal ecosystem.

Anglers' nets are now often empty, while the ebb and flow of the tide, rising sea levels and tropical storms carry away more and more of the country's sandy beaches unhindered. In turn that's threatening the very tourism, which is the number one source of income in the country.

Local non-profit Fundacion Grupo Puntacana is trying to reverse the worst effects.

Founded by investor group Grupo Puntacana, which runs a number of hotel resorts in the Dominican Republic, the foundation is restoring coral reefs and establishing protected areas in the hopes of securing the coastal landscape — and the livelihoods of coastal inhabitants.

A film by Tim Schauenberg

Reposted with permission from DW.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Refrigerated trucks function as temporary morgues at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on May 06, 2020 in New York City. As of July, the states where COVID-19 cases are rising are mostly in the West and South. Justin Heiman / Getty Images

The official number of people in the U.S. who have lost their lives to the new coronavirus has now passed 130,000, according to tallies from The New York Times, Reuters and Johns Hopkins University.

Read More Show Less
A man walks on pink snow at the Presena glacier near Pellizzano, Italy on July 4, 2020. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP via Getty Images

In a troubling sign for the future of the Italian Alps, the snow and ice in a glacier is turning pink due to the growth of snow-melting algae, according to scientists studying the pink ice phenomenon, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Climate activist Greta Thunberg discusses EU plans to tackle the climate emergency with Parliament's environment committee on March 4, 2020. CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

By Abdullahi Alim

The 2008 financial crisis spurred a number of youth movements including Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring. A decade later, this anger resurfaced in a new wave of global protests, from Hong Kong to Beirut to London, only this time driven by the children of the 2008 financial crisis.

Read More Show Less
A climate activist holds a victory sign in Washington, DC. after President Obama announced that he would reject the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal on November 6, 2015. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

The Supreme Court late Monday upheld a federal judge's rejection of a crucial permit for Keystone XL and blocked the Trump administration's attempt to greenlight construction of the 1,200-mile crude oil project, the third such blow to the fossil fuel industry in a day—coming just hours after the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the court-ordered shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A forest fire in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia on June 2, 2020. Yevgeny Sofroneyev / TASS via Getty Images

Once thought too frozen to burn, Siberia is now on fire and spewing carbon after enduring its warmest June ever, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less