Successful environment management on a small island: the Dominican Republic shares its story

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Translated from the Spanish

The Dominican Republic (DR) is not immune to the impacts of climate change. According to Global Risk Index 2014, the DR ranked eighth among countries most affected by extreme weather events between 1992-2013. Being a Caribbean island, the DR is more vulnerable to the challenges of sea level rise, water availability, food security, biodiversity, infrastructure, coastal communities, economic growth and health. To cope with the impacts that are already high because of climate change, the DR joined the CCAC with the aim to implement specific actions that contribute to our planning and national policy on adaptation needs and climate change mitigation.

The country, under the Act 1-12 National Development Strategy, has set a target for 2030 of 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2010, in absolute terms. In 2013 we implemented the first green tax in the transport sector.

In terms of mitigation, we have begun the process of implementing the "Plan for Compatible Economic Development Climate Change" (DECCC Plan), in which we will be working with initiatives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the cement and solid waste sectors. Also, we are running the project "Capacity building through peer exchange for ambitious information and the facilitation of international mutual learning," which aims to identify the needs and priorities of the country systems for measurement, reporting, verification and monitoring of greenhouse gases. Both initiatives receive financial support from the German Government.

It is important to highlight that the country has an emission factor of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the National Interconnected Electric System (SENI), as a result of a project by the CNCCMDL in conjunction with the Faculty of Science and Technology, National University Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU) for the Dominican Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEEE).

In terms of adaptation, climate change education is paramount. With this in mind, we conducted training sessions for 400 teachers in the levels of Media and Basic Dominican Education System issues related to climate change as indicated by our project, "National Strategy for Strengthening Capacities and Human Skills Resources to move towards green development, with low emissions and Climate Resilience" through the UN CC: Learn CNCCMDL coordinated by UNITAR under the supervision and funding of the Swiss Development Cooperation.

Similarly, a project of the Global Climate Change Alliance in Caribbean countries (GCCA) is supporting the DR to update our weather system in order to have accurate data on how precipitation and temperature contribute to the recording of national information.

The National Council on Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism by the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP), the Program for USAID and TNC Environmental Protection under the project "Analysis of barriers and opportunities related to climate change financing in the Dominican Republic" where the identified funding sources and project profiles developed with potential to access climate funds.

These are just some examples of what the country is working on to address climate change through the continued support and commitment of the President of the Republic and President of the Council, Mr. Danilo Medina Sánchez. President Medina, with the Association of Caribbean Countries, said, "The way we have organized the development has proved to be inefficient, inequitable definitely affecting us and end all, but with greater impact on the most vulnerable countries, such as the Central American and Caribbean.

In the medium term, we expect that politics will get the additional commitments necessary for the reduction of pollutant emissions and other measures necessary to curb this phenomenon we face. 

 - National Council on Climate Change and the Clean Development Mechanism, Dominican Republic