Costa Rican technicians completed a five-day itinerary visiting communities in Samaná, Jamao al Norte, and Puerto Plata.

Santo Domingo, March 20, 2023.- With the support of the German Cooperation for Development (GIZ), the governments of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are carrying out a project aimed at learning about experiences in biodiversity issues in selected tourist destinations with community participation in protected areas in the Dominican Republic.

A delegation of Costa Rican technicians from entities dealing with protected areas issues, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), and representatives from the international cooperation agency GIZ visited the country for this purpose.

On March 21, Carlos Andrés Peguero, Deputy Minister of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), led the welcome ceremony for the Costa Rican mission, which, with local specialists in the area, are in charge of the project “Responsible Biodiversity-Resilient Tourism Destination Management in the Face of Health Crises.”

Peguero, on behalf of Tourism Minister David Collado, highlighted the government’s commitment, led by President Luis Abinader, to respect the environment, protected areas, and ecosystems, as has been the case with the new Pedernales Tourism Project, which is 66 percent protected area.

Maike Friedrischsen, the German ambassador to the Dominican Republic, valued the nature, landscapes, and human warmth, the common factors shared by both Costa Rica and the Caribbean country, and expressed satisfaction that the government of her country and German cooperation supported such initiatives.

Edwin Arias Chinchilla, the Costa Rican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, highlighted the inclusion of around 18 innovative ideas for the recovery of the tourism sector between both countries, including the development of tourism products and waste management, among others.

He pointed out that, in two years of implementation, this project aims to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

Also virtually participating in the event were the Dominican ambassador to Costa Rica, Mayerlin Cordero Díaz, and Rafael Gutiérrez Rojas, Minister of Environment and Energy and Executive Director of the Conservation Area System of the Central American country.

Both agreed on the benefits of these meetings for common issues and aspects shared by both Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic in natural resources such as biodiversity, as well as experiences of community participation in protected areas.

At the event, held at MITUR headquarters, words were also given by the Deputy Minister of Protected Areas at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Federico Franco, and Olaya Dotel, Deputy Minister of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPyD).

During their stay in the country from the 20st to the 25th of March, and in the context of the work agenda, the Costa Rican technicians visited protected areas and exchanged experiences with residents in communities in Samaná, Las Galeras, Jamao al Norte, and Puerto Plata.

The project also has the support of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN).

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