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The Dominican Republic launches its national ecosystem assessment process

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The Dominican Republic joins 10 other countries as a partner in the National Ecosystem Assessment Initiative (NEA Initiative), taking steps towards building a knowledge-base on biodiversity and ecosystem services to support decision-making. 

The Dominican Republic launched its national ecosystem assessment process on the 29th of September 2021. The event was held at the National Botanical Garden and was attended by high-level representatives from government, civil society, and international organisations, including the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Orlando Jorge Mera, and the ‘Consorcio Ambiental Dominicano’ which is the civil society organisation in the Dominican Republic accompanying the process. The country also highlighted the importance of strengthening the national ‘IPBES platform’- a national science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

NEA Launch – Produced and provided by the Ministry of Environment of the Dominican Republic
Launching Dominican Republic’s national ecosystem assessment process

The launch event began with welcoming remarks from the Ministry of Environment’s Director of Biodiversity, Eng. Gabriel Valdez, who provided guests with a detailed introduction of the project. 

This was followed by high-level opening remarks from Mr. Orlando Jorge Mera, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in the Dominican Republic, who provided critical context and support for the national ecosystem assessment, highlighting its importance and potential benefits for decision-making across the country. 

The launch also included remarks from the National Ecosystem Assessment Initiative (NEA Initiative), delivered virtually by Dr. Shaenandhoa García Rangel, Senior Programme Officer at the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Shaenandhoa joined the Dominican Republic in celebrating its launch of the assessment process and outlined the support provided by the NEA Initiative to countries undergoing such assessments, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) through the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net).  

Supporting countries to account for nature in policy making

Working in partnership with UNDP and UNESCO, the NEA Initiative at UNEP-WCMC has worked with 14 countries to conduct or scope their national ecosystem assessments.  These assessments provide a comprehensive and critical synthesis of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages to people, to support decision-making across sectors. 

Nature and its contributions to people are often overlooked and undervalued in national policies and decision-making processes worldwide. National ecosystem assessments help to address this by establishing an up-to-date and robust evidence base which can support greater consideration of the values of biodiversity in decision-making. The assessment process also fosters knowledge exchange and strengthens linkages between science, policy and practice on biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

Bridging nature and sustainable development in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has continuously highlighted its commitment to accounting for the full value of nature in decision-making. During the Tranche III Inception Workshop earlier in 2021, Mr. Federico Franco, Vice-Minister of Environment for Biodiversity & Protected Areas, emphasized the importance of strengthening national data and knowledge on the biodiversity and ecosystems services to support their conservation, management, and sustainable use. 

The Dominican Republic will continue working closely with the NEA Initiative and its partners to undertake its national ecosystem assessment process, starting with the scoping stage. Here, the country’s assessment team define the priority topics that will be the focus of the assessment. The team will identify a framework and direction for the assessment process in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, and will engage with diverse knowledge holders, ranging from the public and private sectors to academia, civil society, and local communities. 

For more information about national ecosystem assessments, visit the NEA Initiative’s website at the following link:  

The National Ecosystem Assessment Initiative at UNEP-WCMC is part of the Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net), working in partnership with UNDP and UNESCO. Financial support was provided by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Republic of Germany.