Deforestation in the Dominican Republic’s Sierra de Bahoruco National Park

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Dominican Today reports that the iconic Sierra de Bahoruco National Park is “withering as Dominican Republic fails to enforce the law,” according to a group of environmentalists worried deforestation caused by illegal agricultural activity. The country’s Department of Environmental Affairs CAFTA-DR will seek the government’s response to the situation.

In a letter dated May 27, Secretariat general coordinator Jorge Guzman says the missive submitted by Carlina Duran and Chino Sing, as representatives of the group SOS Ambiente RD, complies with the criteria. As part of their work as environmentalist, Duran and Sing sent a letter to the Secretariat on November 2015 denouncing Dominican Republic’s failure to enforce its environmental legislation regarding Sierra de Bahoruco.

The missive notes that at least 34 square kilometers of the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park have been cleared, primarily for illegal agriculture. It established that the destruction covers especially broadleaf forests, including cloud forests.

“This greatly undermines the sustainability of this National Park, since the soil layer in most of its territory is very thin, the slopes are often steep (…) resulting in that nothing can grow after a few crops and storms and heavy rains that deplete the soil,” the complainants said.

To empower the Secretary of Environmental Affairs CAFTA-DR, support information including geo-referenced maps, photographs, interviews, communications and studies by the Jaragua Group, and the first audiovisual documentary “Parks of Paper: Sierra de Bahoruco,” was presented by the Group.

Sing said the denunciation of deforestation at Sierra de Bahoruco [has been] going on for more than 10 years [. . .], “and Environment had not done anything.”

Once the Secretariat admitted the communication, it proceeded to formally request a response from the Dominican Republic, which must be submitted within 45 days from the reception of the request, as the entity’s working procedures stipulate.

[See “Parks of Paper” at the following link: http://elgrillo.do/2015/06/presentan-documental-sobre-agricultura-ilegal-en-parques-nacionales/ ]

For original post, see http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/economy/2016/6/22/59727/Icon-national-park-withers-as-Dominican-Republic-fails-to-enforce-the-law

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