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Term Environmental quality
Definition

The extent to which the current state of the environment can guarantee the basic functions of ecosystems. It regulates and conditions the capabilities of life on Earth, and is directly related to the state of natural resources and biodiversity. The development and use of statistics, formulas and parameters to measure environmental quality-- or the creation of environmental indicators--  is an objective toward which the Dominican Republic has recently been working, together with other countries in Central America and the Caribbean.1, 2 

An environmental assessment conducted in the country in 2003 revealed, for example, that the availability of drinking water for the population is 73%, and that the resources for its sanitation are at 20.1%. Likewise, the report concluded that solid waste needs better management and clear policies, as spillways are not designed properly and there is only one landfill for the entire country, the Duquesa garbage dump in Santo Domingo. It is estimated that the country generates about 7,000 tons of solid waste, the majority of which comes from the capital.3

In this regard, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is working on legislation to manage hazardous waste from different sources, including hospital waste. Currently, since there is no exact information on the amount of hazardous waste produced, the country has requested funds to work on data collection in this area.3

In regards to air quality, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, through its National Program for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, concluded that the total consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the country was 269.700 kilograms in 2003, the lowest amount recorded for the period between 1992 and 2003.

Meanwhile, consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in 2003 was 462,798.76 kg. This amount was less than the previous year's consumption, but in general HFC consumption increased considerably compared to previous years, as it was used as an alternative refrigerant gas to CFC because it does not deplete the ozone layer. On the other hand, consumption of methyl bromide in the year 2003 was 73.80 kilograms, the lowest quantity recorded in the 1993-2003 period.4,5,6

1Quiroga, R. Indicadores ambientales y de desarrollo sostenible: avances y perspectivas para América Latina y el Caribe; División de Estadística y Proyecciones Económicas;  CEPAL SERIES Manuales 55: Santiago de Chile, 2007.

2 USAID (United States Agency for International Development )/ CCAD. Indicadores de desempeño ambiental para Centroamerica y República Dominicana; USAID, Informe Anual: San Salvador, SV, 2008.

3Cattafesta, C. Proyecto para la creación de capacidades y el perfeccionamiento en la formulación de políticas y de la capacidad de negociación en medio ambiente diagnostico preliminar (UNCTAD/FIELD); Secretaria de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales: Santo Domingo, DO, 2003.

4Secretaría de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. Inventario Nacional de Emisiones y Absorciones de Gases de Invernadero: Reporte para los años 1990 y 1994; SEMARN/UNEP: Santo Domingo, DO, 2002.

 5Secretaría de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. Diagnóstico Ambiental y Análisis Económico/Fiscal; Abt. Associates Inc.: Santo Domingo, DO, 2003.

6Secretaría de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales.  Programa de Monitoreo de Calidad del Aire; Subsecretaría de Gestión Ambiental: Santo Domingo, DO, 2002.


Topic  BiodiversityEnvironmental managementEnvironmental educationProtected areasResources coastal / marineLegal and Institutional