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Forest Fires Have Destroyed More than 1,600 Native and Endemic Species According to Academy of Sciences
Dominican Republic, 5/20/2015

Milciades Mejía, president of the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic, announced that forest fires this year in Valle Nuevo Constanza have destroyed some 1,600 native and endemic species, reported Listín Diario.

“We have lost the ability to prevent forest fires; the Ministry of Environment does not implement forestry protection programs and has no campaign aimed at directing farmers and the rest of the population to avoid planting in officially protected areas. So, in addition to criminals involved in causing forest fires, there is also significant neglect on the part of the authorities in protecting our natural resources.” 

Mr. Mejía is concerned because the country is reaching a critical tipping point in terms of the environment while, he says, there is no proper attention being paid to the situation nor is awareness being created for the population.

He cited the country’s dams as an example, saying they are full of sediment and have no water storage capacity. He also mentioned the mistreatment of watersheds as a result of deforestation, which is reflected in the shortage of water in Dominican homes.

Recent forest fires, in addition to affecting some 1,600 native species upon which the country relies, forest fires have influenced the mistreatment of the watersheds because, according to Mejía, burned-out forests cause a loss of biodiversity. 

Forest fires have destroyed the earth’s natural green covering which is necessary to conserve the water that is replenished naturally by rainwater. This results in the rivers drying up and reducing water quality.”

Source: http://www.listindiario.com/mobile/article?id=367464

Topic(s):    Forest resourcesEnvironmental managementProtected areas