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President Medina’s Draft Law Seeks to Decrease Haitises Park
Dominican Republic, 6/5/2015

According to information published by El Caribe newspaper, President Danilo Medina sent a draft bill to Ms. Cristina Lizardo, president of the Senate, to reduce, divide into two and establish new limits for the Los Haitises National Park. The current size of the park will be reduced to 746 square kilometers and divided into two estates - one of which will be 704 square kilometers and the other 42 square kilometers.

To support the draft bill, President Medina stated in the first reading that this move is necessary to ensure the sustainable use of the country’s natural heritage as an indispensable prerequisite to ensure the future viability of the Dominican people.

Also the sixth reading states that new boundaries will favorably impact the elimination of human activities that negatively affect the park as well as the development of agricultural and livestock activities carried out in the park insofar as the changes will be undertaken without affecting them. Moreover, it will contribute to improving living conditions of the inhabitants in the surrounding areas, located in the five provinces whose territory is within the park’s boundaries.

The fourth reading of the bill states that the communities established around Los Haitises have developed favorable and practical attitudes in terms of conservation of the ecosystems and area’s protected species, "while they have demanded changes to the current park boundaries, which include spaces whose main use is for production while excluding other activities that are not appropriate to the area’s conservation.”

Article 3 of the draft bill calls for the creation of a “Buffer Zone for Sustainable Uses" around Los Haitises, formed “by areas excluded from these new limits, other spaces.” In this area, sustainable land use for organic agriculture will be permitted as well as the creation of an eco-tourism infrastructure that does not involve modification of the area’s geomorphological characteristics. Tabulated agroforestry and livestock, artisanal mining that does not involve the use of heavy machinery and chemicals as well as recreational activities will also be permitted.


Topic(s):    Sustainable developmentProtected areas