The tourism industry in the Dominican Republic (DR) is dependent on clean beaches, pristine water and healthy coral reefs, which protect the coast from erosion and are a target for the potential market of 20 million scuba divers and many more skin divers per year. However, the reefs of the DR are currently severely impacted by human activities, a number of which can be attributed to the thriving tourism industry.
A major goal of the country is to improve business competitiveness and establish the DR as tourism centre of the Caribbean and Central America by 2010.
In response to this goal, and the recognised need to prevent further damage to DR reefs through education and management, ICRAN developed a project alongside the Reef Check Foundation, with funding from the US Agency for International Development and the United Nations Foundation, to engage local partners and increase tourism revenue as a sustainable financing mechanism for coral reef conservation.
The DR Marine Tourism Alliance project aimed to transform the interaction between tourists and hotels into an enjoyable educational experience, leading to better conservation of coral reefs. The Alliance brought together partners with extensive experience in their fields to develop and market new products and services that are attractive to most tourist visitors on the island.
A programme was established that delivered training and knowledge about coral reefs, providing opportunities for participation in global coral reef monitoring activities. In this manner, tourists are able to become part of the conservation solution in the DR, helping to generate funds that will ensure local citizens can also participate in Reef Check monitoring and management activities. A long-term monitoring programme has been set up that will continue long past the project lifecycle.
|The project ran between 2005 – 2007 and is now complete. Some achievements of the project include:
- Resultados del Monitoreo Arrecifal en la Arrecife de Dominicus (Bayahibe) con el Metodo Reef Check. Marzo 2004
- Resultados del Monitoreo Arrecifal en la Arrecife de Dominicus (Bayahibe) con el Metodo Reef Check. Julio 2004
- Resultados del Monitoreo Arrecifal Reef Check en Dominicus, Bayahibe. Abril 2005
- Resultados del Monitoreo Arrecifal Reef Check en Dominicus, Bayahibe. Junio 2007
- Proyecto de Apoyo a la Gestion de Manejo Integrado Costero Marino Parque Nacional Submarino la Caleta (PNSLC)
To find out more about the EcoAction programme or to purchase products, go to www.reefcheck.org