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Caribbean

09/05/2018

A comprehensive water management project to be approved in the Dominican Republic

An ambitious project that joins the forces of the World Bank, FAO, and the country's government aim to improve the associated environmental conditions, strengthen resilience and favor community development in two of the country's most important river basins.

Cleaning the riverbanks of the Ozama and Isabela Rivers

The hydrographic basins of Yaque del Norte and Ozama-Izabela in the Dominican Republic feed over 300 kilometers of rivers. The reservoirs in this area have the potential to store nearly 1000 million cubic meters of water, supplying numerous communities that depend on the resource for their sustainability. However, the watersheds are degraded with a significant degree of deterioration that seriously threatens the population due to a reduced capacity to regulate reservoirs due to sediments in addition to a deterioration in the quality of their channels due to urban and agricultural factors.

In order to reverse this trend, the Resilient Agriculture and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Project is soon to be launched in the Yaque del Norte and Ozama-Izabela basins, with the support of the cooperative program between FAO and the World Bank. The project objectives include promoting the sustainable management of productive agrosystems, improving the resilience of hydraulic assets and increasing the drinking water supply quality and access. It is expected to contribute significantly to the climate resilience of agro-ecosystems, as well as drinking water and sanitation systems in the beneficiary territories, and reduce the levels of poverty and food insecurity in the project's intervention areas. If negotiations are successful, the project would get the green light this year.

FAO's representatives in the country, in cooperation with the FAO Investment Center and the World Bank, have played a fundamental role in the project's preparation by favoring and articulating dialogue between the various institutions involved in the project. Luis Loyola, an expert from the Investment Center, explains that the project "aims to support the government in implementing the National Development Strategy with the goal of increasing resilience and improving disaster risk management, thereby proposing actions in response to an integrated approach to natural resource management."

An integrated focus

From an integrated perspective, these kinds of project activities are fundamental for the project's effectiveness, Loyola explains. "It's a multisectoral spatial approach to the sustainable management of goods and natural resources (soil, water and vegetation), taking the upstream and downstream impacts into account. It combines measures to support sustainable intensification in the most fertile lands nourished with rain and irrigation, through landscape restoration and resource conservation of degraded lands; building resilience in the basins; improving access to sanitation in order to reduce pollution; and strengthening institutions."

These activities have a prominent human component, as the communities would benefit from cleaner resources, in a more sustainable way. "These combined measures will target the most vulnerable population in poor rural areas, aiming to reduce their vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change, improve their adaptive capacity, increase productivity, strengthen producer organizations, and decrease the possibility of conflicts surrounding natural resources, especially water resources," Loyola concludes.

Please note that this article was not originally written in this language.
Author: Agronoticias
Photo Credit: PresidenciaRD (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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