6/13/2005

Agreement signed to create new ecological refuge

Bayhibe hotels and residents protect their water source*

SANTO DOMINGO. - The La Romana-Bayahibe Hotel Association and the Environment Ministry signed an agreement to creation the Padre Nuestro Ecotourism Center, located within the National Park of the East.

The Association and FIPA -institution which handles funds donated by USAID- , will jointly finance the collaboration project’s first stage, while the Dominican Integral Development Institute (IDDI) is its executor and coordinator.

Various actions will be carried out at the site, among them, the integral environmental cleanup of the zone, inhabited until recently and will continue with the creation of a ecological center for visitors, trail and simple road infrastructures that allow the access to the artesian springs. The project will also reforest with native varieties and rebuild the park ranges stations.

The ecotourism aspect will also include educational trails and an underwater museum in one of the areas many springs and adjustment of springs for reception of visitors. Also a topographical survey; inventory of the Taino art; topographical survey of the caverns and a census of the insects, birds and mammals.

Since the early 1980s, the heavily wooded area of underground water was occupied by settlers who depended on making charcoal from trees, giving rise to a humble community that lacked sanitary infrastructure.

In order to protect their water source, the areas’ hoteliers and the residents of Bayahíbe, along with the USAID and the Dominican Government, built a new village in the town of Benerito to relocate all of Padre Nuestro’s settlers.

*Source: Dominican Today
www.dominicantoday.com

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