Restoring life underwater: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership to save coral reefs in the Dominican Republic

GIZ
Published: 08 December 2020
Last edited: 08 December 2020
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Summary

Dominican Republic (DR) is known for its tourism, that relies on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs. However, it has suffered the impacts of climate change and coastal development, making coral reefs more vulnerable. Restoration became a popular alternative to safeguard this ecosystems. It started to grow rapidly lacking control and causing many nurseries to become abandoned. This concern triggered the creation of the Dominican Coastal Restoration Consortium (CDRC), a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership that works with the Ministry of Environment. Nowadays, members of the CDRC are providing support to the Ministry, monitoring coral nurseries all over the country and leading the evaluations, as well as steering the restoration initiatives in the DR. 

Classifications

Region
Caribbean
Scale of implementation
National
Ecosystem
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Theme
Adaptation
Ecosystem services
Islands
Local actors
Restoration
Sustainable financing
Challenges
Ecosystem loss
Lack of access to long-term funding
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Direct engagement with associations

Location

Dominican Republic

Challenges

  • The first challenge was to structure and set a country wide platform for the coordination of coral reef restoration initiatives.The initial growth of coral reef restoration projects in Dominican Republic was not well organized , there was a lack of coordination between stakeholders and information regarding the goals, situation, and results of restoration projects, and this information was not collected and/or shared.
  • The second challenge was related to the lack of long term financing for coral reef restoration initiatives. 
  • The third challenge was the need of a private-public arrangement for the evaluation of coral reef restoration projects. The Ministry of Environment and the non profits and private sector restoration initiatives needed an agreement to do this. 
  • The fourth challenge was to create a tool for the evaluation of restoration projects in the country.

Beneficiaries

Direct beneficiaries include local NGOs and local communities, users of the coral reef, private sector benefitting from reef ecosystem services, and the Ministry of Environment of the Dominican Republic.

How do the building blocks interact?

The building blocks are part of a chronologic sequence of activities directed to the consolidation of the multistakeholder partnership. Each one has it´s own importance and is complemented by the other two building blocks. A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership with a common goal is the base for a collaborative effort between institutions. Afterwards, a formal agreement for the country wide evaluation of coral reef nurseries was needed, along with a tool for this matters. Considering the sustainability of this two previous blocks, a financial mechanism to ensure that the initiative is maintained over time and to foster private sector engagement was constructed. 

Impacts

The Dominican Coastal Restoration Consortium (CDRC) conserves and restores coral reef ecosystems to enhance environmental and social resilience against the impacts of climate change and other degrading factors through the application of practical approaches in which communities can actively participate. 

The CDRC, with the legal authorization and technical support of the Ministry of the Environment, leads the process of coral nursery evaluation throughout the Dominican Republic (DR). Achieving this goal is a challenge that the CDRC has addressed through an evaluation tool that ends up with recommendations for each of the country’s restoration projects so that each nursery is strengthened, and conservation efforts continue. This solidly advancing assessment aims at consolidating standardized procedures for nursery configuration, maintenance, data collection, information exchange, and general performance.  

Nowadays, CDRC is the leading institution in coral restoration efforts in the DR and is also a regional model, sharing their skills and knowledge with other countries like Costa Rica and Honduras. In DR, a total of 17 coral nurseries are managed by CDRC members and monitored and evaluated by the CDRC staff.

Contributed by

Mauricio Solano Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH