Dominican Republic

Country Profile: 

Population (thousand) (2015): 10,528.39 
Multidimensional Poverty Index Value (2013): 0.02
Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, Country Rank (2014) (1.0 equals Highest Poverty): 80
Gross Domestic Product per capita, at Purchasing Price Parity (2015) (US$): 14,211.7

Project period: preparatory phase (2010). Phase 1 (2012-2014).

Main counterparts: Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPYD, Ministerio de Economía, Planificación y Desarrollo); Social Cabinet (GASO, Gabinete Social) ; Single System for the Identification of Beneficiaries (SIUBEN); and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales).

Main objective: To reduce poor households´ vulnerability to extreme climatic events impacts through the mainstreaming of poverty-environment linkages into national and subnational development planning processes, in combination with the REGATTA programme (UNEP Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean).

Budget: USD 607,200 (USD 240,000 PEI; USD 367,200 REGATTA).

 

Background

Dominican Republic, as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) has suffered the impacts of climatic events, particularly storms and hurricanes, followed by periods of drought, with increased frequency and intensity over the last years.Poor rural households that depend largely on natural resources and ecosystem services for their health, income, livelihoods and basic needs, are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change impacts. In 2007, for example, the storms Olga and Noel hit Dominican Republic affecting over 70% of the country’s population directly or indirectly. 90% of direct victims (loss of housing, livelihoods, etc.) were under the poverty line in the provinces with the lowest Human Development Index (HDI). The Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2010 classified Dominican Republic in the 8th position of the 10 countries most affected by extreme climatic events.

 

From a socioeconomic point of view, Dominican Republic is an upper-middle income country, which has managed to maintain an average economic growth of 5.9% in the last 5 years. Nevertheless, high levels of poverty and inequality persist. Specifically, 33.8% of the population of the country lives in poverty and 10.1% in extreme poverty. These levels are higher in rural areas, where 50.9% and 19.8% of the total population live in poverty and extreme poverty, respectively.Poverty and marginalization are among the factors that increase vulnerability due to climate variability and climate change in the country. Therefore, linking poverty and environment through sustainable management is crucial for a healthy and productive environment that may significantly contribute to social wellbeing and to pro-poor economic development.Poor rural groups are generally composed of small-scale farmers, landless farmers, micro-entrepreneurs, small retailers, agricultural workers and employees of rural services operators. 57% of extremely poor households are run by women, as well as 65% of those living in moderate poverty.Inequality levels are also elevated. The poorest 20% of the population receives barely over 5% of the national income, whereas the richest 20% enjoys more than 50%. In this context, the joint PEI-REGATTA intervention proposes to integrate the links between poverty, environment and adaptation to climate change into planning and development processes, such as land management, and into social protection strategies, in order to reduce the vulnerability of poor rural households. The project proposes improved coordination mechanisms and the integration of these links within social protection policies aiming to reduce poverty, fostering the institutional strengthening of all relevant stakeholders involved.The PEI-REGATTA joint intervention is aligned with the Dominican Republic National Development Strategy 2010-2030 (END, Estrategia Nacional de Desarrollo) elaborated on a consensual basis under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPYD), among which the absence of spatial and environmental planning is emphasized as a major national development obstacle. 

 Main activities

  • Undertaking studies that help identify the linkages between adaptation to Climate Change, Poverty and Environment in order to develop and promote arguments to influence spatial policy-making processes (including the estimation of costs to the Government for not implementing public policies oriented to mitigating the negative impact of such events on poor households).
  • Presentation and dissemination of these results concerning the poverty and environment nexus and climate change links within key actors from the Government and the civil society
  • Undertaking advocacy and sensitization tasks for key governmental actors in the design of public policies related to poverty and environment and climate change.
  • Incorporating the linkages between poverty and environment and climate change adaptation into land use planning processes carried out by the General Directorate of Land Use Planning (DGODT, Dirección General de Ordenamiento Territorial).
  • Mainstreaming of poverty and environment linkages and climate change into planning tools for territorial and land use development planning.
  • Formulation and implementation of the pilot project at a first stage, in order to identify policies and good practices aimed at reducing poverty and the level of climate vulnerability of the most impacted households in the Lago Enriquillo region.
  • Influence national social protection policies to integrate environmental pro poor indicators and variables. 

 

 

Achievements: 

In Dominican Republic, the Poverty-Environment Initiative project has managed to reduce climate vulnerability of poor households through the mainstreaming of poverty-environment linkages into national and subnational planning processes, in combination with the UN Environment Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA) programme.

The project made significant achievements both at national level and within the Lago Enriquillo region, the pilot area of intervention of the project. The efforts were primarily directed towards the mainstreaming of poverty, environment and vulnerability linkages into the National Strategy for Territorial Development, paving the way for such conceptualization at national level and highlighting the clear linkages between poverty and environmental vulnerability in Dominican Republic, which are associated with climate extremes. The project contributed to the elaboration of the first nationwide Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI) at the household level, the first of its kind.

  • The linkages between poverty and environment and climate change were integrated into the National Development Strategy (2010-2030) through their four thematic pillars.
  • The national poverty measuring system was influenced and the national household survey was modified integrating a new module entitled “Risk of Natural problems and environmental pollution”.
  • This new information collected allowed the creation of the first nationwide Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI) at household level
  • A Guide for the creation of Municipal Territorial Development Plans was elaborated, incorporating poverty and environment criteria, climate change and gender approaches; these dimensions have been replicated in the elaboration process of the National Territorial Development Plan.
  • The land management policy at national level was strengthened through the incorporation of poverty and environment links and approaches, creating positive synergies that resulted in a better positioning of the land management subject and of the Department of Land Management (DGODT, Dirección General de Ordenamiento Territorial) at national level.
  • A Fair of climate change adaptive solutions was held at family level in the Lago Enriquillo region, with the participation of key national actors. The fair, sponsored by the Vice president of the Republic, highlighted the linkages between poverty-environment and the impact of extreme climatic events in poverty reduction strategies.
  • A micro credit Fund was launched through two local NGOs in order to finance innovative adaptive solutions for the most vulnerable population affected by extreme climatic events in the Lago Enriquillo region.

 

Mainstreaming Resources: