At a glance
The Dominican Republic is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world. According to the 2017 Global Climate Risk Index (Maplecroft 2017) - Index of Long Term Climate Risk-CRI, the country is in the 11th place. With respect to future climate change, the Dominican Republic shows that 13 provinces (around 40%) have high levels of vulnerability to very high. According to the future climate scenarios for the Dominican Republic presented in the Third National Communication on Climate Change in 2015, temperature will increase by up to 2Â° C, while rainfall may decrease substantially, in particular towards the southern and western provinces of the country. Likewise, the extreme events of both floods and droughts will increase, particularly in the central and western region. Addressing these uncertainties will require a flexible and iterative approach for long-term decision making and to reduce vulnerability.
Furthermore, the Dominican Republic, as a small island developing state, and located in an area of intense cyclonic activity, is constantly threatened by hydrometeorological events such as tropical waves, droughts, storms and hurricanes, affecting human settlements and productive activities. The impact of these extreme events has meant economic losses in the order of 9,470 Million USD and the most affected sectors have been: coastal resources, environment, agriculture, roads, energy, housing, education, industry and commerce, sanitation and health. These statistics refer to major events that cause disasters, but minor and recurring events can cause great damage to assets, livelihoods and crops. Hurricane George on 1998 represented in terms of losses and damages the equivalent to 14% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1997. The tropical storms Olga and Noel in 2007 forced to re-plan the economy and the priorities of the government, whose summation of damages and losses accounted for 1.2% of GDP and 5.3% of the national budget. Likewise, there has been a sequel to disasters linked to floods, landslides and droughts that have not been quantified during the last decade, particularly in El-Seibo province.
According to these climate projections and models' outputs, climate change in the Dominican Republic is and will significantly continue to affect key development and social sectors: (i) freshwater resources for human and agricultural use are expected to decrease up to 25% by 2050 as well as the overall water quality. In addition, this water stress in the country is exacerbated by the long-lasting droughts in the Western provinces; (ii) agricultural activity has been significantly vulnerable to climatic variations during the last 20 years. This has implied vulnerabilities in terms of income variations and instability for farmers and ranchers, while for the consuming population this has implied reductions in their purchasing power and food capacities; (iii) the country's health sector will face projected increasing dengue cases due to more favorable conditions for the appearance of the vector (higher temperature), with a high probability to manifest themselves in all provinces of the country;(iv) the Dominican Republic's tourism sector is also highly affected by climate change due to: brighter summers, greater number of extreme events, water scarcity, loss of marine biological diversity, sea level rise, greater number outbreaks of diseases caused by vectors, political destabilization and increase in the price of travel as a result of migration policy, among others. Furthermore, more than 60% of the country's population (over 6 million people) is concentrated in urban areas in continuous expansion, most of which are located in coastal areas or areas at high risk of receiving the impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological events. Finally, climate impacts on coastal-marine systems in the country include: increase coastal flooding due to sea level rise (SLR), erosion of beaches (up to 30%), bleaching of corals, destruction of mangroves and saline intrusion into freshwater. These impacts also affect the livelihood of the most vulnerable populations that live on coastal areas and depend on these resources. Adaptation measures are needed to increase resilience and adaptive capacity of populations living and depending of coastal-marine ecosystems.
Considering these climatic scenarios at the National and provincial level in the Dominican Republic, this action strives in developing and integrating adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies into national and local development planning and programming. Furthermore, this action addresses uncertainties about climate change impacts in terms of extreme events by developing and implementing a flexible and interactive approach for long-term decision making to reduce vulnerability in El-Seibo province. This action aims to strengthen and mainstream disaster risk reduction and climate change resilience into social and economic plans within sectors and governments in coastal vulnerable municipalities of El-Seibo. Consequently, this action focuses on incorporating EbA into the plans of sectoral adaptation, biodiversity and sustainable development policies by adopting a landscape approach; promoting the connectivity of habitats, species, communities and ecological processes (landscape link) and continuity of altitudinal gradients; incorporating the theme variability and climate change in the instruments of regulation and management.
At a national level, this action will benefit almost 11,000.000 inhabitants living in the country by developing climate policy and building resilience. At a sub-national level, targeted province of El Seibo will benefit. El Seibo has a total area of 1,786.80 km2 divided into two municipalities: Santa Cruz del Seibo and Miches and five municipal districts. The entire number of habitants living in rural and urban areas of this province will benefit from this project, a total of 85,017 habitants (47,260 man and 40,200 women).