Today we’re celebrating World Environment Day and supporting the need for joint action to protect our planet.
This year’s theme is restoring ecosystems, which calls for action to support the recovery of ecosystems which have been damaged or destroyed, as well as conserving those which are still intact. It focuses on the urgent need to reset our relationship with nature – from growing trees to making greener cities, changing diets, or cleaning up rivers and coasts. It also marks the launch of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
Ecosystem restoration is at the heart of the TUI Care Foundation’s project ‘Making the Mangroves Matter’ in the Dominican Republic. The project aims to restore mangrove forests and develop a management plan for the Manglares del Bajo Yuna National Park, which extends into the city of Sanchez. The park is the largest and most valuable, but also most threatened wetland in the Dominican Republic.
In partnership with Global Nature Fund, BMZ and CEBSE, the TUI Care Foundation is working with the park authorities to reduce the negative impacts of illegal logging and other unsustainable economic activities, by facilitating the restoration of 21 hectares of mangroves. Economic opportunities for people in adjacent communities are also being created using the park’s ecosystem services, including the development of eco-businesses and eco-tourism friendly walking tours and kayaking trails that pass through the mangroves.
The restoration process is in full swing. The mangrove tree planting production capacity of the nursery in nearby Arroyo Barri has been strengthened and is now managed by the local mayor's office in collaboration with the provincial directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The "Las Garitas" Mangrove Ecological Trail experience is ready for young people, educators and tourists to enjoy, and the culinary business initiative ‘Albóndigas La Sanchera’, managed by a group of local women, is in development.
We’re delighted that the project is already making a difference to:
- reduce illegal logging
- restore the mangrove forest through the collaboration of the community with the local authorities
- raise awareness in the community about the value of the forest
- share best business practices and tools with associations of fishermen and women to help them improve their economic situation
- increase community knowledge about mangrove forests and their ecosystem services
And in the Bay of Samaná in the Dominican Republic, the TUI Care Foundation is joining in the World Environmental Day celebrations and supporting the locally organised “Rally for Wetlands”, a day of education, sport and coastal wetland restoration, where families in Sanchez can safely enjoy nature and contribute to coastal clean-up and mangrove planting activities.
If you’re interested in getting involved in any World Environment Day activities, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has created an event schedule which you can access here.
So as the global campaign of the United Nations says: REIMAGINE. RECREATE. RESTORE.
Let’s join together to do everything we can to protect nature and restore what’s already been damaged.