The Dominican Republic is highly exposed to climate-related and geophysical hazards that pose major challenges to its sustainable growth and development. Based on historical data, disaster losses have been estimated at 0.69% of the 2015 GDP or US$ 420 million per year over the period 1961-2014. Natural exposure to these hazards is being exacerbated by rapid urbanization, along with limited territorial planning, urban planning, and poor natural resource management. These factors are having a negative effect on human health, quality of life, and major economic activities such as agriculture and tourism. Therefore, Resilient territorial and urban planning plays a key role in increasing resilience by ensuring the safe location of population, building disaster and climate-risk informed territorial and land use instruments, and through a comprehensive management of natural resources.

The project “Enhancing Resilient Territorial Development in the Dominican Republic” supports the government’s efforts to implement a territorial development plan that improves land use regulations, enhances disaster risk management, and promotes the sustainable use of natural resources.

 

Main Activities

  • Urbanization and Territorial Development Review, including a diagnostic of urbanization patterns to identify existing challenges and inform a pathway to address them while leveraging opportunities provided by cities to increase productivity, strengthen economic growth, tackle inequality, and build resilience.
  • Support the Implementation of the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the Dominican Republic (IDE-RD: Infraestructura de Datos Espaciales de La Republica Dominicana). The SDI will be used as a tool for territorial planning and disaster risk management.

 

Results

The main framework for the Urbanization and Territorial Review of the Dominican Republic was agreed upon with the Ministry of Economy, Planning and  Development (Ministerio de Economía, Planificación y Desarrollo - MEPYD) in November 2019, and focuses on (i) the characterization of urbanization patterns in Dominican Republic; (ii) an analysis of the institutions and policies dealing with territorial planning in Dominican Republic; (iii) a review of the local economic development patterns; and (iv) public financing of urban and territorial development in Dominican Republic. One of the priorities of the government is to support the border region with Haiti by creating a development strategy, led by the newly created Directorate of Planning and Development of the Border Area (Dirección de Planificación y Desarrollo de la Zona Fronteriza). Two technical sessions were organized in December 2020 to support the MEPyD on their strategy building for the border region with Haiti. These sessions brought together 40 people from different institutions and put forward international best practices as well as lessons learned from strategies and instruments implemented in lagging regions. In addition, 6 policy notes are currently being developed providing a diagnosis of the Dominican Republic’s main economic and social development challenges in the urbanization and territorial development sector, which aim to chart a possible course to address them. These policy notes should be finalized by the first quarter of 2021.

The project is also supporting the IGN and other public institutions to develop the national Spatial Data Infrastructure and work has involved the production, analysis and sharing of geographic information, to develop a first draft of national geo-spatial data policy. A series of 8 virtual workshops were organized between July and December 2020 to support the IGN and other public institutions involved in production, analysis and dissemination of geo-spatial information in the Dominican Republic, gathering a total of 76 participants. During the workshops, attendees were able to learn and discuss about (i) the development of geo-spatial data public and national policy; and (ii) the development of a quality model for the design, evaluation, production, documentation and continuous improvements of geographic information.

The IGN and the Strategic Development Plan of the region of Espillat (Plan Estratégico de Desarrollo de la provincia Espaillat - PEDEPE) launched the local geo-portal of the province of Espaillat during a ceremony organized in December 2020. The event raised a lot of interest locally and nationally and many institutions attended, including the Minister of MEPyD, Mr. Miguel Ceara-Hatton. Specific support was provided to the IGN during the development and the deployment of the portal, including the hiring of a cloud service for hosting geo-spatial data.
 

Partnerships and Coordination

The technical assistance project is undertaken jointly with the Economic and Social Analysis Advisor Unit (UAAES) and the National Geographic Institute (IGN), which are both within the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD).

 

Useful Links

The Dominican Republic Risk Profile is available in English here and in Spanish here.

 

Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility component

Regional Technical Assistance Facility to Mainstream Resilience