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 (MEPYD) in November 2019, and will focus 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. 

The World Bank team, with MEPYD focal point, has developed working relationships with different entities to support the analytical work on each stream of the review. In addition to desk research and analytics on each of the main pillars of the report, a series of videoconferences have been held with some actors in urban and territorial development, local economic development (specifically for the territorial development instruments on tourism and special economic zones), and municipal finance, including the Ministry of Finance and the Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportación). Furthermore, the World Bank team has been conducting surveys to better understand local challenges hindering the growth of the tourism sector and special economic zones, and their capacity to cope with disasters. 

Regarding the implementation of the support to the National Geographic Institute (IGN)’s Spatial Data Infrastructure, activities focused on identifying specialists based in DR in Spatial Data Infrastructure standards, policy and technical guidelines, and possible hosting providers to support data storage for both the pilot project in Espaillat and the backup solution at national level. 
 

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