Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic and Haiti governments yesterday began talks aimed at securing European Union funding to protect the environment along their border and reduce poverty.
Dominican Environment minister Bautista Rojas Gomez met with Haiti’s EDFs coordinator Jean Edner Nelson, Industry and Commerce minister Wilson Laleu, and Presidency environmental issues director Gesner Champagne.
In a statement the Environment Ministry said the officials agreed on the need to create a bilateral environmental recovery support fund for the border area and the conditions to develop micro, small and medium businesses, as matching funds for the 7.2 million euros from the EU.
The Haitian officials, who hailed the success of the Quisqueya Verde reforestation program and Dominican Republic’s Endemic and Native Seed Bank, requested the local technical support for the initiatives announced by president Michel Martelly, who declared 2013 as Reforestation Year.
Rojas stated the willingness by Environment technicians to join the Haitian colleagues’ effort to recover their country’s forests, and stressed the importance of placing the environmental issue on the Binational Commission’s agenda.
For Laleu, it’s impossible to develop his country’s economy as long as Haiti’s environment and natural resources continue under their current condition.