Dominican Republic: Saving coral reefs from tourism, climate change and overfishing

Some 6.5 million holidaymakers descend upon the Dominican Republic each year to enjoy its glorious palm-lined beaches and turquoise blue waters.

But mass tourism, polluted water, overfishing and climate change have destroyed an estimated 90 percent of the nation's coral reefs, creating a knock-on effect for the entire coastal ecosystem.

Anglers' nets are now often empty, while the ebb and flow of the tide, rising sea levels and tropical storms carry away more and more of the country's sandy beaches unhindered. In turn that's threatening the very tourism, which is the number one source of income in the country.

Local non-profit Fundacion Grupo Puntacana is trying to reverse the worst effects. Founded by investor group Grupo Puntacana, which runs a number of hotel resorts in the Dominican Republic, the foundation is restoring coral reefs and establishing protected areas in the hopes of securing the coastal landscape — and the livelihoods of coastal inhabitants.

A film by Tim Schauenberg

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Information

Length
6:18

Country
Dominican Republic

Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.