U.S. Ambassador Promotes Peace Corps Environmental Protection Efforts in SFM

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U.S. Ambassador Promotes Peace Corps Environmental Protection Efforts in SFM

January 26, 2001

U.S. Ambassador Promotes Peace Corps Environmental Protection Efforts in SFM

SAN FRANCISCO DE MACORIS - US. Ambassador Charles T. Manatt, in support of the work being carried out jointly in favor of the environment in San Francisco de Macoris by Peace Corps volunteers, the Universidad Nordestana and the Fundación Rio Jaya, Inc., visited these last two institutions on Friday morning, January 26. The goal of these institutions is to carry out the rescue and prevent further pollution of the Rio Jaya, the most important natural resource of this prosperous agricultural province.

During his visit, the Ambassador received detailed information on the upcoming celebration of Earth Day, April 22, a worldwide event that celebrated since the early seventies. Earth Day's main goal is to bring awareness to local populations, governments and private institutions of the importance of caring for and protecting the environment. This year, Earth Day activities in the Dominican Republic will be dedicated to the conservation and rescue of the Rio Jaya. Currently, government, private and non-profit institutions are working to make Earth Day 2001 in San Francisco de Macoris a true success.

Ambassador Manatt was received by Guy Ragosta, Jeannette Prazen and Kristin Crary, Peace Corps volunteers in this city, as well as representatives from the Universidad Nordestana, who briefed him on several of the projects the students of the Ecology Department are carrying out, with the support of the Peace Corps Volunteer.

One of the Department's most popular projects to date, with the support of the Peace Corps volunteers, has been to divide the Rio Jaya into thirty-five 100-meter sections. Each section has been assigned to a local private institution, whose responsibility is to clean and reforest their assigned section. The project has been extremely successful in terms of creating awareness in the population on the need to preserve the river. The Foundation has carried out reforestation drives, educational workshops and research projects to protect the river's delicate, but seriously deteriorated, environment.

After his visit to the University, Ambassador Manatt was received in the offices of the Fundación Rio Jaya, a non-profit institution, which for the past few years has worked to stop pollution of the river. Upon his arrival, members of the Executive Council, headed by its President, Martin Pantaleon, as well as the Governor of Duarte Province, Finetta Camilo Fernández, greeted Ambassador Manatt.

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