Despite Dominican Republic's serious exposition to the impacts of climate change, such as the salinisation of half of its aquifers and more intense natural catastrophes like hurricanes and unusual rainfall patterns, the Caribbean island nation has difficulties overcoming in climate change adaptation policies as risk perception among Dominicans is low. According to the project coordinator at the Dominican Institute for Integral Development (IDDI), Evaydee Pérez, speaking to IPS, there is still a tendency to see climate change as a problem of the future, and this also affects the tourism business which builds hotels less than 60 metres from the coast.
She said public policies would be more efficient if the local population participated. "There is a national system that includes municipal prevention committees, but they have to be rooted in, and accompanied by, the grassroots level. Neighbourhood organisations and associations, clubs and churches must be included in the process of training, capacity-building and coordination," added Luis Alejo, coordinator of the IDDI risk management group, presenting the strategy followed by his unit in communities at risk of natural disasters.
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