Dominican Republic

ISO3
DOM
Date of publication
February 2006

The World Trade Organization (WTO) hailed the recent Hong Kong Sixth Ministerial Meeting last December 2005 as a positive movement towards the conclusion of the Doha Development Round. The round was supposedly geared towards ensuring that trade contributes to the development objectives of least developed and developing countries. However, for most civil society groups around the world, the Hong Kong meeting was nothing but a step towards further liberalization, a prescription for countries to further open up their markets, despite its negative impact on small producers, especially small farmers, in developing economies.

Date of publication
May 2007

A Special Product (SP) is an agricultural product “out of the WTO” in that they are not subject to tariff reductions, i. e. Countries can keep the right to maintain protective tariffs on certain agricultural products that are essential for food security, rural development, and farmers’ livelihoods. The G33 proposal is for 10% of developing country products to be exempt from tariff reductions, with an additional 10% of product lines to have limited tariff reductions. This would be somewhere in the range of 300 products. The US counter-proposal is for a mere 5 products! Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) means that if there is an import surge, countries have the right to increase protective tariffs. Why are SP and SSM important in the WTO negotiations? The issue of Special Products and Special Safeguard Mechanism (SP/SSM) is a key issue in the current Doha Round of negotiations. The SP/SSM seems to be one of few issues that developing countries are quite strong on, and that the US is strongly opposed to, meaning that if the developing countries (G33) stay strong in defense of SP/SSM, it could keep the Round deadlocked. If the Round goes through, then SP and SSM are measures to protect farmers from further damage from WTO rules. 

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

This report examines the effect of
gender on socio-economic outcomes in three Caribbean
countries: the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica.
Organized in three separate country notes, it covers:
demographics, health and reproductive health, violence,
education, labor and agriculture. The report is part of a
large effort aimed at establishing a strategic social agenda
in the region. Many of the key economic issues that
Caribbean countries confront today have an important gender
dimension, these includes crime and violence, reproductive
and sexual health issues, low education levels, unstable
family structure, poverty and inequality. Gender roles and
relations influence these socio-economic issues. For
example, violent crime is concentrated among young men, who
are both victims and offenders; domestic violence is
extensive in the Caribbean sub region and for the most and
for the most part involves men as the aggressors and women
as the victims. Aggressive men behavior has been linked to
the inability of men, mostly low income men, to meet social
expectations of achieving and providing for the family, as
well as to socialization patterns that teach boys to be
tough and girls to be submissive. Over the long term, gender
work in the three countries should continue to address
socialization processes and norms that cause men and women
to assume negative roles in the socio-economic stability of
each country.

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

Since its recovery of macroeconomic
stability in 1991, the Dominican Republic has experienced a
period of notable economic growth. Poverty has declined in
the 1990s. Nevertheless, a segment of the population-mainly
in rural areas-does not seem to have benefited from this
growth. Poverty in this country in 1998 is less than that of
other countries if one adjusts for the level of economic
development. The principal poverty characteristics are the
following: Disparity in poverty levels in rural areas
relative to the rest of the country. Destitution in the
"bateyes," the communities arising near the sugar
cane plantations, that are mainly composed of women,
children, and the aged. Urban vulnerability to environmental
problems while access to basic services is restricted.
Vulnerability to natural disasters that destroy the means of
production. Poverty is high among children--especially those
who have abandoned formal education-female-headed
households, and the aged-the latter due to lack of social
safety nets and the absence of pension systems. There is a
strong correlation between poverty and health indicators
like the presence of malnutrition, and poverty and
education, and poverty and the absence of basic services.
Government transfers and foreign remittances play an
important role in reducing poverty.

Date of publication
June 2013
Geographical focus

An estimated 80,000-100,000 Dominican
farmers produce coffee and cocoa, nearly 40 percent of all
agricultural producers. The sectors also provide employment
for tens of thousands of field laborers and persons employed
in linked economic activities. The majority of coffee and
cocoa producers are small-scale and most are located in
environmentally sensitive watersheds. Recent trends in
international commodity markets have challenged the survival
of both sectors. Production is characterized by low yields
and uneven quality, while periodic hurricanes have
contributed to a lackluster and unstable record of output
and exports. Despite these conditions, most experts
acknowledge the fact that appropriate agro-ecological
conditions exist in Dominican Republic for production of
high-quality coffee and cocoa. To be competitive and
sustainable, some changes must take place in the coffee and
cocoa sectors. The objective of this study is to provide an
overview of the coffee and cocoa sectors, to identify major
problems, and to suggest possible strategies to deal with
these problems. The authors conclude that if the objectives
of the government are poverty reduction, environmental
protection and overall well-being of rural society, it is
critical to move beyond a commodity-specific approach to a
broader rural development focus on households, regions and
environments where coffee and cocoa are currently being grown.

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

Since its recovery of macroeconomic
stability in 1991, the Dominican Republic has experienced a
period of notable economic growth. Poverty has declined in
the 1990s. Nevertheless, a segment of the population-mainly
in rural areas-does not seem to have benefited from this
growth. Poverty in this country in 1998 is less than that of
other countries if one adjusts for the level of economic
development. The principal poverty characteristics are the
following: Disparity in poverty levels in rural areas
relative to the rest of the country. Destitution in the
"bateyes," the communities arising near the sugar
cane plantations, that are mainly composed of women,
children, and the aged. Urban vulnerability to environmental
problems while access to basic services is restricted.
Vulnerability to natural disasters that destroy the means of
production. Poverty is high among children--especially those
who have abandoned formal education-female-headed
households, and the aged-the latter due to lack of social
safety nets and the absence of pension systems. There is a
strong correlation between poverty and health indicators
like the presence of malnutrition, and poverty and
education, and poverty and the absence of basic services.
Government transfers and foreign remittances play an
important role in reducing poverty.

Date of publication
September 2013
Geographical focus

This report discusses the affects of
rapid economic growth and increased urbanization on the
environmental quality of the Dominican Republic's
natural resource base (e.g., water resources
management--water quality, quantity and watershed management
and solid waste collection and disposal have become major
environmental concerns). It notes that the lack of
systematic data limits an accurate and detailed assessment
of the scope of the problems, however, the consensus is
that: (i) the overall poor quality of surface, groundwater
and coastal water resources is the result of a lack of waste
water management and agricultural run-off, causing health
problems that disproportionately affect the poor; (ii) water
scarcity is a regional problem resulting from poor demand
management in irrigation, urban water supply and tourist
infrastructure in drier regions; (iii) weak watershed
management leads to soil erosion and amplifies the damage
and frequency of flooding; and (4) the overall lack of solid
waste management pollutes water sources, causes disease and
is a nuisance for both inhabitants and visitors. To rectify
these problems, the country established the Secretariat for
the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARN) in 2000,
bringing all public institutions dealing with environmental
issues under one roof. The World Bank has supported SEMARN
through a Learning and Innovation Loan, and SEMARN has made
significant progress since its inception by issuing
environmental regulations, standards and impact assessment
procedures, among other reforms and improvements. This
report provides some indicative priority setting the
Government could adopt or adjust in function of political
and economic factors.

Date of publication
August 2012
Geographical focus

This country note briefly summarizes
information relevant to both climate change and agriculture
in the Dominican Republic, with focus on policy developments
(including action plans and programs) and institutional
make-up. Like most countries in Latin America, the Dominican
Republic has submitted one national communication to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) with a second one under preparation. Land use
change and forestry are large contributors to greenhouse
gases (GHG) emissions within the sector. The emission
reduction potential is large and several reforestation
programs have been initiated. The Dominican Republic does
not count with Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in
the agricultural sector, thus carbon trading opportunities
can be explored. Agriculture is highly vulnerable to extreme
weather events, this coupled with problems of land
degradation in the country. A greater emphasis on developing
and applying adequate insurance mechanisms can be placed for
better management of public resources in light of natural
disasters in the agriculture sector.

Date of publication
January 2014
Geographical focus

El Plan Operativo Sectorial Agropecuario 2014 (POA) es un instrumento de desarrollo de corto plazo y de carácter operativo, que sirve de marco de referencia para orientar y sistematizar de forma racional los recursos presupuestarios del Ministerio de Agricultura, con la finalidad de contribuir al bienestar económico y social de la población dominicana, y en especial, de los productores agropecuarios. El POA es un plan de desarrollo agropecuario sostenido en cuatro ejes de políticas públicas que incluyen programas para el fortalecimiento de la seguridad alimentaria; el fomento y la expansión de las agroexportaciones; la mitigación de la pobreza rural y el compromiso de reformar y modernizar las instituciones del sector. Las actividades a ejecutarse en el POA 2014 corresponden con dichos ejes, y se han adoptado las siguientes medidas de políticas para alcanzar resultados: 1) Fortalecimiento de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional de la población; 2) Fomento y promoción de las agroexportaciones; 3) Mitigación de la pobreza y mejoramiento de la calidad de vida en el ámbito rural; 4) Reforma y modernización de las instituciones públicas del sector; 5) Fortalecimiento del sistema de Sanidad e Inocuidad; 6) Incremento de los niveles de competitividad de los cultivos tradicionales de exportación; 7) Titulación de terrero parcelarios a productores/as; 8) Disponibilidad de mecanismos de financiamiento solidario prendario para pequeños y medianos productores que carecen de garantías; 9) Promover un entorno favorable para una agricultura competitiva, a través de la introducción de la investigación.

Date of publication
June 2014
Geographical focus

La presente Ley tiene por objeto crear el marco institucional necesario a fin de satisfacer las necesidades de los organismos e instituciones del Estado, del ámbito científico, educacional y técnico, así como del sector privado, relativo a contar con los datos geoespaciales necesarios para una adecuada planificación del desarrollo socioeconómico, la explotación de los recursos naturales, la protección del ambiente y la seguridad del país.

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