Table of Contents
- Climate & Biodiversity
- Natural Resources
- Life zone
- Local economic development
- Wildlife problems
- Endangered rainfed zone
- Kokonut Network Action Plans
- Good agricultural practices:
Climate & Biodiversity
The municipality of Las Salinas is located in the province of Barahona, bordered on the east of the municipality of Cabral, to the west of the municipality of Mella, the north of the municipality of Neyba, and to the south of the municipality of Polo.
It was Elevated to the category of a municipality on March 1, 2001, and has a population of 5,229 inhabitants, of which 4,427 are located in the urban zone (94%), and 802 in the rural zone (6%). The municipality is located at an altitude of 269 meters with a territorial extension of 126.55 km2, with an approximate population density of 41 inhabitants/km2. It is important to note that the project will have a positive impact resulting from a great plan, taking into account integral aspects of the design, execution, monitoring, and following up on activities. The benefits of the communities and their inhabitants have been considered specific objectives to accomplish. Taking into account the census data shortages and social inequities reflected in the decrease in the population. Due to emigration, lack of opportunities, commercial isolation from the exportation of raw materials, 16.4% of housing is currently in precarious conditions. In 2019 the community was without Internet access, school enrollment decreased between one school year and another, and access to health and drinking clean water did not present a decent picture either.
The soils are Class III, with flat, hilly, or gently sloping topography with limiting factors of some severity.
The municipality has a salt and gypsum mine located on a hill, being the main economic activity. The Salt and Gypsum hill has an extension of approximately 21 km², formed by powerful layers with intercalations of packages of soft clayey shales. The estimated gypsum reserve is 800 million metric tons and 70 million tons of rock salt, the second-largest deposit in Latin America.
In the municipality of Las Salinas, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources identifies two (2) protected areas: Sierra de Baoruco National Park and the Laguna Cabral or Rincón Wildlife Refuge. A paradise for nature lovers! The area has 1,000 square kilometers and 70 kilometers of extension that expand through the provinces of Baoruco, Barahona, and Pedernales. One of the most valuable parks in the country and part of the Jaragua-Baoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve, endorsed by UNESCO, for its rich biodiversity. The Sierra de Baoruco National Park is home to an impressive variety of forests. Over 2,000 meters of dry and cloudy forests of Hispaniolan pine and a sub-terrain of limestone. Home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, at least 180 species of orchids, 32 of which are endemic, rhinoceros iguanas, and the Hispaniolan solenodon. Birdwatchers flock to see more than 100 species along marked trails: Hispaniolan Emerald, West Indian piculet, La Salle's thrush, western and eastern tanager, white-winged crossbill, endangered Hispaniolan parrot, Hispaniolan parakeet, golden swallow, among others. Temperatures are above 19°C in the mountainous zone of the Sierra de Baoruco, extending as far as Haiti under the name of Massif de la Selle.
The Sierra of Baoruco National Park has a great variety of plant formations, with the scientific and great botanical attraction of ecological interest. Here you can find 52% of the existing orchids and 32 endemic species. The coconut plants will be a refuge for many species that have lost their habitat.
The most characteristic species in the park are the following: creole pine (Pinus occidentalis), almond tree (Prunus occidentalis), juniper (Juniperus gracilior), endemic juniper of the Sierra de Baoruco (Juniperus ekmanii), mala mujer (Brumellia comocladifolia), palo de viento or tembladera (Dydimopanax tremulum), mahogany (Switenia mahogani), yagrumo (Cecropia peltata), manada (Prestoea montana), guayuyo (Piper adumcum) and aceituno (Prunus mirtofolia).
The most characteristic bird species in the park are the following: chirri (Calyptophillus frugivorus), chicui (Todus angustirostris), white-winged stork (Xenoligea Montana), parrot (Priotelus roseigaster), canary (Carduelis dominicensis), white-winged dove (Zenaida Asiatica), amazon parakeet (Amazona ventralis), parakeet (Aratinga choroptera), black-bellied sandpiper (Todus subulatus), little Manuel (Myarchus stolidus) and maroita (Contopus caribaeus). Two of the rarest mammal species: the hutía (Plagiodontia aedium) and the solenodón (Solenodon paradoxus), both endemic to La Española and in extreme danger of extinction. Because of its high concentration of global biodiversity, the Sierra de Baoruco National Park is part of the Jaragua-Baoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve.
Local economic development
The municipality of Las Salinas has considerable mining resources. The salt and gypsum mines are one of the most important and currently being exploited, representing the main economic activity and source of employment. In contrast, many deficiencies and collective needs of the inhabitants depend on agricultural products such as bananas and plantains, among others. This reality fits the pattern of development promoted by investors, where the usufruct of resources of the territories is not reflected in the quality of life nor the welfare of the people of the communities. The social commitment of businessmen and investors is null, with no return or compensation for the effects on the natural environment and a total absence of human sensitivity. One of the main objectives of Kokonut Network is to distribute the benefits in the municipality, positively impacting hundreds of families.
The area is home to a great variety of bird species, we will focus on three (3) endemic species that are practically extinct, some because they have lost their habitat and others because of indiscriminate hunting.
The trade and keeping of parrots as pets is contributing to their extinction.
The Perico and the Cigua Palmera have disappeared due to the direct action of man on the forest, which has caused the loss of their natural habitat.
The rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura cornuta) and the Española land iguana (Cyclura ricordi) are species that have their habitat in areas surrounding the project. Conservation status: Endangered.
Endangered rainfed zone
There is a humid forest life zone here, and the predominant species are broad-leafed. The main problem is that Haitian and Dominican nationals are now associated, intensifying the slash and burn agriculture. This takes place where the water sources are born and are of daily use for households located in the lower zone.
In this area there is a species of bush called Guaconejo (Amyris elemifera), which has been depredated by a company dedicated to the manufacture of perfumes whose material is this plant. Other tree species include: Bayahonda (Prosopis juliflora), Baitoa (Phyllostylon rhamnoides, Acacia (Vachellia farnesiana), Guayacán (Guaiacum officinale), Vera (Guaiacum sanctum L. ), Almácigo (Pistacia atlantica), Frijolillo (Cojoba arborea), Palma guano (Coccothrinax barbadensis), Guasábara (Eugenia domingensis) and different types of Cactus (Cactaceae).
The sum of all these actions harms ecosystems. The producers in the area have witnessed the variations caused by climate change in temperature and rainfall values, affecting agricultural production, mainly the quality of life of the entire community.
Kokonut Network Action Plans
The execution of the project will take place in a life zone of dry subtropical forest, we will intervene in the strip that extends from the municipality of Las Salinas, province of Barahona, to the municipality of Duvergé, province of Independencia.
This life zone is characterized by sunny and clear days the majority of the days. These conditions are ideal for the development of coconut cultivation. This project will be executed with the highest quality of standards and committed to caring for the natural resources of the area. Generating employment for hundreds of families and bringing hope and prosperity, which is why we highlight some prime points of the action plan:
- Socializing with the community, mainly with agricultural producers in the area, on the seriousness of the issues on the production of safety through good agricultural practices.
- Develop awareness, education, and information dissemination programs.
- Establish alliances with institutions aimed at protecting and preserving soils, biodiversity, and water sources.
Good agricultural practices:
- Safe production of contaminating agents.
- Sanitary safety measures in handling during harvesting, collection, storage, and transportation.
Risks in agricultural production:
- Biological risks: bacteria, yeasts, fungi, parasites, and viruses.
- Chemical risks: these are grouped into natural (weeds, fungal toxins, alkaloids) and added chemicals (pesticides, antibiotic fertilizers).