Founded in 1987, the non-profit NGO Grupo Jaragua (GJ) has been a pioneer in the Dominican Republic (DR) in biodiversity conservation. GJ made its name by being the first NGO to co-manage a national park — Jaragua National Park.
GJ’s mission is “Contribute to biodiversity conservation and associated ecosystem services on the island of Hispaniola, in collaboration with local communities and basing its decisions on the best available science”.
GJ has a strong science base and carries out research projects as well as species and ecosystem monitoring, and headed the IBA Program in the DR and later, together with BirdLife International, co-led the first KBA identification process in advance of the Caribbean CEPF investment programme. GJ has built a strong reputation in research and the conservation of endangered amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
GJ is a founder member of the Environmental Consortium of the Dominican Republic (CAD), a partner of BirdLife and member of UICN, is on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) commission, and sits inter alia on the national committees for RAMSAR, Invasive Species, Man and Biosphere (MaB).
In 2002, thanks to the proposal GJ developed, UNESCO recognised the Biosphere Reserve Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo. GJ also spearheaded initiatives for creating the Biological Reserve Loma Charco Azul, two Ramsar sites (Jaragua and Laguna Cabral), and the recognition of Jaragua and Sierra Bahoruco National Parks as Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW). GJ has a long history defending protected areas like Jaragua, Sierra de Bahoruco, Loma Charco Azul, Los Haitises, Cotubanamá, Las Salinas and Valle Nuevo.
In line with its mission GJ also engages in public outreach, environmental education and community participation to improve livelihoods and conserve biodiversity.
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