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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

INTEC research selected by the PEER Program as a success story in the region

The research brought together researchers from the Dominican Republic, the United States and Puerto Rico to help the country increase its capabilities to overcome climate change

INTEC research selected by the PEER Program as a success story in the region

SANTO DOMINGO. For the commemoration from his tenth anniversary, Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research program (PEER) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) selected an investigation of Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) as success story of the Caribbean Region.

The project “Development and use of the i-Tree tool to explore the potential for green urban infrastructure as an adaptation strategy for resilience to climate change in the city of Santo Domingo”, was developed by the INTEC research professor, Solhanlle Bonilla-Duarte, Gerald butler of International Tropical Forest Institute of the United States Forest Service y Elvia Melendez-Ackerman of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus.

The study proposes the use of the platform iTree, developed by the United States Forest Service, to measure the Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees and its potential as a tool to mitigate the impact of climate change through urban planning. The tool allows assessing the ecological and monetary value of trees in the city. In this study, the researchers obtained information on the most efficient species in cities, in terms of pollutant removal, contributions to surface runoff, energy savings and carbon sequestration. Additionally, the potential areas to plant trees in the city.

As a result of the project, strategic alliances were established with the Environmental Network of Dominican Universities (RAUDO), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, and higher education institutions. Also, there have been approaches with the City Council of the National District and its advisors on environmental matters and they consider the incorporation of i-Tree into urban planning.

The principal investigator of the project, Solhanlle Bonilla Duarte,I consider that, fruit of the research, has seen a increase considerable in the interest of the students to attend to situations caused by the climate change, "The model implemented in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic focuses on the training of researchers and students, with the interest that they incorporate what they have learned in their expertise and take it beyond their communities, as has happened with several students." An example of this is that four students from the INTEC Sanitary and Environmental Engineering Master's program developed their research projects within the framework of this project. Research that was carried out delving into the relationship between urban trees and air quality, the perception of city dwellers about the green infrastructure of the city and the contribution of public green areas to the quality of life of the inhabitants of the National District. .

 “This project is a good example of someone from the Dominican Republic being trained and subsequently having the opportunity to train others in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, taking the i-Tree methodology to other Latin American countries,” explained the researcher associated with the project Gerard Bauer.

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) is an international grant program of the United States Academy of Sciences that supports scientists and engineers in USAID partner countries who collaborate with researchers sponsored by the United States government. to meet the challenges of international development.

Other research presented by the PEER program as success stories on the occasion of its tenth anniversary are: development of mangroves in Madagascar, empowerment of indigenous populations for protection of forests with state-of-the-art technology in Peru, resilience of campuses in India and development of sexual health in married adolescents in Pakistan, among others.

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