Dominica: Valuing the Winds of Change

Published on Wednesday, 6 September 2017

“Zinc, silver and copper are still found in the mines, located just 15 minutes from the city. ”

Some of the area’s most vivid stories revolve around minerals, even involving space. A meteorite from 65 million years ago was displayed in one of the town’s main churches, San Francisco, from its discovery up to 1886, when it was brought to the Museum of Natural History in Paris, where it is located today.

Recently, new sources of wealth and creation of value have been “discovered” by the local communities. Construction of Dominica started in 2014. Even before its commissioning, EGP had started an active dialogue, listening to the community in order to identify opportunities to benefit the entire energy value chain.

A Community Nursery, a new form of social economy

In order to ensure that the environment was respected during the construction of Dominica, we saved 36,471 specimens of wildlife from 19 species, which we relocated to their original natural context with environmental conditions to foster their conservation.

We also purchased new plants to ensure adequate afforestation levels, which we established together with the government. 

“Together with a local NGO, Fundación Produce, and a group of women living in the area, we worked to save a historic community nursery. ”

In this space, besides quarantining the species saved prior to relocation, we offered members of the production group training in how to plant cacti, to replenish the area and for ornamental purposes, alongside those they customarily planted.

“The project has already allowed us to reproduce more than 10,000 endemic species. The community has developed a new local economy and EGP had the plants necessary for afforestation available. ”

Communities Building Their Own Destiny

The project lasts five years and will continue until 2019. 48 women from the surrounding communities have been trained and 20 continue to work in the nursery, making a vulnerable population able to manage entrepreneurial activities and supporting gender equality in the region.  

“The community nursery was one of the deciding factors that helped Dominica win the Inter-American Development Bank’s Infrastructure 360º Award in Climate and Environment.”

The award was given to recognise the initiatives enacted at the wind farm as a whole: actions to preserve the natural environment; social programmes to provide new skills to local communities through training on cultivation techniques; measures of reforestation and feeding of livestock in periods of drought.

The community nursery is now on the list of structures that can manage wildlife that is out of its natural environment, with the authorisation of Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources to reproduce and commercialise the species. This permit will allow the community to be 100% responsible for the nursery, making it able to decide its own destiny for the future.