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GFDD Dominican Get-togethers - Chocolate Country Guests Interviews

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Uploaded on Aug 1, 2011

GFDD Launches of the first-ever Dictionary of the Environment at Dominican Get-together's in The Big Apple.

Despite heavy downpours, last night's Dominican Get-togethers in The Big Apple, an initiative by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and the Foundation Global Democracia y Desarollo (FUNGLODE), attracted a substantial crowd. The highlight of the evening was the launch of GFDD's first ever Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment followed by the screening of the award-winning documentary, Chocolate Country, about cacao cultivation practices in the Dominican Republic.

The evening began with a welcome from GFDD's Executive Director, Natasha Despotovic, and an introduction to GFDD's multiple initiatives and projects, including an overview of the newly released Dictionary. This publication, which represents the most up-to-date and complete source of information on the country's environment and natural resources, examines the current state of the environment in the Dominican Republic and its relationship and impact on other areas that are vital for its development. It includes an incredible 712 defined environmental terms, 58 table sets, 123 graphics, over 900 photos as well as 19 scientific articles which focus on the environmental challenges and conservation methods we can use to overcome the present global challenges.

The Dictionary, a result of almost seven years of intense work carried out by an international team of experts, was previously launched in electronic format in Spanish with the fundamental idea of turning it into an interactive project, to which both national and international environmentalists would be able to contribute. An English version of the book is due out later this year.

In her interesting and informative presentation, Ms. Despotovic made note of the high levels of endemism on the island of the Hispaniola where over 1/3 of all species, or 34% of all animals and plant species found on the island, are native to the region. Of the 6,000 vascular plant species growing on the land, more than 2000 are endemic - a level of endemism in the Caribbean only second to Cuba.

GFDD is confident that the Dictionary will be a valuable reference book in school and university classrooms, libraries and homes. Above all, it hopes to encourage every Dominican to develop an increased appreciation and respect for the incredible wealth, beauty and diversity of the nation and thereby insuring that future generations will continue to enjoy the abundant bounty the island has to offer.

The introduction of the Dictionary ended with an interactive question and answer session wherein Ms. Despotovic encouraged the audience to try to identify some of the more exotic flora and fauna, images of which were displayed on the screen behind her.

Those staff who were present and helped to create the Dictionary were invited on stage by the book's editor-in-chief, Ms. Despotovic, for a public and heartfelt thank you to Emy Rodriguez, Semiramis de Miranda, Maria Montas and Alexandra Tabar.

Ms. Despotovic closed the evening's presentation with an exciting raffle of a hard-bound copy of the Dominican Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Environment as well as a selection of organic and fair trade products which are available in the US market and are made with cocoa and coffee from the farmer co-operatives in the Dominican Republic. GFDD extends its congratulations to the three lucky winners: Marilenny Rodriguez, Fabiola Dominguez and Nathalie Ruffo.

The presentation segment of the evening was followed by an animated reception in which guests were able to enjoy a photo exhibit of stunning images from the Dictionary. Interested guests were also given the opportunity to purchase their own copy of the Dictionary. GFDD would like to thank Rudy Fuertes and his reliable team for making the reception possible.

Dominican Get-togethers in the Big Apple is part of GFDD's mission to promote the understanding and appreciation of the Dominican culture, values and heritage, and to create opportunities for discussions of contemporary issues relevant to the Dominican society in the homeland and abroad, GFDD reaches out to the Dominican community living the New York Metro Area and to all those interested in the Dominican culture by organizing ongoing events.

The Dictionary will be available for purchase online by mid-July. For more information please visit us online at: www.environmentdictionary.org

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