Green Fest Opening Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Patrick Dunn

Remarks by Mr. Patrick Dunn,
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
U.S. Embassy
Green Fest Opening Ceremony
April 23, 2017


Good afternoon.  I’d like to begin by welcoming all of you – special guests, artists, vendors, exhibitors, volunteers, and visitors – to the U.S. Embassy’s seventh annual Green Fest.  I am thrilled to be here with you to celebrate Earth Day in this beautiful setting in the Jardin Botanico.

I’d like to extend a special thank you to several honored guests with us today.  Vice Minister Daneris Santana, thank you for joining us to show your commitment to green practices and for the work the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is doing protecting the unique biodiversity and natural beauty of the Dominican Republic.  And I am especially grateful to Ricardo García, director of the Jardin Botanico, for his leadership and commitment year after year to this event.

Yesterday, we celebrated Earth Day.  Despite Earth Day being an international event, we know that, ultimately, environmental action has to take place at the local level.  That is why the theme of Green Fest this year is “Unidos Por Una Ciudad Limpia.”  We all have a role to play in creating greener, healthier, more sustainable cities.  Whether it is biking to work instead of driving, or using reusable tote bags instead of plastic, or taking 5 minutes to sort your trash into recycling, we all can take action to make our cities cleaner.  I challenge every person here today to commit to taking one tangible step in your life to make your home, your neighborhood, or your city a greener place.

I hope the things you see at Green Fest inspire you.  Please make sure to visit the booths of the NGOs, government ministries, student groups, and businesses to learn about the innovative ways they are making the Dominican Republic a more green country and how you can get involved.  I also encourage everyone to go to at least one educational presentation this afternoon – we have an amazing schedule of workshops led by experts in these subjects.  And I urge everyone to drop off their recycling, including your water bottles and food containers from today, with Green Love, who is here providing free recycling pickup and education.

Finally, I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all of our volunteers and to the U.S. Embassy’s Green Team.  Today would not have been possible without each one of you and your dedication to this worthy cause.

Thank you to everyone for joining us today, and I hope you all enjoy this wonderful event in such a beautiful setting.