Integrated protection and promotion of sustainable coastal and marine ecosystems directly impacted by the earthquake in Haiti
A final agreement of financial support (French cooperation fund for Guadeloupe, SPAW-RAC, French Caribbean Botanical Conservatory, Foprobim, UNEP, Lemarchand and Natures et Découvertes Fondations) was recently received to implement a pilot project involving local communities in the protection of the Haitian coastal environment. The project is led by the Haitian Foundation FoProBim with various partners and the support of the SPAW RAC, the Ministry of Environment in Haiti and the UNEP office in Haiti. An analysis, conducted before the 2010 earthquake, had indicated a number of priorities in the fields of environment and sustainable use of natural resources. The earthquake which hit Haiti caused the migration of some of the populace to areas that were already vulnerable, reinforcing the need to guarantee the sustainable use of the environment. It consists of two principal actions:
Integrated mangrove reforestation : The intent is to reforest a pilot site north of Port-au-Prince with mangroves (5ha) while offering neighbouring communities economic alternatives to mangrove cutting with the establishment of a nursery (tree species that can be used instead of mangroves for the construction of houses, charcoal, production of fruits), and to establish inside the nursery the production of honey (40 bee hives). Training is included in the project. A cooperative structure will be put in place to manage these new activities. Thousands of discarded plastic containers will be recycled in the nursery.
Awairness raising : Educational activities have been initiated since 2009, in the form of experience exchanges and teaching materials for school children. These efforts will continue and educational materials developed in Guadeloupe will be adapted to the target audience in Haiti (several hundred adults and children). Topics include hygiene & health (with the building of latrines) and the marine environment. These actions are scheduled to be completed within two years (2011-2013). Once the experiment is completed, and if it is proved to be successful, it could be extended to other areas. For further information, please write to Franck Gourdin (franck.gourdin.carspaw[at]guadeloupe-parcnational.fr).
Dowload the detailed project (in french).
Wrapping-up of the project on mangrove reforestation and environmental education in Haiti
The project entitled “Integrated protection and promotion of sustainable coastal and marine ecosystems directly impacted by the earthquake in Haiti”, that had been initiated in 2010, is completed since December 2012.
The two main components of the project have been correctly led :
- integrated mangrove reforestation (more than 20 000 trees planted), with plant nurseries (more than 20 000 plants produced for the market gardening, the building and the coal) and associated beekeeping (40 hives built), and trainings on the occupations of nurseryman and beekeeper provided to 14 local community members;
- environmental awareness raising for kids (almost 400 children could get an introduction on marine environment and health education), with several pedagogical resources and educational materials offered to schools involved by the project partners.
The amazing groundwork in Haiti undertaken by the principal project partner FoProBiM and its director Mr. Wiener must be warmly commended. Their team carried out all project activities on the ground, often under very difficult circumstances, managing complex situations, but always keeping their focus.
Although the tight project schedule did not permit the development of a cooperative structure of the kind usually needed to continue the management of these new activities, the project outcomes have proven to have nevertheless the possibility to continue to develop on their own, as they are already doing : the plant nurseries have “sprouted” others, and the honey production is continuing to develop.
On the short term, it is greatly hoped that this project can be continued in one way or another either in the same target area to expand and strengthen current activities, or in new target areas considered as priority. Other activities as well may be incorporated through building on and using technical expertise present in the Caribbean such as for aquaculture, better watershed management, sustainable fisheries, targeted training and exchanges, environmental educational activities for children, development of marine protected areas.
It now rests with the Haitian Government, which has fully supported the project since its start to decide what follow-up activities it would like to give the project, along with its principal Haitian partner UNEP Haiti.
Report of the mission to Haiti from 12 to 15 October 2011 (in French)
Report of the 3rd mission to Haiti on December 2012 (in French)
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