The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the Haitian and Norwegian Governments, the Earth Institute, and a consortium of NGOs have launched "The Cote Sud (South Coast) Initiative to rehabilitate degraded land on Haiti's southern claw. The initiative will include reforestation, erosion control, fisheries management, mangrove rehabilitation, and sustainable tourism. If successful, UNEP and partners hope to expand into other regions. A press release follows and additional information is available at the Haiti Regeneration website.
We first blogged about the Wynne Farm way back in December 2005. In that blog, Matt noted how important it is for children, in a country that depends on agriculture for survival, to understand the environment. Each Summer, COHEF (Children of Haitian Enhancement Foundation), the Unity Church of Miami, and the Wynne Farm Ecological Preserve hold a two week, nature intensive summer camp. If you would like to lend a hand, volunteers are needed as well as in kind and cash contributions. More information is below.
Many papers, books, and presentations have covered in great detail how Haiti came to be deforested. Fewer have focused on what Haitian government and civil society should do, with the support of the international community, to reverse the environmental destruction. Doing so is neccesary for food security, disaster prevention, nutrition and public health, social/economic stability, and ultimately security. The attached report by the International Crisis Group lists concrete actions that could be taken in the short and long term to promote security through rehabilitating the environment.