Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NGO is Defending Haiti's Coastal Resources

Haiti. - Caracol Bay, located in the Lagons du Nord-Est Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) in Haiti, is part of a critically important “ridge-to-reef” ecosystem in a country plagued by widespread environmental degradation. Its mangroves, sea grass beds, and coral reefs provide habitat for 29 threatened plant and animal species, including manatees and four species of Critically Endangered sea turtles. They also prevent shoreline erosion, protect communities from storm surges, provide resources for fisheries, and sequester carbon. In 2013, a study carried out by the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversit√© Marine (Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity, FoProBiM) estimated the KBA’s ecosystem services to be valued around $3 billion annually.

Opened in 2012, the Caracol Industrial Park is slated to provide 20,000-60,000 new jobs within the next five years–but poses serious threats to the area’s biodiversity. A few years ago, local fishermen and other groups approached FoProBiM and asked them to facilitate the development of a management plan for Caracol Bay. With support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), FoProBiM is bringing together a diverse collection of stakeholders to protect the area and the local livelihoods that depend on its natural resources.

"This is definitely one of those cases where politics overrode common sense. They went ahead and built the park, and now we’re going back and doing what should have been done prior to construction—carrying out environmental impact assessments and baseline measurements", said Jean Wiener, director of FoProBiM.

The Rainforest Alliace Eco-Index spoke with Weiner about their work in the area over the past few years. To read the whole story please visit:  http://ecoindex.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/jean-wiener-foprobim-caracol/

The Eco-Index would like to invite all media to reproduce this story partially or in its entirety on your websites, blogs, newspapers, newsportal, radio, TV and other outlets. Please be sure to give proper attribution to the Rainforest Alliance for the story.

Feel free to contact us for more information about the organization that is leading this project.

Yessenia Soto
Communications Associate
Rainforest Alliance
P.O.Box 11029-1000
San José, Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2216 4855

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