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Haiti

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Nature Canada’s Work in Haiti: Bringing Hope

Background

Starting in 2007, Nature Canada began working with the the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Société Audubon Haiti to help improve the lives of people in southern Haiti while protecting and conserving southern Haiti’s forests and natural areas. Our project in Haiti is also a part of a larger coordinated international effort to conserve certain key biodiversity hotspots across the Western Hemisphere.

The Project & its Successes

Nature Canada’s Haiti project included:

  • Rebuilding the local school in Formon, Haiti;
  • Hiring teachers;
  • Providing free education to the children;
  • Helping bring water to the community; and
  • Encouraging the adoption of sustainable forest management practices.

The community of Formon, Haiti is on the edge of Pic Macaya National Park, which is home to Haiti’s second highest peak, its last remaining stand of virgin cloud forest and endemic local endangered plant and animal life. This specific Haitian national park also serves as a temporary home to non-endemic migratory species like the Bicknell’s Thrush, a threatened songbird that breeds in Atlantic Canada. Threats contributing to this songbird’s population drop over the last two decades include atmospheric pollution, climate change and loss or degradation of its forest habitats like the one in Haiti.

Nature Canada worked with the community to adopt sustainable forest management practices. Parents who had stopped cutting down the forest and agreed to help with reforestation efforts received free education for their children. When faced with an opportunity to have their school rebuilt and get free education for their children, over 80% of the parents in the area happily took up the offer.

Jean Vilmond Hillare of Haiti Audubon tests students’ math skills in Formon, Haiti.

Another important part of Nature Canada’s Haiti project was helping to bring water to the community. This alone frees up local Haitians from having to spend hours on daily excursions to collect water, which is mostly done by girls in the community. This also frees girls to be able to go to schools and learn with their male peers.

The project also oversaw the creation of four tree nurseries for agroforestry and reforestation of areas of the Macaya National Park that have been degraded. The park is one of a few small patches of forest remaining in Haiti, which plays a critical role in supporting the surrounding communities. The forest provides clean water and clean air, prevents erosion and helps mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Our conservation efforts in Haiti were made possible with the generous support of Nature Canada members and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Read more about Nature Canada’s other international conservation efforts here.

Quick facts:

Flag of Haiti

Country name (full): Republic of Haiti / République d’Haït Federative

Capital: Port-au-Prince

Official language(s): Haitian Creole, French

Total area: 27,750 km2

Population: approx. 10 million


Providing water and protecting nature in Haiti

Children draw water from a newly built pump in Formon, Haiti. Bringing water to this community helped free young Haitians — mostly girls — from having to spend hours every day on excursions to collect water.

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