Back to school! in one of Haiti’s biodiversity hotspots

The community of Formon is in the buffer zone of Macaya National Park. This forest, high in the mountains of the Massif de la Hotte, is one of the very last remnants of forest in Haiti. It is a refuge for migrating birds and many endemic threatened species.

Formon is a very remote community and its only school ran out of funding and was closed for several years, leaving the greater part of the children of the community, particularly girls, without the benefit of a formal education. The few families that could afford it, sent their boys to school in another town (the closest being at least 6 hours away). The boy’s mothers went with them and their sisters stayed behind to take on the household duties.

But this just changed thanks to an integrated conservation and development project we’re implementing in the Caribbean. This summer, our partner Haiti Audubon Society, worked with the community to renovate the school, furnish it and staff it with 8 teachers. Nature Canada is implementing this project with the financial support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Our other Caribbean partners in this project are Grupo Jaragua in the Dominican Republic and CNAP in Cuba. Learn more about this project on our website.

Projects like these are based on the belief that effective conservation efforts should deliver benefits to local people. By improving the livelihoods of people so they can have a better quality of life, we make it more likely they will become better stewards of their rich and fragile environments. Basic education for boys and girls is a key component of a prosperous and sustainable future, so we are thrilled that the kids of Formon went back to school in October!

Thanks to Jean Vilmond Hilaire from Haiti Audubon Society for sharing this video… Enjoy!