How poverty exacerbates Haiti′s environmental problems | Global Ideas | DW | 09.06.2015
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Global Ideas

How poverty exacerbates Haiti's environmental problems

Climate change and natural disasters have hit Haiti hard. Haitians have to fight for of all life's essentials. Now, an organization is working with locals to generate secure incomes and protect the environment.

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Project goal: Provide alternative incomes for fishermen and set up marine protected areas, where fishing is prohibited
Implementation: Jean Wiener and his four employees look for alternative sources of income to fishing, such as beekeeping or fruit farming, together with local communities. Local mangrove forests will also be afforested.
Project size: In the northern part of the country alone, 10,000 people make a living from fishing.

Haiti is particularly affected by climate change and hurricanes and earthquakes have devastated the island repeatedly over the past few years. The population often lives hand-to-mouth and to survive, Haitians frequently have no choice but to exploit natural resources. Deforestation and overfishing are the consequences. The population of the island has also nearly doubled over the past 20 years. The organization FoProBiM (Fondation pour la Protection de la Marine Biodiversité) is making every effort to help improve the livelihoods of Haitians and to stop overfishing. Because of FoProBim's success, founder Jean Wiener received the Goldman Environmental Prize for Islands and Island Nations. The Goldman Prize has been awarded annually since 1990 in six categories to activists who work intensively for the preservation of the environment.

A film by Julia Henrichmann

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