Haiti to Implement Land Mangement Program in Pic Macaya
Below is an announcement by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) concerning a $9 million grant to promote sustainable land management at Macaya National Park. The park holds one of the country's largest remaining forests and is of historical importance having a fort built by Jean Jacques Dessalines in 1804. For more background about Macaya, take a look at this Forbes Article published in March 2013.
A $9 million grant will help Haiti carry out a sustainable land management program at the Macaya National Park, home to one of the country’s largest remaining forests, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced. Haiti has lost almost all of its forest coverage due to pressure from population growth, harmful farming practices and the demand for firewood to make charcoal, the principal source of energy. Deforestation hastens soil erosion, which is worsened by the country’s exposure to hurricanes and tropical storms. It also exacerbates the flooding and landslides that occur every rainy season. The new grant, drawn from the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, will complement a previous grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the national park’s program, which focuses on the upper watersheds of the country’s southwestern peninsula. Other donor-funded watershed management programs target the lower reaches and piedmont areas.
The new resources will be used to strengthen the Macaya National Park’s surveillance corps and its management, reforest about 1,500 hectares (3,750 acres) of degraded lands, and build watershed protection infrastructure to mitigate flooding and erosion. The grant will also finance activities designed to engage local authorities, institutions and families that farm within the national park’s perimeter or cut trees to make charcoal. The program will encourage these stakeholders to become involved in land planning and in the management of the national park. The IDB is Haiti’s leading multilateral donor. One of its priorities is supporting Haiti’s effort to improve agriculture. At present it is financing projects totaling more than $200 million in that sector, including investments in irrigation, farming technology transfers, land tenure clarification and watershed management.