16 September 2009 Haiti and the Dominican Republic have joined forces with the support of the United Nations to tackle environmental degradation resulting from rising water levels in lakes near their common border.
Roads along the border and running through the two countries have been noticeably damaged by overflowing water, which has had a devastating effect on biodiversity and agriculture. Communities already mired in poverty and vulnerable to extreme weather events have also been dealt a harsh blow by the rising lake levels.
Even if the heavy rains in recent years abate, the water levels in Lake Azuei in Haiti and Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic – both at the foot of mountains – will continue to rise.
The partnership seeks to boost research on the watersheds supplying the lakes, implement a plan for reforestation, slow down the rate of erosion, and promote development to increase income for lakeside communities.
The environment ministers of Haiti and the Dominican Republic signed a declaration last month committing themselves to cooperating to find a solution to the problem.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue