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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Haiti

NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN HAITI

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AGRICULTURE

The Ministry of Agriculture is the ministry primarily responsible for agriculture and rural development in Haiti. The national legislation covering agriculture and rural development includes laws that are under revision. The Ministry of Environment is working on norms for agricultural waste recycling and on sustainable mountain agriculture. The NGOs--private, youth and women's organizations--are very engaged in this field and literally flood the Ministry of the Environment with project proposals.

Haitian officials including the Prime Minister and the President have consistently promoted sustainable agriculture and rural development. The National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) process has also included this issue as one requiring a thematic consultant. The appropriate report has not yet been drafted, but the MOE has placed high expectations on the recommendations on the matter.

Most financing comes from the Caribbean and international organizations. All funding sources, either from Latin America, North America or Europe as well as multilateral funding (World Bank, IDB, FAO, etc) have been considered.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments have not been signed. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has not been signed. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has realized the depth of international cooperation on matters related to the protection of the atmosphere. The MOE keeps lobbying within the Parliament so that Haiti will ratify the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

The MOE is in charge of atmospheric protection. But since, in Haiti, this problem is mainly due to pollution from vehicles, it is likely that some enforcement will be needed from the National Police Force through the Ministry of Justice. The ecological groups like FAN, FREN and COHPEDA, etc are getting involved in public sensitization regarding atmospheric pollution.

Although the biggest atmospheric offense is air pollution by non-stationary sources, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) shall act within its limited resources. It will implement the NEAP with protection of the atmosphere as its main theme, and it will fight for the integration of Haiti into the international framework for climate change. It will lobby for the signing and ratification of the appropriate convention and its application.

The Government of Haiti has neither the means to establish early or current detection systems, nor the capacity for developing research or observations and assessment on atmospheric pollution. The MOE policy for building appropriate capacity is threefold:

In order to receive the Best Available Technology that would fit the financial resources (recurring costs) of a least developing country (LDC), Haiti has to rely on international cooperation. Very small amounts of funding are available from national sources. Mostly NGOs and UNEP (through the GEF fund) are available. Haiti has financial problems to cope with the dues for International Organizations.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

The Convention on Biological Diversity has been ratified.

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has made biological diversity an important theme within the National Environment Action Plan (NEAP), first by ratifying the convention and second with the designation of a special biological diversity theme. A third step is the Organic Law which proposes a Division of Biological Diversity. The MOE will have the final responsibility to implement the NEAP, which is the result of the national process. The ecological groups and the NGOs make their own environmental orientation. They will need proper guidance by the MOE, after publication of the NEAP.

The island of Haiti possesses one of the highest biodiversity indices in the tropics and thus is known to have a great variety of genes, species and ecosystem, both flora and fauna:

The capacity building and technology issues will be a function of the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Financing will be obtained from the convention sources. The NEAP will also identify other sources of funding for key projects.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa was ratified in 1996. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has not filed a report as yet, but, since the Convention was ratified in 1996, such a report is forthcoming. The MOE has been preparing a request for proper assistance in this regard. Combating desertification is one of the areas where most cooperation exists, either regionally or internationally. More precisely, the signing and ratification of the International Convention to Combat Desertification will open the way to many institutional advantages as well as funding.

MOE is the new partner of the Ministry of Agriculture which has been since its founding sixty years ago, in charge of regenerating Haitian agriculture. In dividing the responsibilities, the MOE will take on the duties of setting up norms for combating desertification as outlined under chapter 12 of Agenda 21. NGOs are the most important groups dealing with desertification problems in Haiti. The MOE is in a strong position for capacity building because of the international support created by the Agenda 21 framework. After surviving the Parliament's ordeal, the MOE has been working toward this partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture as well as its own Agenda 21 guidelines.

Haiti, as the poorest country in the hemisphere, has known some ecological disaster. Being a mountainous country, Haiti is a typical case of a fragile ecosystem, subject to both desertification and drought. Only 2% of wooded areas are left from land that was completely wooded 500 years ago.

Funding in this area can only come from either national NGOs or international organizations.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

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FORESTS

The Ministry of Agriculture has been the key structure to make decisions on any forest protection related matters. Since Rio, guidelines related to forest management have been switched over to the environment sector. In Haiti, for the first time, this situation happened in the 1996 management of the forest ecosystem. At that time, the private sector, local communities ("collectivites locales"), non-governmental organizations, and local youth and women were the most active groups in environmental issues. Peoples' participation is very relevant, due to the implementation of the law on local collectives dealing with decentralization.

One way to deal with desertification in Haiti is to protect the country's limited forestry reserves, and one such project financed by the World Bank is the Technical Support for Park and Forest Protection (ATPPF in French). The focus of the sector includes both wood production and new projects like ATPFF which call for the technical support of parks and forests in Haiti. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture, the MOE will set proper guidelines for forest protection.

Actions to increase forest productivity could be undertaken. Information exchange is a key factor in this fight; new processes should be investigated. Land use surveys to identify land tenure and Agrarian Reform are two other elements or facets. Land classification to be used in sensitizing the population should also be updated. In addition, the ecological classification by Holdridge could be updated.

Governmental funding of the forestry sector and international aid from the World Bank and USAID have become the best sources of financing.

The Government of Haiti supports the effective implementation of the non-legally binding authoritative statement of principles for a global consensus of the management, and sustainable development of all types of forest adopted by UNCED. Through the MOE, Haiti has been proving its willingness to promote the implementation of the commitments made at the Rio Conference.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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FRESHWATER

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE), created in 1995, does not as yet have the authority for national water management. The MOE's proposed Organic Law contains provision for a National Service for Water Resources originating from the Agriculture Ministry. The MOE will deal mostly with the drafting and implementation of water production and management norms. Meanwhile, existing water agencies dealing with water supply in Port-au-Prince (CAMEP), all other towns (SNEP) and rural areas (POCHEP) use their own monitoring and statistical systems. With the implementation of Territorial Municipalities law, it is foreseen that duties related to this sector will be taken over by the local communities called CASECS. Most NGOs are involved in supplying water to the rural population while taking care of environmental or sanitation problems. Financial costs are supported by the local NGOs and by international organizations dealing with the water sector.

Only 20% of the Haitian population was served by public waterworks in 1995. The percentages are higher in the cities -- about 30%. In Port-au-Prince, with a population of almost 2 million, 25% of the population uses public fountains or wells only. The overall use of latrines and septic tanks sets up some underground water pollution problems since no sanitary sewers exist in Haiti.

The National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) process will suggest the implementation of an appropriate integrated solution to the development, management and use of water resources. The MOE will implement proposals for education in the sustainable use of water resources as part of the Environmentally Related Education Programme (ERE).

The MOE has been using all available sources of cooperation from the Caribbean, including from the Dominican Republic.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

The Organic Law of the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is being reviewed to integrate the latest official guidelines on the ministry's role. The intersectoral relations of the Environment Ministry with other Haitian institutions are being investigated. The Organic Law will then be submitted to the Parliament for its vote. The local collectives will be the major groups participating in the planning and management of local resources. The National Institute for Agrarian Reform (INARA) will be consulted.

The National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) process under way in the Environment Ministry defines the Haitian policies to insure the best land resource allocation for its sustainable management. At different local and regional levels, public participation through the use of the MARP process is guaranteed. Meanwhile the NEAP process in its final phase will integrate various objectives directly or indirectly related to the management and protection of natural resources in Haiti. Since land tenure is the most important element in the sustainable development of land resources, agrarian reform will play a key role in Haiti. International cooperation in the area of land planning and management shall be investigated. Local resources will be added to the funds provided by the Government.


This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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MOUNTAINS

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) remain the proper decision making structure, until the Organic Law of the MOE is passed. The MOE and MOA are developing new relations through technical commissions and also through official agreements between the two ministers. The NGOs, private and religious institutions and the local collectives remain the key partners in this area.

Fragile ecosystems seem to be the rule in a country as mountainous as Haiti. Mountain agriculture becomes vital so that future generations can inherit a rehabilitated ecosystem.

Funding from regional international organizations has been requested for managing fragile ecosystems like Haiti's. International funding compensates for the low level of governmental funding. NGOs also contribute significantly.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

PRISE DE DÉCISIONS

a.     Pour la gestion intégrée des zones côtières et développement durable, y compris l'impact sur l'environnement des activités touchant les zones côtières et marines, les ministères responsables sont : Le Ministère de l’Environnement (MdE) et le Ministère de l’Agriculture (MARNDR).

b.    Pour la protection de l'environnement marin contre des activités menées aussi bien sur terre qu'en mer (par exemple eaux usées, déchets agricoles et effluents industriels, déversement de ballast, épanchements d'hydrocarbures, etc.), le ministère responsible est le Ministère de l’Environnement.

c.     Pour l’exploitation durable et conservation des ressources biologiques marines (aussi bien en haute mer que dans la mer territoriale), les ministères responsables sont : le Ministère de l’Environnement ; le Ministère de l’Agriculture des Ressources Naturelles et du Développement Rural.

La mise en place d’un mécanisme de coordination est en phase d’élaboration, avec la finalisation du Plan d’Action pour l’Environnement (PAE).

Lois et règlements et autres moyens d'intervention

a.    Gestion intégrée des zones côtières et développement durable, y compris l'impact sur l'environnement des activités touchant les zones côtières et marines :

Le MdE compte préparer des directives sur l’Evaluation des Impacts des projets côtiers sur l’environnement marin. De plus, le Ministère de l’Environnement est en voie d’élaborer des normes relatives à la gestion intégrée des zones côtières. Le projet en cours de Gestion de la zone côtière aboutira à une harmonisation des normes nationales avec les nouvelles normes et lois internationales.

b.    Protection de l'environnement marin contre des activités menées aussi bien sur terre qu'en mer (par exemple eaux usées, déchets agricoles et effluents industriels, déversement de ballast, épanchements d'hydrocarbures, etc.).

Haïti a ratifié le 13 Mars 1975 la convention de 1972 sur la prévention de la pollution des mers résultant de l’immersion des déchets. La Convention MARPOL est parmi les Conventions prioritaires à ratifier par le Parlement, à sa prochaine session.

c.     Exploitation durable et conservation des ressources biologiques marines (aussi bien en haute mer que dans la mer territoriale).

Document a paraître (MARNDR /FAO) sur la politique de pêche du pays.

Les codes de conduite, normes et directives seront élaborés dans le cadre du programme de gestion de la zone côtière dont la durée effective est d’un an. La loi sur la pêche, par le MARNDR, définit de façon obligatoire des normes de conduite.

Stratégies, principes directeurs et plans

Le programme de pré-investissement Gestion de la zone côtière Haïtienne (GZC) est en phase de démarrage depuis le 1er septembre 1998. Ce programme contribuera au renforcement de la capacité, la recherche et la surveillance dans les domaines marins et côtiers, le développement institutionnel et la participation des communautés côtières.

Des stragégies existent comme suit :

Protection de l'environnement marin contre des activités menées aussi bien sur terre qu'en mer (par exemple eaux usées, déchets agricoles et effluents industriels, déversement de ballast, épanchements d'hydrocarbures, etc.)

L’Administration Portuaire Nationale (APN) veille à freiner les épanchements d’hydrocarbures, de même que le déversement de ballast aux ports.

Le MdE est en voie d’établir des normes d’évacuation des eaux usées des déchets agricoles et industriels, spécialement les déchets plastiques.

b.     Exploitation durable et conservation des ressources biologiques marines (aussi bien en haute mer que dans la mer territoriale).

Le MARNDR veut réaliser cet objectif d’exploitation durable des ressources biologiques marines à travers le projet.

Les principes directeurs ou plans élaborés expressément en vue de la préservation et de l'utilisation écologiquement rationnelle d'écosystèmes fragiles incluant des mangroves ou des récifs coralliens :

Grands programmes

Participation des grands groupes à la prise de décisions

Le plan d’Action pour l’Environnement et le Projet de Gestion de la zône côtière utilisent la méthode accélérée de recherche participative (MARP) comme approche méthodologique. En conséquence la majorité des grands groupes participent à la prise de décision sur les questions relatives aux mers et aux océans, particulièrement les femmes, les ONG, les collectivités locales, les commerçants et les industriels de la pêche, les chercheurs et océanographes, et enfin les pêcheurs eux-mêmes.

LA SITUATION ACTUELLE

Les principales sources telluriques de pollution de l'environnement marin sont :

Les principales sources maritimes de pollution de l'environnement marin sont :

Autres questions pertinentes :

Dans le cadre du Programme de Gestion de la Zone Côtière l’accent sera mis sur la protection de la zone côtière en étudiant les types de pollution et les niveaux de sédimentation affectant cette zone. Un certain nombre de représentants de secteurs impliqués dans les activités spécifiques a la zone côtière seront formés en ce sens.

RENFORCEMENT DES CAPACITÉS, ENSEIGNEMENT, FORMATION ET SENSIBILISATION

Une composante du Programme de Gestion de la Zone côtière vise au renforcement de la capacité de ressources humaines en termes de réduction d’impact sur l’environnement marin et côtier.

        -    Un séminaire sur les impacts des constructions sur les terres et sur les mers.
        -    Un séminaire sur l’Environnement et la santé.
        -    Un séminaire sur la convention MARPOL à l’intention des décideurs et des législateurs.

Avec la ratification imminente de la Convention MARPOL des possibilités de formation seront offertes aux planificateurs. Le Plan d’Action pour l’Environnement contient un projet de Ressources humaines où la formation de cadres est un élément majeur.

Une campagne de sensibilisation est prévue à cette fin dans le cadre du programme de gestion de la zone côtière. Le Plan d’Action pour l’Environnement a considéré ce volet de sensibilisation au niveau de la protection et de la gestion de la Biodiversité marine.

CONTRAINTES

Haïti est un pays très pauvre où la déforestation est la cause locale principale de la mobilisation des sédiments vers les côtes ; il conviendrait d’offrir une alternative à ceux qui vivent essentiellement de l’utilisation du bois de feu du charbon de bois. L’état de pauvreté aboutit à une pression extrême sur les ressources côtières et marines.

TECHNOLOGIE

Les facteurs déterminants dans le choix de technologies :

INFORMATION

Les types d'information disponibles au niveau national pour aider, aussi bien les décideurs que les planificateurs s'occupant de zones côtières, dans les domaines suivants :

Il n’existe pas un système de surveillance pour assurer le respect des lois et règlements pertinents.

L'information pertinente est communiquée aux utilisateurs potentiels :

L’adresse suivante existe au niveau du Ministère :

A partir de la mise en œuvre du PAE et du projet de Gestion de la zone côtière les Indicateurs Environnementaux développés par le Ministère de l’Environnement seront élargis pour définir des Indicateurs du Développement Durable relatifs aux mers et aux océans.

FINANCEMENT

Le PAE, à partir du congrès National, a considéré un mode de financement basé sur l’établissement d’une FOND FIDUCIAIRE NATIONAL. Le programme de Gestion de la Zone côtière est cofinancé sur un an par  l’Etat haïtien et la Banque Interaméricaine de Développement (BID).

COOPÉRATION

Les conventions internationales conclues notamment aux niveaux régional et sous-régional auxquelles Haiti est Partie :

Les accords, notamment les accords régionaux et concernant la mer auxquels Haiti est Partie :

Les autres activités de coopération bilatérale, multilatérale et  internationale auxquelles Haiti participe en vue de promouvoir la mise en valeur écologiquement viable des océans et des zones côtières :

Information soumise par la République d’Haiti auprès de la Septième Session de la Commission du Développement Durable. Dernière mise à jour :  May 1999.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has been, since its creation in 1995, the key agency dealing with hazardous waste problems in Haiti. The historical experience of 1987 with the toxic chemical wastes dumped in Gonaives harbor made the Haitian public very wary of illegal dumping of wastes. One recent case, that of a boat carrying thousands of used tires, was watched carefully by the MOE which called upon the national police and the UN military force to stop the unloading. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Public Health have been transmitting to the MOE for official advice all communication involving new chemicals that would be imported into Haiti.

Haiti has tried to live by the Agenda 21 recommendations by starting on the right foot. As a result, the MOE has tried from the beginning to manage toxic chemicals in the country and to set up criteria for the import of dangerous products. It has participated in the follow-up of the site cleanup at the Gonaives harbor where industrial wastes from Pennsylvania were dumped in 1988. A special Service for Control of Pollution and Waste Management has been established under the Division of Quality of Life and Pollution Management. Some institutional strengthening is foreseen for such a technical service. Technological issues involve the use of "best available technology" to handle air, water and land pollution.

In the area of hazardous wastes, some NGOs have been very active in addition to the ecological groups. Some popular organizations are involved in the overall management of plastic containers. The burning of plastic, for example, has been targeted with street posters by an organization named COHPEDA.

Financing by the government is very limited; the most important source of financing remains international funding. Haiti has ratified the Basel Convention and will take advantage of the international provisions of this convention. Regional and international funding has been researched for the MOE, in order to deal with the institutional gap in human resources.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Since 1997, the local governments and the mayoral institutions are the bodies primarily responsible for waste management. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) will only prepare guidelines for collection, disposal and treatment. The MOE is preparing, as priority, the following guidelines:

The Haitian Ministry of the Environment has estimated that approximately 1,600 tons of waste are produced daily in Port-au-Prince. The average recovery rate of material or energy is about 12%. The main disposal method for municipal waste is landfills. In 1995 there were a total of 10 active landfills for municipal solid waste in the country. Municipal solid waste from urban areas is collected by compacting trucks covering specific dumping collection. The system serves most of the population, including the slums. According to the MOE the implementation of waste legislation will ensure that most of the requirements set in Chapter 21 can be fulfilled in Haiti by the year 2004.

This information is based on Haiti's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.


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