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Haiti - Environment : Extremely worrying situation of mangroves
Natural ecosystems, such as mangroves, which plays a key role in the cycling of carbon and nutrients in coastal areas, are not immune to the adverse effects of climate change. Recall that the coastal waters around mangroves, are generally rich in shrimp and fish and represents a shelter that houses a large animal biodiversity, including various species of crab. Some fish come also breed, others ensure their growth.
The mangrove is of paramount importance both economically and ecologically, and represents one of the most productive ecosystems. Its disappearance, whose average annual percentage rate in Haiti is estimated between 1 and 2%, with losses between 35 and 86% of the initial surface depending on the location, is extremely worrying, especially as it may accelerate according to changes in sea level, due to climate change.
In the South Department, specifically in the commune of Aquin, rampant cutting of mangroves, which are a natural defense barrier for the area, endangering the population of the neighboring coastal towns. The situation is alarming and to remedy the situation the Haitian Government, together with the United Nations Programme for Development (UNDP) is implementing a project to rehabilitate the mangroves of the city of Aquin over two years.
This project aims to protect mangroves by reducing the risk of saltwater intrusion into groundwater, which ensure the availability of water for people, but also to educate the public about the importance of mangroves and the need to protect them.
Aquin is unfortunately not an isolated case in Haiti, where mangrove ecosystems are vulnerable. This is why the UNDP, in consultation the Government of Haiti and Canada are exploring the possibilities to replicate and extend the successful experiences, but also how to ensure continuous information for effective consideration of climate change at all levels of decision decision.
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