Government of Haiti declares 7 new protected areas

The Government of Haiti declared 7 new protected areas including 2 marine protected areas (MPAs) on April 7th 2017.  These areas were established with technical assistance of UN Environment Haiti and Society Audubon Haiti, and financial support from the Government of Norway. 

The two marine protected areas are Jeremie-Abricot and Baraderes-Cayemites, both located in the Grande Anse Department of Haiti (Grand Sud region). They are classified as “protected areas with sustainable use of natural resources”.  This is the most flexible management category within the International Union for Conservation of Nature protected areas categories system.

Status of Marine Protected Areas in Haiti

11 marine protected areas have now been officially declared by the Haitian Government in the Southern region of the country with UN Environment support.  The first 9, which were the first ever MPAs of the country, were declared in August 2013. 

UN Environment is also supporting the Government and national partners to manage these MPAs more effectively.  This was particularly necessary following the severe impacts caused by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.  Establishment and effective management of MPAs promotes green economy principles, environmental rehabilitation and conservation, and disaster risk reduction objectives.  It therefore enables a more integrated approach for recovery from disasters.

Haiti and the Cartagena Convention

While Haiti is a member of the Caribbean Environment Programme, it is not yet a Contracting Party to the Cartagena Convention and in particular the Marine Biodiversity or Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol (SPAW). 

Ratification of the SPAW Protocol would enable increased regional and international recognition of the MPAs and bring additional valuable benefits to Haiti.  These include:

  • National capacity development for MPA management;
  • Support to the management of the MPAs;
  • Sharing of best practices and lessons learned from other well-established MPAs in the Wider Caribbean region.

UN Environment, through the office in Haiti and the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention, will continue to support efforts by the Government Haiti to formally ratify the Cartagena Convention and its three Protocols.

For more information on the work of UN Environment in Haiti, please click here.