THE "GREEN BORDER" PROJECT IS ON TRACK
(Haiti Libre) -
Held in mid-April in Cap-Haitien, an important binational meeting gathered around one table, all environmental experts and technical teams from both countries, and the three implementing agencies of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Development Programme for the Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The meeting highlighted the results achieved to date: over 300 hectares reforested, 450 jobs created, 3 community nurseries in full production, 600 families and 12 rural communities beneficiaries. The project is progressing on the right track.
Launched in May 2011, Green Border aims to improve the living conditions of Dominicans and Haitian populations living along the border through an environmental action, which aims to reconcile the communities with their environment, and reduce their vulnerability to climate change .
The four components of the project are focused on reforestation, local capacity building (education campaign in schools, training of various partners, creation of tools for monitoring and control of the deforestation, etc..) the demonstration of sustainable alternatives and the consolidation of binational cooperation.
This bi-national meeting was the opportunity to make recommendations on the next steps of the project. The Haitian Minister has expressed in particular, an ambition towards a transition to a green economy: "With the Dominican Republic, we are thinking of an initiative which is to apply the concept of a green economy into the activities of Phase 2 of the project. There are many examples such as micro-power generation, or the enhancement of waste management (NDLR: such as the concept of composting; the recycling of waste and turning it into fertilizer). We must be innovative and shake the box." Another suggestion was to establish "green" customs that would control the crossing at the border level of substances that are sensitive and environmentally damaging.
The discussions also focused on the lessons learned after the first phase of the project. Among the lessons learned, the Committee emphasized the importance of roles played by the forest brigades, and highlighted the benefits derived; such as job creation, and the strengthening of the involvement and empowerment of local communities in the project.
After the meeting, the delegation visited two sites where the Green border project intervenes. The first is the production center of fruit and forest species (trees of pine, cedar, citrus, cashew, etc..) In the town of Dosmond, more than 400,000 seedlings and ten species have been produced. This center was established by the tri-national project of the Caribbean Biological Corridor (CBC). The second stop was made on a reforestation site along the border in the town of Capotille. Since the project began, nearly 100,000 seedlings have been planted over a hundred hectares on both sides of the border.
The first phase of the "Green Border", which ends in May 2012, was funded by the Norwegian government to the tune of $2.5 million U.S. dollars.