The Bondeau mangroves are part of a complex ecological system, typical for watersheds throughout Haiti, where impacts of changing climate have already been felt for decades. This project aims to protect mangrove ecosystems through concrete support to improve fishing and agricultural livelihoods, local capacity building, and a dynamic environmental stewardship campaign. Two approaches are being pursued in parallel:
Strengthening agriculture and fishing livelihoods will be implemented from R2R. The mountain ecosystems will be reinforced through a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) program, focused on reforesting the most vulnerable lands along ravines. Farmers will receive moringa seedlings and technical support to create a living greenbelt along the main ravine. This will have the dual impact of reducing sedimentation of the mangroves below while supplementing income for farmers;
Awareness-raising and movement building will transform community members and leaders into environmental stewards, focused on the protection and sustainable management of natural resources.
The Bondeau mangroves function as a natural barrier between land and sea taking the brunt of the destructive winds and storm surges during extreme weather events, protecting adjacent communities and terrestrial ecosystems, and supporting the resilience of nature-dependent livelihoods of communities. Though ecologically significant, the Bondeau mangroves have been impacted by changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic activities within the past few decades. Their rapid disappearance has been directly linked to deforestation and erosion within the Paillant-Bondeau watershed, located upstream of the mangroves. Additionally, persons in surrounding communities have also exploited the mangrove system to supplement their income as necessary.
The project takes a ridge to reef approach while also strengthening primary economic activities occurring in areas in and around the Bondeau mangroves. A payment for ecosystems services (PES) scheme is being set up to support reforesting vulnerable lands in watershed areas to reduce sedimentation. The PES scheme will support local farmers in completing these activities, thus also giving them another stream of supplemental income and strengthening their economic resilience to climate change impacts. At the coast, fishers are also receiving operational support with the establishment of a fishers’ cooperative, to support greater organization and increased access to resources through shared and organized efforts. The project also takes a systems change approach to addressing anthropogenic threats through a focus on awareness raising of key issues and better farming, fishing and general natural resource use practices. These activities will focus on all levels of stakeholders living and operating in the Nippes region, including government officials, local community groups, NGOs and schools.