Environmental
Governance

  [You are here: News > Press Release ]

Press Release

Haiti and Dominican Republic to jointly counter environmental degradation and boost food security in border zone
05/ 06/ 2013

Haiti and Dominican Republic to jointly counter environmental degradation and boost food security in border zoneThe goal of the report is to promote increased national and local level bilateral cooperation to prevent or reduce tensions over border zone issues in addition to providing the framework for more sustainable livelihood practices and enhancing the resilience of the local populations.

Port-au-Prince/Santo Domingo, 5 June 2013 - Countering environmental degradation across the Haitian-Dominican Republic border in order to boost food security was today agreed by the Minister of Environment of Haiti, Jean François Thomas, and the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, Bautista Rojas Gómez.
The announcement, part of world-wide celebrations to mark the United Nations World Environment Day, followed the release of a landmark study on the strategic area by the Governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) , the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The report which presents the findings of an 18-month long assessment of the environment in the area that separates the two countries on the island of Hispaniola - identified 4 key issues:

Haitian poverty, food insecurity and under-development affect virtually all parts of the border zone;
Soil erosion, deforestation and a degraded marine environment are all indicative of growing environmental degradation;
Weak governance affects the economy and society in the area; and
Economic and resource inequalities cause many of the border zone problems.

"The Governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic have reached a turning point that holds the potential for significant environmental improvements of the border zone between their two countries," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director. "Cooperatively addressing environmental degradation is among the foundations for a transition towards a Green Economy with its potential to overcome poverty, generate jobs and sustain livelihoods now and into the future. UNEP stands ready to assist both countries in achieving such a transition".
The goal of the report - compiled by Environment Ministry officials and other national institutions and stakeholders in both countries at national and local level, in conjunction with UNEP and partners - is to promote increased national and local level bilateral cooperation to prevent or reduce tensions over border zone issues in addition to providing the framework for more sustainable livelihood practices and enhancing the resilience of the local populations.
"Haiti is keen to address the problems in the border area," said Haitian Environment Minister Jean François Thomas. "We recognize that the transboundary charcoal trade, soil erosion, and a reduction in land productivity are complex challenges that need to be focussed on urgently."
"The Dominican Republic is keen to boost its collaboration and cooperation with Haiti on border issues that affect both our environment and our natural resources," said Bautista Rojas Gómez, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in the Dominican Republic. "We wish to spearhead agroforestry and trade, among other activities, that will help alleviate poverty in the area."
The ten bi-national recommendations made in the study - to be implemented at an estimated cost of USD$136 million over a five-year period - include:

Protecting and increasing vegetation cover;
Promoting sustainable agricultural development;
Reducing transboundary river flood risk;
Improving the sustainability of transboundary trade and bi-national markets;
Developing and diversifying the economy of the border zone;
Addressing the contamination of transboundary rivers;
Improving existing transboundary cooperation mechanisms that deal with environmental issues and transboundary watersheds;
Promoting environmental governance to regulate and control the trade of charcoal and other forest products;
Strengthening the management of marine and coastal resources; and Analyzing the flooding of Lake Azuei and Lake Enriquillo.

The study was financed by the Governments of Norway and Finland and conducted within the framework of UNEP's Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding programme.
Notes to Editors:
The report Haiti-Dominican Republic: Environmental challenges in the border zone is available in English, French and Spanish online here


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) seeks to minimize environmental threats to human well-being from the environmental causes and consequences of conflicts and disasters. In response to increased global awareness of the environmental dimensions of crises, and to growing demand for services addressing them, UNEP has identified disasters and conflicts as one of six priority areas of work.
You can find some high resolution photos of the Haiti/DR border zone (with captions in English, French & Spanish) on our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/unep_dc/sets/72157633425997991/

Further Ressources:
- United Nations World Environment Day
- Ministry of the Environment, Republic of Haiti
- Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
- Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding

For additional information please contact:
Antonio Perera, Haiti Country Programme Manager, Post-Conflict & Disaster Management Branch (Port-au-Prince) on +509 3699 5540 or antonio.perera@unep.org
UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on Tel. +254 20 7625022 / +254 20 762 3088 / +254 20 762 5261 or unepnewsdesk@unep.org
Exil Lucienna, Ministry of the Environment, Republic of Haiti on +509 3461 4880 or +509 3278 2138

Lic. Claudia V. Adames Dinzey, Vice-Ministry of International Cooperation, Dominican Republic on +809 501 2768 or +809 567 4300 Ext. 6420
Samantha Newport, Communications Advisor, Post-Conflict & Disaster Management Branch (Geneva) on + 41 22 917 8798 or samantha.newport@unep.org

Further Resources
World Environment Day 2013
Ministry of the Environment - Republic of Haiti
Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Norway
Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources - Dominican Republic
Download the full report
Disasters and Conflicts on Flickr
Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding

Text/HTML

Minimize

University of Finland and UNEP - 12th Course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements
2-12 November 2015, Shanghai, China

The Special theme of the Twelfth Course is Climate Change.


2nd UNEP-INTERPOL Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee Conference
16-17 November 2015, INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation, Singapore

At the 2nd ECEC in Singapore, INTERPOL and UNEP brought together Chief Executives from Environmental Security and Enforcement agencies from INTERPOL member countries, as well as Chief Executive Officers from international and non-governmental organizations, to design and debate strategies to tackle environmental crime and achieve sustainable development goals.


Annual Meeting UNEP- EUROCLIMA (EC Programme to support Policy Dialogue on Climate Change issues in Latin American countries)

Special session of the Commission on Environment of the PARLATINO(Latin American Parliament) on Climate Change law.

27-28 October 2015, Panama


Global Training Programme on Environmental Law and Policy for Mid-career Government Officials

05-13 October 2015, Nairobi, Kenya


Meeting of the Senior Government Officials Expert in Environmental Law on Mid-term review of the Montevideo Programme IV

7-11 September 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay


Montevideo Programme Environmental Law Seminar: Laws to Promote environmental sustainability of oceans and seas
9-10 July, Panama City, Panama


Montevideo Programme Environmental Law Seminar: Legal Foundation for Environmental Sustainability

13-14 July 2015, United Nations Headquarters, New York


Meeting of Eminent Legal Experts on the Midterm review of the Montevideo Programme IV

15-16 July 2015, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Regional Training on Negotiations for Multilateral Environmental Agreements Focusing on UNFCCC and CBD as they relate to Regional Seas Convention
11-13 May 2015, Jeddah Kingdom, Saudi Arabia


Meeting of Climate Change Negotiators of Latin America and the Caribbean
14-15 May 2015, Santiago de Chile 

Regional Meeting of negotiators in preparation for Climate Change multilateral negotiators (exchange of views and discussion of key topics for the region towards COP21)


International Day for Biological Diversity 2015
22 May 2015

Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

This year’s theme reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda for the period of 2015-2030 and the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.


Launch of The UNEP Sourcebook 

officially launched at a side event in the margins of Ramsar COP 12 - 8 June 2015, Punta del Este, Uruguay

The aim of the Sourcebook is to provide National Focal Points of the major Biodiversity-related Conventions as well as other stakeholders working on these conventions, with options to achieve enhanced implementation of the conventions through enhanced cooperation.


Preparatory Workshops for Paris UNFCCC COP for 2015 for Least Developed countries

June 2015, Bonn, Germany


Second Congress on Environmental Policy, Law and Justice Seminar on Environmental Crimes

6-10 July 2015, La Habana, Cuba


Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law(OAS website)
30-31 March 2015, Montego Bay, Jamaica 

The Organization of American States (OAS) co-organized the First Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law in Montego Bay, Jamaica, an event that concluded with a call to strengthen the rule of law on to address environmental challenges in the Americas.


Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development

4 May 2015, UN Headquarters, New York, Conference Room 11