The environment of Haiti is faced with huge problem. The total forest cover was approximately 2% in a country where 75% of energy demands were satisfied by wood fuel, and a lack of trees had in turn caused significant soil erosion.
As you may know, there is currently a U.N. climate conference taking place in Paris, which runs through Dec. 11. It is one of the most important events of our time, involving leaders of some of the most powerful nations in the world. The objective of the conference is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
Of the many countries at risk from the effects of climate change, small island such as Haiti is considered to be among the most vulnerable to sea level rise due to its high population densities, fragile ecosystems, overstressed water resources and others.
Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing and sea levels are rising. Rising temperatures due to deforestation and excessive emission of Carbon are responsible for changing patterns of rain and melting of snows, especially in the Polar Regions. Rising seas threaten to inundate low-lying areas and islands, threaten dense coastal populations. Climate change is undoubtedly the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. By 2050, according to the United Nations, more than 130 port cities and habitats around the world would be at risk from severe storm-surge flooding, damage from high storm winds, rising and warming global seas and local land subsidence.
On Monday, September, 28, 2015, on the sidelines of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations, the Haitian Defense and Foreign Affairs Minister, Minister of Environment, have signed a protocol with the French Minister of Ecology and other international actors for the execution of an important project of reforestation in Haiti.
After decades of work and millions of dollars invested by the international community, Haiti remains one of the most environmentally degraded countries on earth. With 98% of Haiti's forests already gone, a recent UN report estimates that about 30% of the nation's remaining trees are being destroyed each year. The majority of the Haitian population uses charcoal as their primary cooking fuel. Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of Ecology, during the ceremony, in the presence of French President Francois Hollande has said that the signing of the agreement came at a time when Haiti has suffered multiple natural hazards. As per the agreement, France will provide necessary expertise and framework through its nodal offices.
Solar suitcases are solar powered, portable, economic and renewable sources of energy. The product of 'We Care Solar Suitcase' is very effective for remote villages with limited electrical resources.
It includes two 20 watt solar panels, a 15A charge controller, a 14 amp-hour sealed lead acid battery, a phone charger, two headlamps, an AA/AAA battery charger, and a fetal Doppler. Hardware for installation is included in its kit. The students in Anne Soos's environmental studies class at the Hun School of Princeton built two 'We Care Solar suitcases' in the final weeks of their 2014-2015 academic year.
The first suitcase was delivered to a research facility in the Amazon of Ecuador, and the second suitcase has been delivered to the rural village of Kwakok in late June. Now, the multi-purpose community building in Kwakok is able to host varieties of events in the evening hours for students and community members. Kwakok is a poor agricultural village in a remote area of Haiti.
Western Union is a Colorado based American financial services and communications company, a leader in global payment services. The company in association with one of their agents, Sogexpress (Société Générale Haitienne de Transferts) S.A., a subsidiary of Sogebank has launched a platform on July 23, 2015 to facilitate a payment gateway through which Haitian diaspora can remit 'Klere Ayiti's' renewable energy product to their family members living in Haiti.
Under the plan a dedicated website will collect order and receive payment for any renewable energy product items of 'Klere Ayeti' from a donor or any Haitian diaspora living anywhere in the world. Then the company will process the payment for the solar light to an agent in Miami and provide the contact information of the recipient family to that agent so that it can enable the delivery to the beneficiary in Haiti.
Eneji Pwop Feasibility Study to Evaluate 100 Towns for Pre-Pay Microgrid Pilot Program
Haiti needs to build and strengthen its infrastructure in the energy sector across the county. It's a tall order for the Haitian government to fulfill, but the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is lending its support in the form of a grant it has awarded to Haitian social agency, Eneji Pwop S.A. (EP). It already provides microgrid power, an affordable utility, to small- and mid-size populations.
EP also partners with Earth Spark International and together they implemented the first pre-pay microgrid that began in November 2012 in the town of Les Anglais.
Haitian Marine Biologist receives Environmental Protection Prize for Three Bays National Park
Haitian Jean Wiener, a marine biologist and teacher, has been given a $175,000 prize from the Goldman Environmental Foundation (GEF) for creating Three Bays National Park along the northern coast of Haiti. As the first marine protected area in Haiti, it will stop over-fishing of the coastal bays of Limonade, Caracol, and Fort Liberté. The park, in existence since 2014, includes a very large mangrove area, sizeable barrier reef, and crucial-to-the-environment sea grass beds.
Wiener, one of six prize winners, was acknowledged by the Goldman Foundation for prevailing over Haiti's poor-nation status and political upheavals to make Three Bays National Park a reality. The park encloses 30,000 square miles that extends from Cap-Haitien to the Dominican Republic border. He has also created the Marine Biodiversity Protection Foundation (FoProBiM) that targets coastal and marine areas for preservation. The U.N. and the U.S. Agency for International Development are funding partners for FoProBiM. FoProBiM engages community organizations to protect Three Bays marine resources from over-fishing, dying coral populations, and destroyed mangrove forests used to make charcoal for cooking.
Princeton Power Systems is a New Jersey based designer and manufacturer of modern technology solutions for energy management. The company is a global leader that specializes in micro-grid operations, and electric vehicle charging. They manufacturer UL- and CE-certified power electronics that are used in advanced battery operations and alternative energy. UL is an American worldwide safety certification and CE is a similar certification that literally means Conformité Européene" or "European Conformity.
A micro-grid is a composition of technologies that includes energy generation, storage and load management system, appropriate for a community use. A micro-grid can operate independently or works in conjunction with the area's main electrical grid. Princeton Power Systems has recently launched a partnership with 'Home Control' with a focus on the Caribbean and Haitian market for expanding their base in the renewable energy and distributable generation. 'Home Control' is a leader in home automation, renewable energy, and audio engineering for residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
Jean Wiener, one Haitian conservationist is leading a homegrown campaign to protect the country's northern coastal areas, including barrier reefs and threatened mangrove forests that serve as the crucial breeding grounds and nurseries for fish and crustaceans. The virgin forests that once covered the entire country have now been reduced to 2% of the total land area, losing 3% of its forests every year. The most Haitians still depend on wood and charcoal as their primary fuel source. It has been estimated that the average life span in Haiti is shortened by 6.6 years because of the impacts of indoor air pollution caused by indoor burning of biomass (United Nations, 1998). Until recently the government had done little to combat this problem or find energy alternatives to save the forests. As of 2001, four species of mammals, eleven bird species, and six types of reptiles were endangered. At least 13 species have become extinct, including the Imposter Hutia, the Haitian Edible Rat and the Caribbean Monk Seal. Today, Haiti has gained the reputation of an "environmental wasteland".
A new book slated to hit bookshelves nationwide on May 5th by the New York Times bestselling author Peter Schweizer, reveals that in 2012, a mining company named Delta Societe Miniere S.A, a subsidiary of VCS Mining, Inc., headed by Tony Rodham brother of Ms. Hillary Clinton, had been awarded super-rare mining permit from Haiti. The book, entitled, "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How & Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich" describes how the Clinton family has accumulated $100+ million personal wealth; it investigates the connections between their acts, foundation and decision as the secretary of state, that benefited foreign governments, donors, and companies.
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