Haiti and Dominican Republic to jointly protect the environment

After the end of second level talk between Haiti and Dominican Republic in Jimani, the capital and the second largest city of the Independencia Province in the Dominican Republic, the two neighboring nations have agreed to protect the surrounding environment of Hispaniola Island which they jointly occupy. Though they share an island, they have remained worlds apart so far. This has played a direct role in adverse climate changes and its consequences in the area. The environment ministers from the two countries have agreed upon the urgent need to save the island's natural resources and environment. They will work under joint programs to manage cross-border natural resources and improve undivided watersheds. The two countries will deploy funds, manpower and work with the local communities in a collaborative way. Some international organizations will be engaged to find solution for environmental deterioration.


The year 2013 was declared as "the year of the environment" in Haiti. Deforestation and soil erosion are endemic in Haiti. The poorest in the Americas, routinely cut down trees for fuel. To sustain growth and development and end its cycles of poverty Haiti has converted its land permanently from forest uses to non-forest purposes. The huge coastline of Haiti makes it highly vulnerable to hurricanes. During the rainy seasons, landslide becomes a major concern. Thick vegetation is needed to keep the soil intact.

Many reforestation efforts have failed because appropriate trees were not planted on the nutrient deficient soil which can revitalize the environment. Further no proper incentive was provided to the people responsible for their maintenance. One of the main reasons of deforestation in Haiti is soil erosion. Every year an estimated 61 square miles or 15,000 acres of topsoil are washed away. The soil erosion further affects other productive infrastructures like roads, dams, irrigation system and ecosystem in the marine coastal area; it also hampers the productivity of the soil. The signatories of the agreement have acknowledged the necessity of joint work to protect biodiversity and reduce the island's environmental degradation and achieve island's sustainable economic development.

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Read more: Dominican Republic, Environment, Deforestation, Hispaniola, Energy Environment

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