|Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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CLEAN SWEEP AT THE ARCADINS ISLANDS
The Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity (FoProBiM), with the participation of the public and private sectors in Haiti, organized a beach clean-up activity on Saturday May 29th, 1999 at the Arcadins Islands in Port-au-Prince Bay. Each year since 1996 FoProBiM has implemented clean-up activities in the Arcadins area in conjunction with its other activities which aim at the sensitization of the general public as to the plight of the marine environment as well as the rehabilitation and protection of these resources.
The debris carried by the currents in this area represent a serious threat to marine biodiversity and are the cause of serious economic losses for both the tourism and fisheries sectors. Plastic wastes, especially plastic beverage containers, were once again the most prevalent waste observed. There was also a marked increase in the quantities of medical waste collected, which are no longer limited to syringes, but now also include medical vials, and test tubes (some still containing blood).
The clean-up of the Arcadins by volunteers (students from Luly and Saintard; Scouts from Williamson and Vignier; fishers from Luly, Conte and Mitan; womens cooperative of Arcahaie; fisheries division of the ministry of Agriculture, etc.) allowed FoProBiM to collect 400 bags of debris. These bags filled two large dump trucks almost to over-flowing. The waste was then transported to the local area dump site.
The present situation is alarming. What was collected on the Arcadins Islands is just a small indication of the amount of waste being dumped into the sea, and improperly disposed of all over the country. The question of waste management is one which needs to be urgently addressed. What is to be done with all types of waste including used oils and other poisons such as lead and mercury? We need to address these problems immediately and find solutions for the proper management of these wastes.
FoProBiM would like to thank all the individuals, and institutions which made this day of civic action the success that is was.
For more information contact:
Jean Wiener, Director
Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity (FoProBiM)
P.O. Box 642