Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Versions: English / Français

Field Project Summary
Enhancing coastal and fisheries resource management through stakeholder participation, local knowledge and environmental education, Arcadins coast, Haiti

Revision Date: 1st March, 2001.
Title:  Enhancing coastal and fisheries resource management through stakeholder participation, local knowledge and environmental education, Arcadins coast, Haiti. (Former title: Fishing for sustainable life-ways around the Gulf of Gonâve, Haiti.)
Goals: To create a dialogue within and between local stakeholder groups to enhance their knowledge and implementation of  sustainable resource use through the compilation, blending and dissemination of information relating to current scientific knowledge/methods and local indigenous knowledge.  
Location: Arcadins coastal zone, Port-au-Prince Bay, Haiti.
Starting date: 1997. 
Partners: Association des Pêcheurs (Grand Goave, Luly, Cont, Mitan, Leogane); Association des Femmes de l’Archaie; private companies; National Commission of Haiti for UNESCO; U.S. Agency for International Development; Cooperation Japonaise and other international agencies; UNESCO Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform.
Pilot project leader: Jean W. Wiener, Director, Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM), P.O. Box 642, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Tel: 509 401 7829
jwwiener@aol.com, jwiener@compa.net
Description: There are two main lines of activity within the project, each with various subcomponents:
(1)   The development of information and education materials
a) Translation of the fisheries laws into Créole. The Haitian fisheries laws, although updated from other environmental laws, and finally appearing as the Fisheries Codes in 1978, are written in French.  However, the majority of those affected by the laws, i.e. inhabitants of coastal communities and especially fishers, only speak or read Créole.  In order to provide guidance to legal methods, legal recourse in cases of infringements of the laws, and future adaptation of these laws into realistic and observable measures, the laws must be made available and understandable to the resource users.
b) Preparation of an ethno-ecological guide. This publication, which is being prepared with the help of local fishers, will include a  guide to local living resources from algae to marine mammals, fishers’ perceptions of their role in the environment,  and information on certain traditional and modern fishing methods.  The guide will provide a foundation for a meaningful and mutually respectful dialogue between resource managers and resource users.
c) Compilation of documents and establishment of a local document centre. Library facilities are often poorly organized in institutions in Haiti, and most scientific research undertaken by overseas investigators in Haiti does not remain in the country. FoProBiM has been working on gathering these ‘lost’ documents as well as acquiring recent research and resource materials from both local and international sources in order to establish the first document resource centre in Haiti specifically geared towards coastal and marine resource use.
d) Development of an educational booklet for 10-16 year olds, for use in schools and community organizations.  This booklet will include the information gathered during the course of the project. It will be geared towards providing general, and Haitian-specific, information relating to the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources.
(2) Meetings and workshops
a) Local meeting and workshops are ongoing activities and provide for discussion of the needs and concerns of various stakeholder groups as well as their commonality of interest.  Discussions have included fishing and agricultural practices and laws, marine pollution, advocacy training, fisheries rehabilitation, safety at sea, as well as local community concerns and needs.
b) Exchange visits of fishers between Jamaica and Haiti in 1998 were undertaken to exchange ideas related to ‘wise practices’ in each country.
& assessment:
(1) The translation of the fisheries laws into Créole has been completed and is awaiting final editing.  At least 1,000 copies will be needed for the stakeholders, both public and private.  It is believed that this document will serve to initiate discussions, which will help this project as well as other environmental management initiatives in Haiti.
(2) The ethno-ecological guide is in the final stages of preparation and should be ready for final editing by the beginning of 2001.
(3) The compilation of documents and establishment of a local document centre at (FoProBiM) is underway and currently contains more than 700 documents and resource materials of which approximately 75% came from project funds and assistance. The library has been used by public institutions such as the Ministry of the Environment, international organizations, visiting consultants as well as private sector individuals including fishers.
(4) The development of an educational booklet is in progress using information from the fisheries laws, the ethno-ecological guide, the resource documents, and the meetings and workshops.
(5) Local meetings and workshops have been successful in creating a dialogue both within and among stakeholder groups.  Due to critical environmental conditions  in Haiti, one of the most important results of this dialogue is the increasing  realisation among all stakeholder groups, how critically intermeshed are all their activities, both good and bad, and the realization that everyone sinks or swims together.  Continuing this dialogue is critical to the success of the project.
(6) The exchange visits of fishers between Jamaica and Haiti helped to forge new links between two countries, which although only 45 minutes apart by plane, differ greatly in their approaches to resource management.  It was a memorable two weeks of meetings and field trips for the 34 participants, who then returned to their communities and shared their experiences with others, in the hope of promoting the positive aspects.
Future Directions: (1) Continue to instigate and facilitate dialogue among stakeholders in order to promote concrete activities for the improved management of resources including the development of ‘wise practices’.
(2) Prepare additional educational materials, e.g. booklets, pamphlets, and posters.
(3) Involve more stakeholders and groups in the educational activities.
(4) Increase and strengthen partnerships with both the public and private sectors including increased coordination with UNESCO/Haiti (Jalousie project), and possibly programmes with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the InterAmerican Development Bank.
(5) Undertake a socio-economic survey of the target area to better understand the inter-relationships between the fisheries sector and the private sector and the general public.
(6) In conjunction with the COSALC pilot project, conduct training and provide technical support for a beach monitoring programme.
(7) Update the ethno-ecological guide as more information becomes available.
(8) Maintain and enhance the resource materials and documentation centre.
Introduction Activities Publications Search
Wise Practices Regions Themes