Conservation experts from The ICCF Group’s International Conservation Corps, working with Haiti’s Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM), recently completed the development of a comprehensive ten-year management plan for Haiti’s largest marine protected area.
The Protected Area of Managed Natural Resources of the Three Bays (PA3B) (Aire Protégée de Ressources Naturelles Gérées des Trois Baies) was created by Presidential Decree in 2014 to protect a unique marine system of coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and deep offshore waters, as well as adjoining coastal plains. The sea- and landscape has been greatly altered over many centuries of human occupation and is currently unsustainably utilized and characterized by poverty and poor living conditions of its occupants. The Presidential Decree mandates management and restoration of PA3B’s marine and terrestrial environments, with a focus on the maintenance and restoration of biodiversity and ecological integrity while responding to the needs of communities located within the protected area’s borders and becoming a source of economic vitality.
To develop this management plan, the International Conservation Corps conducted a thorough review of background materials, visited stakeholders and local communities, hosted a stakeholder workshop with participants from a number of economic sectors from several local communities (including fishers, merchants, charcoal producers, salt producers, religious leaders, and government officials), and met with government agencies and partners (including Haiti’s Ministry of Environment, the Technical Execution Unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and key institutions including the United Nations Environment Programme and the Inter-American Development Bank).
Development of the plan took into account a wide range of factors, including regional, national and international context (boundaries, socio-economic context, economic activities, transportation infrastructure, demographic trends, land tenure and ownership, legal and policy framework and management authority, regional and global biological significance, international agreements and obligations, implications of IUCN Category, etc.); physical environment and biological resources (climate, weather, geology, hydrology and oceanography, natural hazards, terrestrial and freshwater habitats and ecosystems, freshwater fauna, avian species/reptile/amphibian/mammal species, marine habitats and ecosystems, and species at risk); historical and cultural values; and threats (overfishing, wood harvesting, pollution, unsustainable development, agriculture, aquaculture, invasive species, salt production, mining, etc.).