A new report published by Progressio, in partnership with CAFOD, SCIAF, HIV Aids Alliance and Tearfund, calls for the international community to encourage increased decision making at local level (or “decentralisation”) in Haiti. Haitian civil society voices argue in the report that taking decision at local level whenever possible is key to successfully tackling Haiti’s reconstruction and development challenges for the long term. Continue reading Haiti: new report highlights importance of making decisions locally
Beverly Bell and Alexis Erkert interview YVES-ANDRÉ WAINRIGHT, Haiti’s former two-time Environment Minister*
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Apr 24, 2012 (IPS/Other Worlds) – In honour of Earth Day, we run an interview with Yves-André Wainright, who discusses ways that poor governance and the role of foreign donors have contributed to the country’s environmental catastrophe.
He also lays out a blueprint for what could turn the situation around, effectively mobilising both government and the population to begin restoring the environment.
Yves-André Wainright served twice as Haiti’s minister of environment. Trained as an agronomist, Yves-André’s work has focused on environmental management, especially management of natural resources and waste.
His comments follow:
My approach towards management of the environment is to have Haitians who face (the same environmental) challenges come together. We might not all share the same economic interests, but if we work together, we can reach a compromise where one’s interest won’t trump another’s.
Current poverty levels can’t be used as an excuse for environmental mismanagement, like deforestation of watersheds or the poor construction of rural roads. More than an issue of technology or of funding, the challenge with environmental management in Haiti is a matter of governance. Continue reading Coming Together for Environmental Restoration in Haiti
by Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas
Haiti, a close neighbor of the US with over nine million people, was devastated by earthquake on January 12, 2010. Hundreds of thousands were killed and many more wounded. The UN estimated international donors gave Haiti over $1.6 billion in relief aid since the earthquake (about $155 per Haitian) and over $2 billion in recovery aid (about $173 per Haitian) over the last two years. Continue reading Haiti: Seven Places Where Earthquake Money Did and Did Not Go
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 20, 2011 (IPS/Haiti Grassroots Watch) – Ever since being elected earlier this year, Haitian President Michel Martelly and his team have been betting Haiti’s reconstruction on foreign investors.
“We are ready for new ideas and new businesses, and are creating the conditions necessary for Haiti to become a natural and attractive destination for foreign investment,” the new president said at a meeting in New York City last fall.
“The window of opportunity is now,” an aide added. “Haiti has a new president and a new way of thinking about foreign investments and job creation.” Continue reading Haiti Open for Business
The Brazilian Senate has approved controversial legislation that reforms rules on the amount of land farmers must preserve as forest.
The bill, which now returns to the lower house, also eases fines for some previous illegal clearance if farmers commit to a reforestation programme.
Supporters say Brazil needs land for food production, but environmentalists warn of increased Amazon destruction. Continue reading Brazilian Senate eases Amazon protection rules
With nearly 600,000 internally displaced persons still in camps, the scale of Haiti’s homeless problem remains daunting.
by Bill Quigley
Mathias O is 34 years old. He is one of about 600,000 people still homeless from the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He lives with his wife and her 2 year old under a homemade shelter made out of several tarps. They sleep on the rocky ground inside. The side tarp walls are reinforced by pieces of cardboard boxes taped together. Candles provide the only inside light at night. There is no running water. No electricity. They live near a canal and suffer from lots of mosquitoes. There are hundreds of families living in tents beside him. This is the third tent community he has lived in since the earthquake. Continue reading Wave of Illegal, Senseless and Violent Evictions Swells in Port au Prince