As 2021’s theme for World Oceans Day is “Life and Livelihoods”, we’re highlighting our Mangrove Restoration Project: a three-year project which works towards restoring and conserving these delicate ecosystems, while economically revitalizing the coastal communities of Haiti and Colombia.
Environmental degradation has taken a toll on the health and livelihoods of coastal communities in Haiti and Colombia. Harmful (and unfortunately common) practices such as slash-and-burn agriculture have depleted the soil and have contributed to poverty and widespread food insecurity.
One of the world’s greatest carbon-sinks, mangrove ecosystems are also essential to ocean biodiversity, and protect coastal communities from storm surges and flooding. They also have the untapped potential to boost local economies and increase climate change resiliency. By harnessing this potential, our project has begun restoring nearly 200 acres of mangroves while training residents of four different communities in Haiti and Colombia on alternative income-generating activities. We are also disseminating information campaigns and forging stronger multi-stakeholder links within each country. In addition, to ensure the long-term continuity of these efforts, the project will bridge participants in both countries to best-practice exchanges.