Haiti Welcomes Seven New Protected Areas
On April 5, 2018, the Technical Support Group for Protected Areas (GTAP) set its sights on twelve (12) areas rich in biodiversity intended to be declared Protected Areas (PA) among twenty that were submitted for analysis by the Inter-ministerial Committee for Territorial Planning (CIAT) and National Agency for Protected Areas (ANAP). Since then, a GTAP commission has been set up to work on the creation of these PAs.
In July 2019, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and CIAT signed a protocol for the documentation and preparation, in conjunction with the ANAP, of orders leading to the creation of these 12 PAs. The MoE received financial support from the Swiss Embassy in Haiti to finance activities.
The socio-political unrest of 2019 combined with the health crisis due to Covid-19 in 2020 delayed the process. The ANAP and the CIAT were to go to the field to explore the spaces, identify the areas outlined for conservation, assess the distribution of these areas in order to define the boundaries and georeference the area, meet the local authorities, the technical and financial partners as well as operators for discussions and awareness raising on the creation of Protected Areas. These joint visits by ANAP and CIAT were difficult to plan and implement.
The documentation for 11 potential PAs was not ready until December 2020. It was not until February 2021 that there were decrees creating these 7 new PAs:
- Trois-Etangs National Natural Park (PNN-TET) in the South Department, area 2,255.44 hectares.
- Sources Royer National Natural Park (PNN-SOR) in the South-East Department, total area of 4,562.8 hectares.
- Etang de Miragoâne National Natural Park (PNN-EMI) in Nippes, area of 7,400.85 hectares.
- Sourçailles National Natural Park (PNN-AIL) in the West Department, with an area of 399 hectares.
- Lac Azuéï National Natural Park (PNN-LAZ) in the West Department, area 28,736 hectares.
- Sources Zabeth National Natural Park (PNN-Za) in the West Department, with an area of 510.83 hectares.
- Fort Royal National Natural Park (PNN-FOR) in the West Department, the only Marine Protected Area (MPA), area 2648 hectares.
Currently, the coverage of protected areas in Haiti is:
- Coverage of terrestrial PAs: 231,078.8 hectares, or 8.33%;
Coverage of Marine PAs: 188,303.9 hectares, or 4.79%.
All seven (7) new protected areas are created for the protection of the rich biodiversity of these areas and for the ecosystem services provided. Specifically, these PAs are created for the following reasons:
|Trois-Etangs National Natural Park (PNN-TET) including Etangs Lachaux, Douat and Laborde|
Area rich in terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.
Presence of certain flora and fauna species threatened with extinction;
Passage area for migratory birds and one of the main birdhouses in the Sud department.
|Sources Royer National Natural Park (PNN-SOR)|
Area rich in biodiversity;
Feeding area for the main water sources of the Municipality of Thiotte threatened with drying up.
|Miragoâne Pond Natural National Park (PNN-EMI)|
The Miragoâne pond is home to some endangered flora and fauna species;
The pond forms a natural space for water supply to the surrounding population;
The Miragoâne Pond is a natural, cultural and tourist site.
|Sourçailles National Natural Park (PNN-AIL)|
This area dominates the watersheds of the Gray, Cold and Momance rivers and constitutes the drinking water supply zone for the metropolitan region;
This protected area includes the Wynne Farm Reserve, a very useful green space from an ecological, scientific and educational point of view, including its contribution to the recharge of the water table.
|Parc National Naturel du Lac Azuéï (PNN-LAZ)|
Lake Azuéï or Etang Saumâtre (i.e. Brackish Pond) is an area rich in biodiversity (terrestrial and aquatic);
Lake Azuéï constitutes a regulating wetland for the entire Cul-de-Sac plain and is home to certain endangered flora and fauna species.
|Zabeth Sources National Natural Park (PNN-Za)|
This protected area includes the National Botanical Garden of Haiti created on November 9, 2015;
The area includes a hill covered by dry vegetation (broadleaf forest) and two natural, cultural and tourist sites, one called “Source Zabeth” and the other “Bois Fraiche”, knowing that these natural and cultural resources are important for public education, the development of sustainable agriculture and tourism in the La Selle Biosphere Reserve created by Haiti in October 2011 and approved by UNESCO in July 2012;
This area constitutes the recharge zone for certain water sources which are very important for the agriculture of the municipalities of Ganthier, Croix-des-Bouquets and Thomazeau.
|Parc National Naturel du Fort Royal (PNN-FOR)|
The area comprises many endangered marine species such as dolphins, whales, sharks, manatees and sea turtles;
The Protected Area encompasses natural sites of great ecological importance such as dry forests, mangroves and an agro-forestry system.
Article submitted by: Ministry of Environment (MoE) and National Agency of Protected Areas (ANAP)