Haiti has the second longest coastline of any country in the Antilles, therefore, is highly susceptible to impacts of sea level rise. Anticipated increases in sea levels and sea surface temperatures are also likely to be primary causes for increased beach erosion, salinization of fresh water aquifers and estuaries, coastal erosion and increased coral reef bleaching throughout the island. The combination of environmental destruction and other factors such as weak institutions, extreme poverty and rapid population growth raise the risk of new challenges in the island republic.
Haiti has remains the only least-developed country in the Americas. Comparative social and economic indicators show Haiti falling behind other low-income developing countries (particularly in the hemisphere) since the 1980s. Haiti now ranks 155th of 177 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). About 80% of the population were estimated to be living in poverty in 2003. Economic growth was negative in 2001 and 2002, and flat in 2003. These socio-economic factors translate to the communities, networks and governments having a very low capacity to adapt to climate changes.
The project aims to promote development that protects the local communities from climate change impacts. This includes creating resilient economies and societies while reducing risks for vulnerable populations in Haiti. In the aftermath of the rebuilding effort that is currently ongoing, one of the main goals of the government is to strengthen institutional capacities to support shifts toward resilient economies and societies possible. In short, Haiti would have integrated climate change risk management into development solutions including:
- Public policy, legislative and institutional reform promoted to proactively manage climate change risks.
- National and sub-national climate change governance structures strengthened to enhance coordination.
- Policy and fiscal instruments for adaptation developed, including changes in incentives and adjustments in national budgets.
- Market instruments for promoting autonomous adaptation, including expanding markets and promoting market access for the poor, and market diversification.
- Development finance from multilateral and bilateral funds, as well as alternative sources of financing accessed in light of anticipated adaptation costs to effectively meet national costs.
- Global, regional, national, sub-national knowledge from good practices learned from experiences codified, shared and replicated.
Additionally, the NAPA has identified eight priority actions to be implemented immediately, which cover the vulnerable groups in the above-mentioned sectors. The priority actions include:
- Priority 1: Watershed and grounds conservation
- Priority 2: Coastal zone management
- Priority 3: Promote and preserve of natural resources
- Priority 4: Preserve and enhance food safety
- Priority 5: Protect and conserve water
- Priority 6: Construct and rehabilitate infrastructure
- Priority 7: Manage wastePriority 8: Raise awareness through education and information dissemination
Information taken from UNDP Haiti Project Document submitted February 21st, 2011
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