Songdo – At its 36th Board meeting, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) granted US$22.4 million in funding for a flood management project targeting climate resilience in Haiti’s Trois-Rivières region. Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the project aims to reduce the risks associated with climate change-induced flooding through sustainable land management. More than 733,000 people are expected to benefit, while 25,440 hectares of degraded landscapes are to be restored through agroforestry and reforestation.
“It's no secret that Haitians are not among the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, our communities are bearing the full brunt of the often-devastating impacts of global warming," said Environment Minister, James Cadet. "We therefore welcome with great enthusiasm," he continued, "today's announcement by the Board of the Green Climate Fund regarding funding for this important adaptation project. We want to seize this opportunity to work with the GCF, the UNDP and other technical and financial partners to implement our climate action program at national level. What's more, strengthening the climate resilience of the local population in the Trois Rivières, which happens to be the country's second largest watershed, is an important step in our trajectory towards sustainable development.”
As a Small Island Developing State with limited resources, Haiti faces severe climate risks and is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, notably, more frequent and intense floods and tropical storms, including powerful hurricanes originating in the Atlantic. These events are inflicting substantial economic damage, averaging 2% of the country's GDP each year between 1975 and 2012.
The devastating effects of climate change-induced flooding have particularly affected the country’s agricultural sector, which accounts for around a fifth of GDP (20.6 percent) and which provides an estimated 46 percent of the population with employment. While the entire country faces growing risks, the Trois Rivières watershed region – spanning Artibonite, Nord, and Nord-Ouest, with a population of around 700,000 – is identified as exceptionally high-risk given its geography but also the high rates of poverty.
At the same time that climate change is driving more extreme weather, unsustainable farming practices and deforestation have radically changed the Trois-Rivières watershed’s landscape reducing natural protections against flooding (by affecting the landscape's capacity to absorb water), impacting water security, agricultural output, and the capacity of the landscape to absorb carbon.
Financing from the GCF will support an integrated land and water management approach to strengthening ecosystem-based resilience at the local, national, and ecosystem levels. US$8 million in co-financing from Heifer International will allow the project to work directly with productive associations to provide both the incentives and means to align productive practices with ecosystem compatible practices that will result in improved food security and enhanced local market systems.
Working with a range of partners – government, productive associations, and community groups – the new project will lean heavily on proven nature-based solutions to transform the management of flood risk and to improve water capture well into the future.
It will also promote sustainable productive land management, through enhanced value chains and local markets to support local food security while enhancing water governance. This in turn will be underpinned by national efforts and regulation for integrated water management that have been prioritized as part of Haiti’s National Adaptation Plan process.
Under the 8-year project:
- 17,740 hectares of land will be brought under agroforestry systems (where pasture or crops are integrated with trees and shrubs)
- 7,700 hectares (77 square kilometers) of degraded “water towers” forests will be rehabilitated
- 54,252 farmers will be supported to take-up more sustainable land management practices
- 1,018,290 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) will be mitigated
“The measures to be implemented under this project are expected to halve the number of households affected within the floodplain by "once-in-100-year" and "once-in-20 year" flood events,” said UNDP Resident Representative, Nick Rene Hartmann. “They will also generate very significant benefits in areas such as health, food security, and emissions reductions – demonstrating that climate action is indeed sustainable development action. This is a watershed moment and we stand ready to support the government in project implementation, advancing together towards a nature-positive, climate-resilient future, with no-one left behind.”
“We are very pleased to partner with UNDP and Haiti’s Ministry of Environment on this project that will transform lives in the Trois-Rivières region, shielding communities from devastating floods and creating sustainable, nature-positive futures,” said Henry Gonzalez, a.i. Executive Director for the Green Climate Fund. “It will enable us to harness the power of science, and the resolve of humanity, to build a Haiti that is not just climate-resilient but also climate-proactive.”
The project is expected to launch by the end of 2023.
For more information, please contact
Ruvens Ely Boyer, UNDP Communications Officer, Haiti firstname.lastname@example.org
Yves Bernard Remarais, MDE Communication Director, Haiti, email@example.com