Integrated Marine Ecosystem Management in Northern Hispaniola
2019 – 2022
Local farmers, educators and institutions with partners Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBim) in Haiti and AgroFrontera in the DR
Support sustainable rice farming, fishing, and tourism while fostering governance partnerships
The marine protected areas of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
IMEM identified and engaged with stakeholders in the marine and sustainable rice value chains and created governance councils in the four marine protected areas
Produced at the close of the program in August 2022, this video captures the impact of our work in Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Northern Hispaniola is one of the top regions in the world impacted by climate change. To combat this challenge, more must be done to equip the people of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to develop locally-owned strategies for climate resiliency, especially community organizations and youth who will be responsible for conserving local ecosystems for future generations.
Marine-coastal biodiversity is threatened by several factors, including pollution, overfishing, invasive species, and unsustainable recreational practices. These factors negatively impact livelihoods and food security for the people who depend on the marine resources. Poor agriculture, timber, and fishing practices have led to high rates of marine environmental degradation and pressure on the ecosystem.
The Integrated Marine Ecosystems Management in Northern Hispaniola (IMEM) is a three-year program which aims to improve the management and conservation of marine ecosystems on the Northern coast of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, while minimizing economic and cultural disruption to the communities that depend on those ecosystems.
Within the life of the program, we will:
Support sustainable rice farming, fishing, and tourism;
Train fishing associations to promote coastal resiliency;
Build networks between businesses and the national government; and
Establish a transborder working group where Haitian and Dominicans can improve natural resource governance.
Implement participatory and adaptive management plans for marine protected areas;
Foster local-level, cross border collaboration and experience-sharing related to participatory governance of marine protected areas; and
Impart and implement best practices in fishing and faming systems and ecotourism.
Working with partners, IMEM identified and engaged with stakeholders in the marine and sustainable rice value chains and created governance councils in the four marine protected areas, a critical participatory mechanism for addressing the issues affecting the value chains.
In Haiti, IMEM designed a socioecological study that will develop a better understanding of the fishing ecosystem. In both countries, the project conducted workshops with stakeholders to identify issues affecting the management of the marine protected areas.
In the Dominican Republic, AgroFrontera strengthened the locally-driven rice value chain by facilitating access to low interest loans for IMEM rice farmers while creating market linkages between farmers and a rice company interested in selling this sustainable rice to consumers. IMEM also started responsible fisheries training with young fishers and has begun the work to create a market link for these sustainably caught fish with local seafood restaurants.
Working with public education stakeholders in both countries, IMEM developed curricula to integrate teaching of natural resource management and ecosystem management in schools.
As COVID-19 become a national health emergency in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti, IMEM adapted to include pandemic relief programming.
In Haiti, the first Haitian-Creole COVID-19 pamphlets and posters were drafted for the IMEM communities to be distributed throughout the program’s network in-country and directly to community health organizations in the area.
In the Dominican Republic, IMEM supported the distribution of food rations to 700 families across Montecristi and leveraged coordination support by recruiting 31 local community-based enterprises to distribute aid to the most rural and marginalized areas.
Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Partners:Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBim) in Haiti and AgroFrontera in the DR
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In Montecristi, near Mangroves of Estero Balsa National Park in the Dominican Republic, the Integrated Marine Ecosystems Management in Northern Hispaniola (IMEM) program worked with its local partner AgroFrontera and local rice farmers to develop the cultivation of sustainable rice in the buffer zone near the park. This work strengthened…
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After three years of implementation, the Integrated Marine Ecosystem Management in Northern Hispaniola project concludes with presentations on its impact in the northern region of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. On August 10, 2022, the IMEM project concluded its activities with an official ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel…
A key component of the Integrated Management of Marine Ecosystems Project (IMEM) is to support sustainable rice cultivation, since conventional agricultural activities can affect the environment, especially in coastal areas. In Montecristi, located in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, and the site of multiple protected areas, Counterpart and…