The Dutch Red Cross, The Haitian Red Cross, LEOS, Bioservice, United Designers
La Vallèe de Jacmel, Haiti
Total area (ha)
Direct 100, indirect 14,000 farmer households
Once known as the Pearl of the Caribbean, centuries of intense exploitation of land and people have left Haiti impoverished with degraded landscapes that amplify its many crises of weather, climate, livelihood and politics.
There is an undeniable link between poverty and ecosystem degradation in Haiti.
In this context, Commonland is working with the Netherlands Red Cross and a network of partners to support Haitians to make their country more resilient to ecological devastation. At the same time, the work shows that healthy, vegetated landscapes are the best environment for improving communities and livelihood.
What happened in 2021?
On 14 August Haiti was struck by an 7.2 earthquake, with heavy aftershocks, about 100 km from La Vallee-de-Jacmel. More than 2200 people were killed. In the project area there were luckily no casualties. The ensuing floods caused by Hurricane Ida again showed the vulnerability of the Haitian community and landscape. All our colleagues of Red Cross and LEOS have stepped in immediately to support the people with emergency assistance.
Last year we initiated 100 ‘ambassador’ farmers from 3 sub-catchments working on strategically located farms that demonstrate 4 Returns 4 Resilience (4R4R) – a model developed especially for crisis prone areas. More than 200 community members were trained on sustainable agricultural management. Application of soil and water conservation measures and planting of grasses and bamboo have improved water infiltration and reduced erosion.
An apiary and other business models have been designed with support of our South African partner Grounded. A 4R4R landscape plan has been written to showcase La Vallee-de-Jacmel as one of the Green Pearls that can be scaled to other Green Pearl locations in Haiti.
4 Returns 4 Resilience Philippines
The Netherlands Red Cross, Philippine Red Cross, Green Releaf Initiative and Commonland work together on developing and implementing a new approach that combines Red Cross’ Resilience approach with Commonland’s approach to landscape restoration. The concept is that landscape restoration will contribute to improved resilience against natural disasters. The area of Tacloban City is the second landscape, after Haiti, where we are prototyping this approach.
Landscape and stakeholder analysis has identified eight key intervention areas to focus the 4 Returns 4 Resilience approach on for the region of Tacloban City, including mangrove restoration, river restoration and sustainable business development.
The Pintakasi Lab – part of the approach chosen for Tacloban City – brings together multiple stakeholders in the landscape who are already working on issues related to the landscape in order to inspire them to align their efforts. The lab is expected to accelerate in 2022 now that in-person events are possible again. An online workshop to introduce the Pintakasi Lab to the local government was well received.