ELEVEN non-governmental organisations from Latin America and the Caribbean, and parts of the United States have been given grants by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation to help with reconstruction work in Haiti.
The 11 grantees met in Haiti on February 9 to 10 to share information on their projects. The meeting was organised by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation to encourage collaboration and partnership among the grantees so that more strategic interventions can be designed to meet the needs of Haiti.
The 11 grantees are: Birdlife International, Conservation International, Panos Caribbean, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, Reef Check Foundation, Cornell University & Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Counterpart International in collaboration with Agrofrontera, Environmental Law Alliance worldwide in collaboration with L'association Haitenne de Droit de l'Environnement, the Environmental Law Institute, Grupo Jaragua, and The Nature Conservancy.
"It was an extremely useful meeting for us and Panos has already started discussions with Cornell University & Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Conservation International to see if we can work more closely on the ground in Haiti," said Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, regional director for media, community and environment at Panos Caribbean.
Panos Caribbean, which has its headquarters in Haiti, helped the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation co-ordinate the meeting in Haiti. The Macarthur Foundation is one the United States largest Independent Foundation. Most of the organizations who have received grants in Haiti will start implementing their projects in 2011.
The projects range from conserving key biodiversity areas in Haiti such as the Massif de la Hotte, the Massif de la Selle and the Massif du Nord corridor, conserving the amphibian population in Massif de la Hotte, to strengthening environmental law in Haiti as well as mobilising communities to engage in public debate re the reconstruction of the island and providing livelihoods for vulnerable communities.
In the year since the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, reconstruction work has been ongoing. The National Airport for example is now in operation even though partially completed. Shelters for many persons living in camps are now being built.
"It is still a very critical time for Haiti and I am glad that Panos has the opportunity to be a part of the process. Over the next two years of this project we are anticipating making a real difference in people's lives," Mclymont-Lafayette said.
— Panos Caribbean