On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 the Haitian government published the creation of Haiti’s second Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the official journal, Le Moniteur. The new MPA is hereby called the “The Three Bays Protected Area (Parc Marin des Trois Baies)” and is located in Northeastern Haiti. This new protected area encloses an area covering a total of close to 90,000 hectares (900 sq.km.) and includes the bays of Limonade, Caracol, and Ft. Liberté, as well as the Lagon aux Boeufs.
“As with the designation of the new protected area in the southwest in August, we once again applaud the Haitian government’s move to protect our natural resources. This designation is yet another critical step forward as Haiti renews its commitment to protect its critical coastal and marine ecosystems,” stated Jean Wiener, Director of the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM) in Haiti. “We now need to undertake serious actions to ensure the complete commitment of local stakeholders to actively participate in the Parc’s management. We must also ensure an increased engagement of all national stakeholders, the government, and our international partners to actively participate in the protection and sustainable management of the resources within this important area.”
FoProBiM undertook the outlining of the original park boundaries in 2000, an ecosystem valuation exercise for the area in 2009 and a re-evaluation in 2013 for the Organization of American States/Department of Sustainable Development (OAS/DSD), has just finished research on local sea turtles and manatees with UNEP CAR-SPAW and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), is undertaking the development of a Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) with the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), has just completed the areas first rapid coastal/marine/riverine bio-inventory, and actively participated in the preparation of the legal framework and final establishment of the present park boundaries to help bring about this important designation.
Hopefully the Arcadins, Baraderes, and Rochelois Marine Parks will also soon be created. These areas were also initially surveyed and outlined by FoProBiM in 2000 and it is currently undertaking various research activities nation-wide in order to provide a better understanding of the need to protect these vital ecosystems.