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ELAW is teaming up with longtime partner L’Association Haitienne de Droit de l’Environnement (AHDEN) to support creating a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Haiti’s Caracol Bay and to promote a new, holistic approach to the sustainable use and conservation of marine biodiversity.

The Bay is home to thriving coral reefs and Haiti’s largest mangrove forest, which together sustain important fisheries in the northern part of the country. The Bay is also home to endangered species such as the leatherback sea turtle.

An MPA in Caracol Bay has the potential to benefit local communities and help safeguard Haiti’s vital natural treasures for generations to come.

ELAW has been working in the Caribbean for many years, building local capacity to protect communities and the environment.  In Haiti, ELAW works closely with Jean André Victor, a well-respected leader in the environmental movement and President of AHDEN.  Jean André came to Eugene for an ELAW Fellowship in 2010 and was featured in the Eugene Weekly.

For more information about MPAs, visit MPAtlas.org, which features a global interactive map and information about MPAs around the world.

Many thanks to the Waitt Foundation and the Clinton Foundation for making ELAW’s work to protect critical marine ecosystems in Haiti possible!

Michele Kuhnle
Donor Liaison

Reporter Camilla Mortensen’s cover story in today’s Eugene Weekly describes the history of the challenges that Haiti faces and the work that ELAW Fellow Jean André Victor has been doing and will continue to do after he finishes his fellowship here in Eugene.  And not only that — ELAW’s fabulous intern Chu “Cassie” Chen was featured in this week’s “Happening People!

Here’s an excerpt from the cover story:

“For more than 20 years, Jean André Victor worked as an agronomist in Haiti, trying to solve the riddle of how to fix the centuries of environmental degradation and poverty that has kept Haiti from developing a self sustaining economy and food supply.  But, ‘the main problem is that you can’t solve the degradation of Haiti with projects,’ says Victor.

This spring, at the age of 68, Victor came to Eugene to discuss law and policy with scientists and other attorneys, write the first textbook on environmental law in Haiti and learn English at the University of Oregon’s American English Institute.  He came through the help of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide….

He will return to Haiti this summer – a country that was struggling even before the devastating January earthquake that killed thousands of Haitians, including Victor’s mother – and try to change his country from within.”  Read the whole story here.

We are inspired by all that Jean André has endured and all he does!  And we are delighted that everybody else now knows what a happenin’ person Cassie is!

Jean Andre Vincent

Jean André Victor

In January, as the earth shook all of Haiti, and especially the capital Port au Prince, Jean André Victor was there, amid the chaos and devastation.  And now, just a few months later, he is in Eugene, amidst the rain and spring flowers.  It is a stark contrast, but a change of scenery that will help him have the time and space to work on writing the first textbook on environmental law in Haiti, practice his English (he’s taking a 10 week course at the American English Institute) and share with and learn from ELAW staff attorneys and scientists.

We are thrilled that he is here and will share more about his experiences and expertise over the next few months.  Welcome Jean André, byenveni!

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