The intention is to combat poverty among smallholder farmers and reduce pressure on the nature reserves. The restoration and conservation of biodiversity is addressed in relation to landscape ecology and regeneration, soil conservation and food security as well as the promotion of alternative energies (above all biogas and solar energy). Welthungerhilfe works closely in situ with the relevant units within the respective environment ministries, known as focal points, and with a network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the three countries. With the help of this South-South cooperation, longer-term institutional benefits will accrue most of all to Haiti, the weakest link in the field of environmental management.

A new awareness is necessary

A further goal over the next few years is to integrate the biodiversity component into existing projects. It is not always easy, though, to raise awareness and get people thinking about sustainable alternatives. Even now, more than 90 per cent of Haitian households still make daily use of wood or charcoal to cook food.