Un récif corallien résulte de la construction d'un substrat minéral durable (formé de carbonate de calcium) secrété par des êtres vivants, principalement des coraux. Il existe de très nombreuses espèces de coraux qui forment des écosystèmes marins complexes et parmi les plus riches en biodiversité, généralement à faible profondeur. Les massifs coralliens, notamment en région tropicale, procurent des niches écologiques à de nombreux animaux qui y trouvent nourriture, refuge, protection et abri. De très nombreuses espèces de poissons en sont donc dépendantes.
Les récifs coralliens diffèrent des côtes d'accumulation en ce qu'ils sont d'origine biologique. Ces récifs constituent aussi une partie importante des puits de carbone océaniques existants sur Terre. Ces puits sont aujourd'hui menacés par la dégradation des récifs. 50 % environ de ces structures coralliennes étaient en effet en mauvaise santé à la fin du XXe siècle.
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Constituée en 1992, FoProBiM est un organisme apolitique, non gouvernemental et sans but lucratif qui est établi à Port-au-Prince, Haïti, et qui a été officiellement reconnu par le gouvernement haïtien en 1995 en tant que fondation œuvrant pour l’environnement d’Haïti dans les domaines du développement durable, de l’éducation, de la recherche, de la surveillance et de la sensibilisation.
FoProBiM est l’un des plus vieux organismes environnementaux haïtiens. Sa mission : i) sensibiliser la population et les divers intervenants au besoin de changer les lois et les attitudes concernant l’environnement; ii) accroître les connaissances et les compétences aux niveaux gouvernemental, communautaire et individuel afin d’apporter des améliorations durables à l’environnement et à la vie des gens, et; iii) mettre en œuvre des programmes éducatifs ainsi que des recherches scientifiques, incluant de la surveillance environnementale, afin de promouvoir une meilleure gestion de l’environnement et la protection de la biodiversité par une meilleure compréhension de la nécessité d’utiliser les ressources environnementales de façon durable.
Depuis maintenant 20 ans qu’elle existe, la FoProBiM se consacre à la protection et à la gestion des écosystèmes côtiers et marins du pays ainsi que des bassins versants avoisinants. Dans ses efforts continus pour surveiller et protéger l’environnement et la biodiversité, FoProBiM œuvre de concert avec les populations qui habitent la région côtière, incluant les regroupements de femmes, de jeunes, de fermiers et de pêcheurs, ainsi que tous ceux et celles qui utilisent les ressources environnementales dans un vaste éventail de secteurs tels que le tourisme, la production de combustible, le transport, la commercialisation, la transformation, etc.
Best Wishes for 2013
News for January 2013
As its wish for Haiti in 2013 FoProBiM renews its call for the critical need to devlop a network of Marine Protected Areas for the country, as it has proposed over the past years, and it will redouble its efforts to make this a reality.
<>< Jan. 1, 2013 FoProBIM has received a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to undertake preliminary work towards the development of a Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) in the Caracol Bay Area.
<>< December 7, 2012 inauguration of the new latrine for 450 students at the Ecole Nationale de Luly with representatives of the UN CAR-SPAW team.
This latrine serves not only the students at the school but also many members of the local community. Because of extremely limited toilet access in the area this installation assists in keeping the local coastal area clean of human waste while providing the school children with an extremely valuable facility.
FoProBiM hopes to receive funding in order to clean out the old adjacent latrine which is now full.
<>< FoProBiM Director Jean Wiener wins Conde Nast Traveler Environmental Award Runner-up spot for 2012.
<>< FoProBiM has launched Haiti’s first privately funded environmental grant, the Agoue Environmental Fund, funded by the Haitian private sector and targeted at supporting local Haitian founded and operated environmental organizations in their work within Haiti. The first small grant is expected to be awarded this year.
Almost three years ago, Haiti was hit by an earthquake that killed an estimated 220,000 people in 35 seconds of unimaginable terror. It was the worst national disaster in the history of the western hemisphere. The world rushed to help, with huge sums donated amid declarations to "build back better" one of the most blighted nations on earth.
But, as the anniversary approaches, it is evident that many good intentions imploded at the expense of the people they were meant to help. Haiti stands as the latest sad example of how self-aggrandizing assumptions of the global aid industry can backfire so badly. The humanitarian business should reflect hard on the failures.
Even before the quake, this was a poor country. More charities were thought to operate per capita there than anywhere else, earning Haiti the nickname Republic of NGOs. In the 50 years before 2010 it was given four times as much per head as Europeans received under the postwar Marshall plan, yet incomes collapsed by more than a third – unlike in the Dominican Republic, on the other half of the island.
After the disaster the international response was impressive. People watching horror play out in primetime donated nearly £2bn to charities; governments and official institutions pledged another £6bn. Although huge amounts still sit in bank accounts – the Red Cross alone has £310m, more than twice the total spent on permanent housing – £5.6bn has been disbursed.
Yet not only has the promised long-term reconstruction barely begun, but poverty is increasing, violent crime rising and 358,000 people remain stuck in the squalor of tent camps, lucky to eat one meal a day. Thousands more families were forcibly evicted with nowhere to go, and the cholera was imported – allegedly by the UN – which has killed more than 7,800 Haitians so far.
Little wonder there is anger among local people, who were left so badly placed when hurricane Sandy struck two months ago. From the start of relief efforts in 2010 there was chaos, with hundreds of aid groups from all over the world flooding in. There had to be dozens of coordinating meetings each week, invariably held in English rather than French or Creole, underlining the exclusion of Haitians from the rebuilding of their own country.
It is hard to ignore the idea that some charities saw the disaster as a chance to raise money; why else did they all need to be there despite the duplication and slap their logos everywhere? The Lancet accused them of jostling for publicity while Médécins sans Frontièrs – which almost uniquely stopped fundraising after a few days, having made enough for its needs – told me charities loved to be in front of cameras to ensure cash flowed in to their accounts.
This would not be so bad if the money was well spent. Big chunks went on vital and immediate emergency relief to save lives. But substantial sums were blown on botched projects and needless staff costs. I visited one place where families were lured to live in wooden sheds on the promise of jobs and decent public services, only to find themselves marooned on rocky land 10 miles from town, unemployed and charged twice the going rate for water.
The voices of local people were ignored by arrogant outsiders, undermining accountability and sustainable development. As the Centre for Global Development reported this month, only a shameful 0.6% of the money spent by bilateral and multilateral donors was given to Haitian charities and businesses. Meanwhile an estimated 40% went on supporting all the foreigners dispensing aid, with their inflated housing allowances, vehicles and drivers.
When it comes to development aid, the concept of giving cash to people to spend as they see fit is attracting interest. Perhaps it is time to apply similar tactics to disaster relief once the most pressing emergency needs are out of the way. In Haiti, people could have been given more than double the average annual income. It is hard to believe they would not have spent the money better than the foreigners who have achieved depressingly little.
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Haiti's Year of Environment declared for 2013
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan. 1 (Xinhua)
President Michel Martelly on Tuesday, Jan. 1, declared 2013 as Haiti's Year of Environment and called on citizens to join government efforts to preserve the country's ecosystem.
Speaking at a ceremony in northern Haiti to commemorate the 209th anniversary of Haitian Independence, Martelly also urged every Haitian to plant a tree this year.
Haiti is currently in an "ecological catastrophe," according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which warned that between 25 and 30 drainage basins in the country are "severely degraded."
The UNDP has also warned that each year Haiti loses 37 million tons of arable land due to deforestation, which saw forest land reduced from 20 to 4 percent of national territory between 1970 and 1990.
During the ceremony, Martelly also reaffirmed government commitment to economic recovery and boosting national production.
"During the remaining three years of my term I will focus on this goal," Martelly said in Gonaives, where more than two centuries ago Haiti's national heroes declared independence from France.
He said he would strive to improve the living conditions of Haitians and the country would achieve at least 70 percent self-sufficiency by the end of his term.
The president also stressed the need to maintain order by strengthening democracy.
Peace is the first condition needed to attract investors to Haiti, said Martelly, adding those who disagree "are enemies of the fatherland and enemies of the people."
Last week, Martelly promised to hold mid-term elections in 2013 and to strengthen public security.
Study: No Evidence Of Increasing Jellyfish Population Over Last Two Centuries
by Underwatertimes.com News Service - December 31, 2012 17:57 EST
SOUTHAMPTON, England -- Scientists have cast doubt on the widely held perception that there has been a global increase in jellyfish.
Blooms, or proliferations, of jellyfish can show a substantial, visible impact on coastal populations – clogged nets for fishermen, stinging waters for tourists, even choked cooling intake pipes for power plants – and recent media reports have created a perception that the world's oceans are experiencing trending increases in jellyfish. Now, a new multinational collaborative study, involving the University of Southampton, suggests these trends may be overstated, finding that there is no robust evidence for a global increase in jellyfish over the past two centuries.
The results of the study, which includes lead co-author Dr Cathy Lucas, a marine biologist at the University of Southampton, appear in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS manuscript # 2012-10920R).
The key finding of the study shows global jellyfish populations undergo concurrent fluctuations with successive decadal periods of rise and fall, including a rising phase in the 1990s and early 2000s that has contributed to the current perception of a global increase in jellyfish abundance. The previous period of high jellyfish numbers during the 1970s went unnoticed due to limited research on jellyfish at the time, less awareness of global-scale problems and a lower capacity for information sharing (e.g. no Internet).
While there has been no increase over the long-term, the authors detected a hint of a slight increase in jellyfish since 1970, although this trend was countered by the observation that there was no difference in the proportion of increasing vs. decreasing jellyfish populations over time.
Dr Cathy Lucas, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, says: "Sustained monitoring is now required over the next decade to shed light with statistical confidence whether the weak increasing linear trend in jellyfish populations after 1970 is an actual shift in the baseline or part of a larger oscillation."
To date, media and scientific opinion for the current perception of a global increase in jellyfish was evidenced by a few local and regional case studies. Although there are areas where jellyfish have increased; the situation with the Giant Jellyfish in Japan and parts of the Mediterranean are classic examples, there are also areas where jellyfish numbers have remained stable, fluctuated over decadal periods, or actually decreased over time.
Increased speculation and discrepancies about current and future jellyfish blooms by the media and in climate and science reports formed the motivation for the study. "There are major consequences for getting the answer correct for tourism, fisheries and management decisions as they relate to climate change and changing ocean environments," says Dr Lucas. "The important aspect about our work is that we have provided the long-term baseline backed with all data available to science, which will enable scientists to build on and eventually repeat these analyses in a decade or two from now to determine whether there has been a real increase in jellyfish."
"The realization that jellyfish synchronously rise and fall around the world should now lead researchers to search for the long-term natural and climate drivers of jellyfish populations, in addition to begin monitoring jellyfish in open ocean and Southern Hemisphere regions that are underrepresented in our analyses," says lead author Dr Rob Condon, marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) in Alabama.
Given the potential damage posed by jellyfish blooms to fisheries, tourism and other human industries, the findings of the group foretell recurrent phases of rise and fall in jellyfish populations that society should be prepared to face.