April 22, 2022 was filled with hope and pride for young climate activists in Haiti. In celebration of Earth Day, a group of passionate individuals took up the challenge in their community and launched the Haiti Climate Network (HCN).
Haiti, like many other small island developing states in the Caribbean, faces severe impacts from climate related disasters. The country has already experienced increased risks as a result of climate change. Haiti is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, storm surges, and flooding, with more than half of the country’s population living in dense coastal communities, nearby floodplains, and in areas with steep slopes which are susceptible to landslides.
Recognizing their vulnerabilities and the need to take action to protect their home, a group of young activists came together and launched the Haiti Climate Network. The network aims to raise awareness in their communities of the challenges facing the planet and to encourage persons to adopt eco-friendly lifestyles.
The launch was celebrated at the Municipal Library of Tabarre with approximately seventy (70) persons in attendance, including the Press, school children, young academics and professionals, representatives of organizations and community leaders, among others.
The day was organized around two themes.
The first theme: ‘Climate Change, Issues and Perspectives. Let’s talk about it’ was presented by Mr. Madochée Placide, Agronomist, Specialist in Climate Change and holder of a Masters in Sustainable Development. In his speech, he considered, among other things, the causes and consequences of climate change, climate change mitigation, geopolitical decisions about climate, and climate justice. Mr. Madochée is a pioneer in climate literature in Haiti having written a book entitled ‘Everything you need to know about Climate Change’.
The second theme: ‘My Environment, My Responsibility, the Green Gestures to Adopt’ was presented by Ms. Lydie Servanin, Vice-President of Terre-Jeunes and founding member of the Bioenergy project in Gonaïves. Her presentation highlighted measures for combating climate change through taking stock of carbon storage in the soil, limiting the consumption of fossil fuels, and above all, reforestation, especially for the mangroves off the coast.
The event was moderated by Jean Wesly Joseph and also featured remarks from Andral Dieulique, General Coordinator of HCN; Amira Odeh, Representative of 350.org; Peterson Destin, Programme Officer for HCN; and Jessusita Dante Maria Sénat, Deputy Coordinator of HCN.
Public figures in attendance included: Pierre Saint (Coordinator of civil protection for the municipality of Tabarre); Fednold Placide (Delegate of the city of Tabarre); Nickson Charles (Director of the Municipal Library of Tabarre and CASEC of the Municipality of Tabarre); Senate Jean Michelet (President of FOHVINO, Haitian New Life Foundation); David Sylvestre and Jefferson Altemar (Journalists); Carine Cinoe (President of Femme Mature); Farah Francklin (President Golden Stars); Rolchine Joachim (Seventh-day Adventist Youth Director of Gethsemane of Caradeux); Odson Eliodor (CEO Big’Art Production); Berthony (Engineer and Artisan of the Municipality of Tabarre); Malaba Pitit Plim (Poet, Audience, Creolist and Writer); Atchassou (Artist) and the distinguished guest of honor Jackson Badeau (Writer, Communicator and Initiator of Festi Books and Technologies).
“I was very happy to participate, I had a great time.”
“It was an activity like no other.”
“From now on I will participate in all HCN activities.”
“I congratulate you for the initiative, it was a pleasant moment.”
As HCN embarked on their new journey, participants were very appreciative of the space created, the knowledge shared, and the platform they now have to take collective action against the climate impacts in their communities. Persons were eager to be involved as six new individuals committed to joining the movement.
Every year, Earth Day mobilizes millions of people for transformative action for our planet, bringing people into the environmental movement, and creating opportunities for civic engagement and volunteerism. Every year, the movement grows stronger as more persons come together. This year is the first of many for the Haiti Climate Network.