August 21, 2013

Ayiti Nexus & Reef Check Spark Public Discourse on Marine Conservation in Haiti


Submitted by Ayiti Nexus

Haiti’s annual Festival of the Sea has a reputation for attracting thousands of people to the northern coast, and this year was no exception. The festival began Friday, August 9 in Cap-Haïtien and continued Saturday afternoon with Ayiti Nexus and Reef Check’s workshop on marine conservation. The workshop succeeded in raising public consciousness about Haiti’s dying reefs, and it was the perfect venue to present Ayiti Nexus’ book Haiti from Below.

Titled “Conserving Haiti’s Marine Ecosystems,” the workshop began precisely at 3pm, just as pedestrians began to crowd the main boulevard of Cap-Haïtien. Curious onlookers strolled into the conference room to hear the presentation, largely drawn in by the informational booths set up along the boulevard and Reef Check’s EcoDivers. As expected, the energy in the room was remarkable!

Reef Check Haiti’s EcoDiver Team began with testimonies about their experience in the water, and the 60+ attendees marveled at how quickly this team of Haitian university students had learned to swim and become certified divers through Reef Check’s EcoDiver program. The organization is committed to saving reefs worldwide and they have extended their services to Haiti, a country whose reefs are the most overfished in the world but whose government has yet to set up marine protected areas. The EcoDivers spoke passionately about this and used underwater pictures from Haiti from Below and video to show the public what riches Haiti has to conserve.

Copies of Haiti from Below were on display at the booths. There were also banners all along the boulevard displaying pictures from the book; all of which was made possible by an IBC Airways sponsorship.

Ayiti Nexus is a women-owned consulting firm committed to Haiti’s development by leading creative projects that encourage public dialogue and bring sustainable solutions to recurrent challenges. Haiti from Below is one such project and was published to encourage political action and raise public awareness about Haiti’s natural resources. Proceeds from the first edition of the book support the work of Reef Check in Haiti, targeting the conservation of the endangered reefs. The second edition will continue to support these initiatives and will also permit the training of more EcoDivers and lead to a more informed public.

For more information contact Ayiti Nexus at info@ayitinexus. To purchase a copy of the book, visit the Reef Check Sea Store.

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    5×7 ft banners were put all along the boulevard displaying pictures from the book