Climate Change Resilience. The case of Haiti

Natural and human-induced hazards (storms, floods, and droughts) have highly destructive impacts on buildings, land, water, livestock, and people in Haiti. The poorest Haitians, including low-income women, children, and elderly people, are especially vulnerable. There is already evidence of climate change, including higher mean temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. Without adaptation actions, climate change is likely to magnify the damaging effects of hazards and to increase poverty. Resilience-building measures include flood control, integrated river basin management, reforestation, promotion of wood-energy alternatives, adoption of new crop varieties and farming practices, reduction in cultivation of steep slopes, and creation of non-farm livelihood options. The prospects for climate change resilience are now intricately tied to post-earthquake reconstruction. As Haiti turns its attention to preparing for more disasters and rebuilds significant portions of its infrastructure, there is a real opportunity to integrate climate resilience into these efforts. But Haiti faces serious governance, capacity, and financial challenges. Capacity is weak because of a lack of sensitization to climate change, inadequate technical knowledge, and meagre finances. It is essential to disseminate information about climate change and variability and their impacts in order to press leaders to incorporate climate change resilience into development plans and policies.

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